The quality of systems, management and feedback is vital in any school, but the stakes can be even higher where vulnerable children are concerned.
CIT South comprises three schools. The Garth School and John Fielding Community Special School are for pupils between 2-19 with complex, severe and profound learning difficulties. The Priory School caters for 11-16s with moderate learning difficulties, many with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The Garth has an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, while the Priory and John Fielding are marked as ‘Good’.
"BlueSky provides senior leaders with access to quality-assured information, allowing an accurate overview of what areas are working well and conversely highlighting those areas which may need more energy and focus."
Executive Head Teacher of CIT South
CIT's improvement and quality assurance initiatives were either paper-based or located on standalone hard drives at different sites. Daran Bland, CIT's Executive Head Teacher, recalls: "What we wanted was coherence, convenience and efficiency."
There was also some urgency: special schools must meet statutory requirements in the nature and frequency of training. Staff need specialised training in areas such as epilepsy, moving and handling, specific behaviours and restraint, poolside rescue and gastrostomy tube feeding. Each school therefore needed instant, centralised access to who has been trained, in what, and when refresher training is required.
BlueSky has given CIT South centralised, web-based functionality that is now the home of all their reporting, training data and performance management. It is accessible at any of their sites and indeed from wherever authorised users happen to be.
Daran says: "As a collective of schools we are able to add to the information we have, analyse it, and most importantly utilise it."
When information is relevant, detailed and instantly accessible, it becomes a catalyst for quality.
Daran says: "We can now really drill down into specific aspects to support individual development and improvement. All our staff training is logged in the CPL module and we are finding the self-evaluation module increasingly useful."
CIT is also finding BlueSky is ideal for presenting information to bodies such as governors, Ofsted and the local authority.
Next steps: developing their use of BlueSky has a high priority, and CIT is working with us to develop the training database to generate email alerts when all-important refresher training is due.
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