Key Strategic Priorities for 2019

At Birchwood High School, we are driven by the concept of continuous school improvement – aiming to do our best for our 1400 students and 170 members of staff in an ever-changing world and an evolving education landscape.

Our strategic priorities for 2019 include:

  1. Student safety – ensuring students feel safe in school and are able to know what to do outside school and on-line
  2. Effective and transparent Behaviour Management – all students know what is expected of them in terms of the school’s ethos, rule and expectations – and that staff apply rewards and sanctions in a fair and proportional manner
  3. Attendance & Punctuality – it is vital that students attend school and are punctual for lessons. Whilst our attendance figures are above the national average, we will focus on students whose attendance falls below 95%.
  4. High quality T&L for All – this, along with our steadfast focus on closing the gap in attainment for disadvantaged students, are our two most important priorities for 2019. We believe in appointing high quality subject teachers, offering a broad and balanced curriculum and then ensuring that lessons are effectively planned, delivered and assessed. We also believe that it is important for teachers to be regularly observed and receive professional feedback and training in order for them to develop into excellent practitioners
  5. Closing the gap for Disadvantaged Students – we are proud of our all-ability comprehensive ethos. 15% of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and it is important that we do our best to help these students do their best by giving them extra support in the classroom and helping to provide them with resources and extra-curricular opportunities.  The gap has been too wide in the past but there is strong evidence to show that, for 2019 and beyond, students whose parents might be on income support or low salary are progressing as well as their non-disadvantaged peers.
  6. Financial effectiveness – the funding being given to schools, in real terms, has seen a 8% reduction since 2015. As a Single Academy Trust, we are having to look to improving our financial efficiency and effectiveness. This will not mean large classes or poor facilities but we need to reduce our expenditure over the next 3 years as all other schools are having to do.
  7. Workload, well-being and democracy – teachers work hard and spend time at home marking and preparing lessons – we need to do everything we can to ensure that teachers and support staff enjoy coming to work, feel supported and are able to make suggestions and improvements to help with workload. Our newly formed Staff Council act in this capacity, working alongside SLT to make Birchwood a great place to work.
    Equally, it is important that our students and parents have a voice. This is why we value the work of the student council and our parent council who work alongside governors to strategically support the school.

We annually review our strategic priorities in order to help us continue to improve.