School improvement consultancy and training for primary schools
Where will your training take you?
Get the help you need to deliver your school improvement priorities by employing a school improvement partner who will help guide you on your journey. From headteacher support and leadership training, to curriculum development and strategies improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils, I can help provide your staff with the training and support they need.
School improvement support from anywhere in the UK
Finding the right school improvement partner for you and your school is essential for achieving school excellence and thriving as a headteacher. School improvement partners all have unique strengths, experiences and areas of expertise, as well as having differing personalities, styles and philosophies. You can book a discovery meeting to discuss how my services as a school improvement partner can be of benefit to you and to see if we are a good match for each other. Whilst often in the West Yorkshire region, I mostly work with colleagues remotely allowing you to be based anywhere and receive the support you need. By not always travelling to physical sites, I can provide more responsive, flexible support for schools. Headteachers find it useful to book sessions from just an hour to a full day, and from planned support to responding as needed. Coaching, regular meetings, involvement in projects, providing support for teams and individuals are all possible. Telephone, zoom and email support, as well as occasional on-site work enable you to feel constantly supported in achieving your goals. The schools I work with appreciate being able to tap into my wide-ranging skills and knowledge throughout the year, and say how much they benefit from an ongoing relationship. Schools always comment on the generosity of my support.
My expertise is in school improvement. It is a field in its own right, and whilst there are overlaps, it is distinctly different from being a headteacher and the two roles compliment each other. High in my Clifton Strengths are strategic, futuristic and problem solving. I am a good person to strategise with. It is not about mentoring. It is about working towards school improvement through partnership, professional dialogue, grappling with complex problems, spotting patterns, discussing possible solutions, harnessing research, digging into data, unlocking potential, removing barriers and strategic thinking. It is about reviewing systems, processes, culture, current practices. Having been an independent school improvement consultant for the past 9 years and previously working as an adviser for Leeds Local Authority School Improvement services, I understand the challenges of school improvement and change management. I have been a Chair of Governors for a large primary school and have experience of working closely with headteachers, including being an external consultant for headteacher performance management. If you want support for improving your school, I might be just the right person for you.
You can book: termly support, reviews, and on-going support plus you can tap into leadership development and coaching expertise. I can provide support at differing levels of leadership: headteacher, DHT, senior leaders, phase leaders, subject leaders and specialist leaders such as SENCOs.
Over the past twenty years I have researched and developed knowledge related to academic achievement, and I am passionate about closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils and removing barriers to success. If you are particularly looking for expertise in improving academic performance, than my knowledge base is likely to a match to your needs.
I can accommodate both short term and long term projects. My skills at developing relationships between leaders across schools make me an ideal partner for MAT and family of schools leadership development projects.
I have a genuine passion for my job. Witnessing the growth and development of the leaders I work with, and observing the positive and transformative impact they have within their schools is both inspiring and rewarding. One of the most gratifying aspects of my role is celebrating the well-deserved successes of the schools I work with. It is a privilege to be part of their journey and to share in the joy of their accomplishments.
Areas of school improvement expertise:
Supporting schools in their journey of improvement;
Senior and middle leadership training;
Coaching, leadership conversations & on-going leadership support;
Supporting leaders to analyse varying aspects of school / education;
Curriculum - leadership for intent, implementation & impact;
Improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils;
Developing teaching and learning;
Seeking to remove barriers to academic progress;
Growth mindsets & metacognition.
25 years of expertise and knowledge of schools & education;
Leadership posts in schools and a large local authority;
Substantial experience in designing and delivering training;
Experience of headteacher performance management;
Over 10 years of school improvement experience;
Training, co-ordination, support and quality assurance of teams of consultants, Specialist Leaders of Education & ASTs;
Leading & quality assuring city-wide networks;
Creation and development of online learning;
Chair of governor experience.
Chair of Governor experience for a large primary school.
