Training and consultancy for school improvement

Are you looking for a school improvement partner? I provide training and consultancy for primary schools from single day support to multi-day school improvement packages. I work in true partnership to help you improve standards in education. Perhaps you would value support to review your school improvement plan, perhaps you would like to tap into expertise in raising attainment of disadvantaged pupils, perhaps you would like support to increase the impact of your curriculum. Whether you are a school with strong practice wishing to push the envelope or a school experiencing temporary difficulties, an external perspective and someone to think with and work alongside can really boost productivity.

Finding the right school improvement partner for you and your school is essential. School improvement partners all have unique strengths, experiences and areas of expertise, as well as having differing personalities, styles and philosophies.  ​I very much believe that school improvement is a field in its own right, and whilst there are overlaps with the skills of being a headteacher, the two roles are different and should be complimentary.

Whilst often in the West Yorkshire region, I work with colleagues remotely allowing you to be based anywhere in the UK and receive the support you need for school improvement.   By not always travelling to physical sites, I can provide more responsive, flexible support for schools.   Coaching, regular meetings, involvement in projects, providing support for teams and individuals are all possible. Headteachers value the flexibility I provide. 

As well as live courses for teachers and leaders, and providing self-paced CPD, I work directly with primary schools to provide school improvement support, usually with senior and middle leaders. Schools often find it useful to add additional capacity and expertise to their team, e.g. external coaching, professional dialogue on specific topics, partnership work, working party facilitation, leadership development. The support can be a single session or a programme of support across the year. Support can start at any time, no need to wait for a new school year.

 Vicky Crane School Improvement Flyer  Coaching services for primary leaders

School improvement partnership support

Confidence in the person providing external support is paramount. 

I work with passion and integrity, but don't just take my word for the quality of support I provide.  Hear from people just like you who have used my services:

"Thank you for a really useful day. I know the phase leaders, and myself, found it really inspiring." Headteacher - session designed to develop the role of phase leaders.

“Thank you for being so generous in your support.  I have been inspired and energised to keep going.  Truly a well timed and informative session that I can practically put into practice for IMPACT.” 1:1 support for Deputy Headteacher. 

"I found the process on Friday so useful. It is some of the best CPD I've had for a long time and it helped me to be really clear about next steps etc. It was lovely to work with you as it is always." Headteacher following a review of pupil work and strategising on curriculum implementation.

“Thank you for all the support Vicky!  All day you have been extremely knowledgeable in answering all my questions.” Deputy Headteacher related to pupil premium and closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils sessions.

 "I really enjoyed the conversation and it's come at a key time! Thankyou for your clarity and kindness." Phase leader.

“I liked having time to really think about what I am doing well and what areas I still need to improve.  I really enjoyed it.” Subject leader bespoke support. "We are really pleased with how well the inspection went - lots of hard work has been put in over the last few years, so great to get the report we received. Thank you for your part in it - the subject leaders were confident and knew their subjects inside out!" Headteacher (a mix of HT conversations, subject leader training, and 1:1 sessions across the year).

How can I support you? As a school improvement consultant with many years of experience, I am able to provide flexible training and support on a wide range of needs. If you are unsure if my expertise is a match for you, why not email me your support requirements. As the majority of my work centres around leadership, it often cuts across different areas of school life, e.g. supporting a DHT with plans to close the gap for disadvantaged pupils, or working with senior leaders and subject leaders on curriculum implementation. The schools I support appreciate my wide ranging experience and knowledge base. I very much see school improvement work as a partnership which recognises and appreciates everyones contributions, skills, talents and knowledge base.

I am particularly interested in how academic performance of pupils can be improved and how high-standards can be achieved in the classroom. I work with leaders to consider how whole school actions and leadership direction can bring about an improvement at a pupil level.

School improvement support can be purchased in blocks, e.g. a whole day, half-day or twilights. Additional 1:1 professional dialogue and coaching sessions can be added: 90 minute sessions. Discounts are provided for schools booking multiple days.

