This month, in our ongoing feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, we hear from SALLY BISHOP, Director of West Herts Teaching School, Aspire Academies Trust and chair of the OLP Partnership Board; and SIMON WINFIELD of Red Monkey Play.

Tap into the power of

NPQ partnerships With SALLY BISHOP, Director of West Herts Teaching School, Aspire Academies Trust and chair of the OLP Partnership Board

How can you make a lasting contribution to the health of the education system - and invest in the professional development of your own leaders at the same time? Becoming a delivery partner for the National

Professional Qualifications (NPQs) with Outstanding Leaders Partnership (OLP) could be the answer. OLP does this by working with over 70 school

groups around the country – comprising more than 1,000 schools - to develop and deliver the four NPQ programmes, backed up by programme management, training, resources and support from Best Practice Network, one of the UK’s leading providers of professional development and support for education professionals. Within a robust school-led system one of the vitally important roles

schools must take on is growing leaders at all levels. Helping create future leaders and investing in the professional

development of their own leaders are key benefits for NPQ delivery partners. So what steps should schools take to become a partner? Here’s her

advice. • Know your area. Is there an NPQ gap and need in your area or are there current providers? Check what provision is already there to make sure there’s no overlap with other providers.

• Do you have the right set-up, the right resources to deliver high quality training? The ideal OLP partner is a teaching school, a very strong federation or a strong outstanding school as it is more likely they will have facilities and experienced facilitators already in place.

• Do our values match? It’s really important partners share OLP’s values and aspirations in providing high quality qualifications that will improve school leadership. They are people who are always looking at ‘growing green shoots’ and want to improve the education system and its leadership. They work at high quality, often outstanding schools and they are resilient with high expectations. They also have a good network and understanding of the needs of leaders in their local areas.

• Do you have the capacity? You should have a good training space as well as senior leaders experienced in running CPD, working in partnership with teaching schools and who are keen to build their facilitation experience. The Luton-based Chiltern Teaching School Alliance is one of OLP’s

network of NPQ providers. The partnership has been “enormously beneficial” says tutor Chris Gill. “It gives us the ability to provide nationally recognised, quality assured qualifications which have a level of management and support back-up that we simply couldn’t provide on our own,” he says. Head of teaching school, Sufian Sadiq, believes that the involvement

of alliance schools in delivering the programmes has had a very positive impact. He adds: “Several schools have made a real improvement journey - often because they provide NPQ programme facilitators and send colleagues on the programmes.”

uMore information about becoming an OLP NPQ delivery partner is available at


Red Monkey Play partner with Ashmount Primary School to develop a

unique outdoor space By SIMON WINFIELD, Red Monkey Play

Ashmount Primary school wanted to create a space where students could use Red Monkey Play’s specialist equipment for their student’s range of abilities. The school wanted a colourful pirate ship for their primary classes which was required to be inclusive for wheelchair users. This unit was also duel level to encourage climbing for the pupils. Red Monkey created a design to cleverly fit the space available. Red Monkey got to work on creating a unique playground area,

packed with engaging and challenging equipment for Ashmount’s many pupils to discover. The playground now covers six essential areas of learning: Physical Development, Communication and Language, PSHE, Expressive Art & Design and Road Safety. Claire Malpas, the Assistant Headteacher at Ashmount Primary

School, was thrilled with the completed project and expressed: “The designs were perfect for our students. Working with Red

Monkey was an absolute pleasure. They were extremely flexible and accommodating whilst doing the installation. They acknowledged the additional challenges faced by a special school and were happy to be led by the leadership team. Red Monkey have cleverly designed the equipment to fit the space and maximise the opportunities for children.” She continued: “The children are more active as a result at

playtime and are challenging themselves physically, whilst having fun with their friends. The children are learning road safety and the (surface) markings are so clear that they can be seen by the children with visual impairments. We would strongly recommend this unique, customer focused, company to any other schools in the area. It was such a professional job and the team were real perfectionists. The design, installation and office staff have provided an exemplary service and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Red Monkey Play’s

expert designers are passionate about enabling pupils to develop the skills they need for later on in life. They understand all children are different, and work with schools of all sizes to create bespoke outdoor space solutions to suit specific requirements.

uTo find out more about Red Monkey Play and the services they can provide to help transform your school’s outdoor space, please visit

November 2018

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