Quality of service:
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:
"Vicky is an excellent trainer and has worked with us at Allerton CE Primary, for several years; both in developing individual leaders but also the work outlined here. Truly exceptional in tailoring to our school, my vision and also the staff rather than just being generic. Love her!“ Helen Stott, Headteacher, Allerton CE primary
"Working with Vicky Crane on all areas of school improvement is a dream. Bespoke packages backed up with up to date thinking and research means that schools can be at the forefront to drive positive outcomes for their children. Vicky’s style is a combination of information sharing, enquiry based questions and a coaching model that provides both challenge and support to all leaders and staff in school. I thoroughly enjoy working with Vicky, it supports and challenges me to be a proactive leader." Rupa Barson, Headteacher, Churwell Primary.
"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.” DHT. "I loved this training and found it really beneficial." DHT- Catalyst Programme.
“The training was brilliantly constructed. One of the best courses I have attended in years. I wanted to be challenged and provoked, but also given some new ideas to work with and the day achieved all of this.” Headteacher
"The course has widened my knowledge base in a number of areas including creating visions, setting goals, reflecting on goals, planning and delivering meetings, communication and having difficult conversations. One area in which my knowledge has improved greatly is self leadership and the importance of effective reflection time using various strategies." Middle leader following small group & 1:1 sessions.
"Vicky is warm and engaging and I felt comfortable from the start. A safe space for discussion. A really positive climate in which anything could be shared." Phase leader group and 1:1 sessions.
“Every session has been immensely useful.”
“A very thought provoking and useful day.”
“Vicky is a fantastic trainer – very inspirational and knowledgeable.”
“Excellent. Completely engaged throughout.”
“I know staff are finding the training incredibly useful.”
Primary school improvement partner
School improvement is challenging. Accessing external support can make all the difference. This can be a mix of coaching, professional dialogue, and training for leaders and teachers. It can be short-term support or a programme that spans one or more years. Enjoy an ongoing relationship for school improvement services.
Let me share my knowledge with you. Ask questions, explore possible solutions, leverage research and work out a strategy that is right for your school.
Headteacher support and type of work undertaken
I design and deliver leadership programmes, e.g. training courses for new Deputy Headteachers; the 'catalyst programme' which is a small group programme for experienced DHTs; training for phase leaders; training for English leaders particularly focusing on removing barriers to achievement; training and support for leaders in relation to pupil premium.
Being a headteacher is a demanding and wide-ranging role. Having someone to work with, to expand the capacity of the leadership team, to engage in frank and honest exchanges about school life, to help with strategy and implementation of improvement is support every headteacher needs.
From small projects to on-going work - contact me to see how I can help.
Do you have a senior leader who would benefit from mentoring, coaching and performance dialogue? Would a senior leader in your school benefit from being able to tap into external knowledge in shaping and implementing improvement strategy? Ask me how I can help.
A large percentage of my work is at a leadership level working directly with schools, e.g.
supporting headteachers with performance management;
professional dialogue and coaching for senior leaders;
supporting strategic planning process;
delivering training for DHTs, assistant headteachers, phase leaders and subject leaders;
supporting leaders on issues such as closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils;
delivering training and supporting projects on themes such as metacognition and growth mindsets;
supporting schools in developing an approach for pedagogy;
making plans to support an increase in teacher effectiveness;
analysing and supporting schools increase the impact of their SDP.
Multi-academy trust school improvement support
I am skilled at developing relationships and can build remote and hybrid courses for MATs and groups of schools who wish to work more closely together. For example, perhaps you wish to develop reading leaders across an academy group through a mix of small group training and 1:1 support, or perhaps you have a group of deputy headteachers who would benefit from a hybrid course which includes visiting and carrying out activities in each other's schools. Adding my flexible services to your MAT team adds extra capacity for individual schools or groups of schools. I have extensive experience of working with leaders across groups of schools including remotely.
If you are a MAT CEO, primary director of education for a MAT or a headteacher of an individual school, get in touch to find out how I can be of service for school improvement.