Support can be for individuals, teams or larger groups. However, impact tends to be higher when the group size is no more than eight people. If you have leaders from across a group of schools who wish to have training on a particular topic, why not get in touch regarding your needs.

Headteacher performance management

Headteachers work incredibly hard in a demanding role. Engaging in a quality review process is of vital importance, for the headteacher, for the governors and for the school. The process starts with getting to know the school and the headteacher. It includes review of key information provided by the headteacher in support of their performance management. It includes meeting separately with the headteacher, the governors and then together as a group. Schools might also consider combining headteacher performance management with support throughout the year in a coaching capacity. A series of coaching sessions can help the headteacher to fully explore the previous year, consider how they are leaning into their strengths, visualise the year ahead and consider how personal performance can be maximised. Governing bodies wishing to employ me to support them with headteacher performance management must be willing to commit the time needed to ensure the process is of high quality. Contact me for more information.

Strategic leadership support for headteachers

STRATEGIC THINKING - Having someone external to help facilitate leadership thinking can be extremely powerful. It can unlock doors, help overcome obstacles, create shifts in areas that have been stubbornly difficult, create energy and give impetus for change.

  • Support for the development or review of the school improvement plan.
  • Working together to review school data.
  • Analysing current leadership strengths and creating a plan for people development.
  • Working with the HT, SLT and / or governors around 'people centric leadership' and 'people centric schools'.
  • Strengths leadership coaching for the headteacher and senior leadership team.
  • Activities and facilitation for SLT to enhance teamwork.
  • Help for the school leader in reviewing how the school operates towards strategic goals with a view to increasing goal achievement.

Leadership coaching

For Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Phase leaders.

I offer a comprehensive coaching portfolio. Whilst every coaching programme is besoke to the needs of the leader, it is helpful to consider different ways that coaching can be utilised.

1. Strengths coaching - harness your unique talents. This is an incredibly, uplifting programme that focuses on positive change by 'naming, aiming and actioning' your strengths as a leader. Even seasoned leaders are amazed at how their personal impact improves.

2. Journey coaching - Navigate life's challenges with a coach by your side. Coaching sessions for individuals designed to support leaders on a regular basis. Sessions focused on reflection, examination of internal dialogue, interpretation of events, and forward thinking. Open-ended and exploratory.

3. Growth coaching - Develop as a leader through coaching. You choose a leadership focus, e.g. holding colleagues to account, team building, emotional intelligence. The sessions are a blend of training and coaching. This is available as small group coaching or individual coaching.

4. Goal coaching - Leading a whole school priority. Support for planning, developing, launching, implementing and evaluating cycle. Sessions of 60 mins and 90 mins at a frequency that fits your needs.

5. Issue coaching - are you facing a tough challenge at the moment? This is short term, specific coaching to help you with a specific issue, challenge or problem.

6. New to role coaching - This can start prior to taking up a role or at any point in the first year. The coaching supports colleagues to transition smoothly into the role. Even experienced leaders find coaching in the first year of a new role to be worthwhile. A change in context, a change in team, a change in the challenges the role holds are all issues that can be supported with coaching.

7. PERMA+4 and the Happy Leadership model - First, invest in coaching to support your own personal well-being and then move to considering how leadership changes can be made to improve well-being across a team or the whole school.

8. Team coaching - for schools interested in promoting team effectiveness. There are three options a) on-site coaching and facilitation to help teams work more effectively together, b) a mix of individual and group coaching to increase the team's knowledge of the collective strengths, c) small group coaching for middle leaders - a cost effective way to provide support for phase leaders, small groups or subject leaders, AHTS.

