Know Your School Programme.

DTP Triangle (5)Vision

  • To give leaders the techniques, tools and strategies, challenge and inspiration to engage in significant and rapid development by knowing their school.
  • To support implementation of the leadership processes that raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from quality teaching and learning experiences and outcomes.
  • To learn and use a lesson visit process that is not about judging teachers.

The KYP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives leaders a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to collect information on what really happens in their school. This programme is a directly supported activity which takes place in your own school.


To provide leaders with the ability to:

  • understand how to experience the reality of life in your school
  • recognise when INSET has been effective in bringing about change
  • reflect positively on the state of chosen aspects in their school
  • support a school culture where the improving the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Leaders who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression.


The main features of this programme have been used in schools across the country. Leaders who have been trained in the process report being enthusiastic about what it has revealed about the actual learning taking place in classrooms, the atmosphere and operations in places such as dining halls and playing areas. Teachers see the process as very supportive, particularly with behaviour management.


Typical Content:

  • repeated visits to classrooms
  • support to take a view about what is happening
  • … and what is not yet happening
  • review the impact of recent training
  • collect information about consistency in classrooms
  • review display across a year group or a subject
  • know the typical pattern of questioning across the school
  • realise the value of “visible” leadership
  • work in partnership with the person responsible for a visited area
  • become known as a leader who is dedicated to improving teaching and learning
  • know how well work is marked using a quick and simple manner
  • use the techniques to improve emergency evacuation of your building
  • check areas for litter, graffiti, etc
  • identify weaknesses and strengths in office processes
  • see how visitors are actually dealt with on arrival
  • note and share effective practice
  • develop others to use the system
  • visit classrooms without making judgements about individual teachers
  • share and collate evidence from different observers
  • Action planning – this can be supported by the AAP programme. See later.
  • leading learning
  • and much, much more…

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.


The Programme:

  • is facilitated over a full school day. Half the day will be live lesson visits. The rest is a discussion of what has been seen and how it may lead to further action.
  • Schools need to be able to freely enter classrooms with as little disturbance to learning as possible.

Which Teachers?

Teachers a desire to improve the area they lead and are responsible for. Teachers who are deputy head teachers, members of a senior leadership team, heads of subject or faculty or curriculum area. Those whose role is traditionally seen as pastoral and this programme can support the move from a pastoral year leader to a curriculum focused leader, deputy leaders of the above areas and those whose ambition is to move into one of these roles.

The programme is most effective when schools are able to rely on the trust that teachers and other adults have in the quality of the leadership in the school. Lesson visits, because they have been previously been used to judge teacher effectiveness, can be perceived as threatening. This is a completely non-threatening process. In fact, there is no evidential basis for this being able to judge teachers.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving Teaching and Learning
  • that they have the ability to improve as leaders
  • a desire to know their school properly
  • be able to commit time to repeat the process during the school year

Cost is per day, usually one day is sufficient, plus VAT.


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