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Tackling underperformance: A guide for school leaders

Publication date:
Sep 2004
0758 2004G
Deputy headteacher, Headteacher, School leader, Strategy manager
Guidance, Leadership, School improvement, Local authority leadership, Preventing underachievement


This publication is available as a PDF file (1.2 MB).

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Tackling underperformance is a significant aspect of securing whole-school improvement. This guide is aimed at head teachers and school leaders to help them develop a whole-school approach to tackling underperformance. It sets out a systematic approach to tackling underperformance using the 'review, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate' approach described in the DfES cycle of improvement.

The commitment and energy of senior leaders is vital if underperformance is to be tackled and improvements secured and embedded in the work of the school. Subject leaders, year leaders and inclusion managers also need work with their teams to ensure that the improvements are sustained within subject areas and that the overview of the impact on pupils is developed.

This guide sets out tasks for leaders so that they can develop and implement a strategic approach to tackling underperformance in progressive stages.

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