Coaching flyer

Pupil premium support for your school

Design a 12-month package of pupil premium support to aid leaders in closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils.  Vicky can work 1:1 with the senior leader with responsibility for pupil premium at a frequency and intensity that is right for your school. Some schools want to evaluate their current position, some schools need support on action planning, some schools need support to achieve a specific goal linked to the academic performance of disadvantaged pupils. Some schools need support for just the senior leaders, some need input into a working party and some need support for subject leaders, e.g. considering writing progression for disadvantaged pupils; considering progression in geography for disadvantaged pupils; considering the needs of disadvantaged pupils in EYFS. Why not tap into Vicky's knowledge base on school actions for disadvantaged pupils. Tackle closing the gap from a mulit-pronged approach.

Pupil Premium Flyer

Design your own subject leadership support package

Short zoom training sessions and 1:1 coaching can be a great way to develop middle leaders in school.  Professional dialogue sessions can take into account the current skills and experience of each leader, and the demands of the subject they lead. Subject leaders really appreciate the time to discuss their vision and action plans and to reflect on developments. Alternatively, design a group training course by selecting leadership modules, or set your own leadership objectives and Vicky will design a course to match your needs.

Leadership modules

Curriculum Development

Vicky has significant knowledge regarding curriculum design. Vicky has worked with a variety of schools through face-to-face courses and bespoke support. Audits and development materials produced by Vicky have been published by 'The Key' and these have helped a number of school leaders and governors set out their vision and intent. Schools currently tend to be focused on the challenge of implementation and impact. Vicky can provide strategic leadership for senior leaders and more direct support for subject leaders depending on the needs of the school. Why not get in touch to discuss how Vicky can support the school in the goal to make the ambitions of the curriculum a reality.

Curriculum development flyer

Strategic leadership for teams

There are two types of strategic leadership training and support that can be provided.  1) a kick-start (usually summer term) for the the school development process, or 2) Support over a series of half-days to work on developing the strategic skill set of the senior leadership team with activities designed to support thinking.  Schools often appreciate a person being involved in strategic planning to provide an outside, fresh perspective and find the 'facilitation' aspect of it enables everyone to participate inhigh-quality discussion.  Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Strategic leadership flyer


Growth Mindsets

Many schools have worked with Vicky to create and implement a successful growth mindsets strategy that has helped pupils to take greater ownership of their school and life successes.  The work on growth mindsets very much overlaps with metacognition and memory research.  Vicky helps leaders to harness the theory in a way that enables it to have impact.  Schools do need to appoint a key senior leader that Vicky can work with. This person needs to be in a position to drive forward developments across the year and maintain the impetus beyond this. Vicky can also put you in touch with schools to see examples of how growth mindset theory has been put into practice.

Growth mindsets flyer

  • Training and consultancy for schools

    I am delighted to share with you the school leadership training and development programmes on offer in 2023-2024. If you can't find what you are looking for in the brochure, please do get in touch about bespoke training for your school. All the leadership courses are unique, high-impact and based on a wealth of leadership and school support experience. Colleagues regularly provide feedback that courses are inspiring, practical and make a real difference. Participants often comment that the quality of dialogue, the safe space to talk and the ideas generated in discussion are what makes the courses special.

    Training brochure PDF


    A day of consultancy typically ranges from £650 to £750 +VAT depending on the nature of the work being carried out. This might be 1:1 zoom sessions with individual colleagues or small groups. Staff meetings / training sessions, e.g. twilights, are usually 2 hours in duration and are usually £400 +VAT depending on the number of colleagues involved and the resources being accessed. Reductions are available for the purchase of multiple days. Why not contact us to discuss your requirements. or telephone/text 07921 726580

    Fresh Solutions

    The advantage of using freelance consultancy is having a professional development programme designed to meet the needs of staff in your school. With Ofsted emphasising the effectiveness of performance management and its link to training and development opportunities (including support for career progression), a bespoke package can be an ideal way of providing effective CPD.


    Do you need additional leadership capacity for a project? My freelance consultancy time can be purchased to add additional capacity on a temporary basis.

    External courses

    Unfortunately, we are not currently offering any training sessions delivered at hotel / conference venues.

    Cluster support

    Why not consider training together, e.g. support for Assistant Headteachers across a cluster or family of schools. It has never been easier to train together via online tools and services.