For ten years, Navigate has been involved in the provision of interim and consultancy support to schools and education providers, nationwide. During this time we’ve placed hundreds of expert consultants, in a range of assignments – often adding short term capacity or filling a leadership gap.
We’re still immensely proud when we get positive feedback from our client assignments, particularly where our work has had a transformational impact, perhaps supporting a school to move out of Ofsted category. But the question we regularly ask ourselves, is how sustainable are these improvements?
There’s no question that there’s a balance to be struck between providing short term support and building sustainable improvement for the longer term. But we would disagree with the view that the two are mutually exclusive.
It’s a common criticism of consultancy support – urgent and rapid improvement is needed, but when this support is removed, can the pace continue?
Ultimately, we believe the answer is yes, but only if the support is structured effectively.
At Navigate, we work with some of the most talented leaders in education.Â Some of our most successful assignments have been to provide additional support and capacity to existing leadership teams, strengthening leadership through greater accountability, consistency of self-evaluation and the sharing of best practice. It is in these circumstances when the experience and expertise of a consultant can be utilised to greatest effect, developing and empowering existing leaders to improve their practice.
Such support is often dismissed as a luxury, but an investment in additional capacity can be critical for schools and academies grappling with challenges in recruitment, retention and the ongoing drive to raise standards.
Getting it right involves changing the perception of the relationship between consultancies and schools, from a provider to a strategic partner. We know that we’re always more successful when we work with clients to understand both their brief and overall vision; it means we can have a professional discussion about how to maximise our support and agree clear outcomes.
Ultimately, we’re at our best when schools and academies see us as more than a point of contact in a crisis, rather as an ongoing partner in creating resilience and capacity, building sustainable improvements for the sector.
For information about how we might be able to help yourÂ organisation, please contact Adam Brett on 0113 287 8445 or 0203 637 5007. Â Â