The NEELB’s Curriculum Advisory and Support Service (CASS) has provided high quality professional development to school staff in schools across the NEELB for many years. DE’s launch of ‘Every School a Good School – a Policy for School Improvement- in 2009 established a changing context for CASS in providing a more discrete school improvement service with a focus on raising standards.
NEELB CASS officers have agreed the following principles which underpin their evolving role as a School Improvement Service:
- Support will build on positive relationships established with NEELB schools based on mutual respect and trust. The school improvement officer will seek to build confidence and empower school staff in their efforts to raise standards.
- CASS will have a challenge function as a ‘critical friend’ within NEELB schools in order to enable the system to ‘raise the bar’ as well as ‘close performance gaps’.
- CASS will seek to broaden perspectives by supporting schools in identifying, affirming and disseminating good practice, locally and internationally.
- CASS will strive to support schools in building capacity through provision of:
- specialist knowledge and expertise
- co-ordinated/coherent support
- facilitation of self-evaluation and planning for improvement processes
- focused and tailored support within DE policy priorities
- CASS will seek to be understanding of the unique context of each school and be responsive to individual school needs, providing a flexible and individualised service
- Provide a bridge between Policy and Practice