Learning projects win funding from Strategic School Improvement Fund


The latest recipients to receive grants from the governments £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund has been released. The seventy-three learning projects are the second round to get a share of the funding pot.

IRIS Connect is proud to announce that we will be working with Thornden School in Eastleigh, who are due to receive a slice of the fund. Their project aims to use IRIS Connect and a version of our Film Club programme as a central component in the professional development of 10 schools in Basingstoke and Deane.

Amanda Parry, Deputy Head at Thornden says:

“Structured and reflective pedagogical development is key to improve teaching and learning, particularly in hard to reach subjects and schools in disadvantaged areas. We decided to include IRIS Connect in our SSIF as their platform will help us facilitate this across a broad geographical area, help us to reduce teacher workload by sharing resources and individualise our approach to professional development.”

The rest of the projects will take place at academies and maintained schools across the country, and aim to address specific challenges in their area and drive up standards.

The Octavo Partnership project won an SSIF grant in the first round of applications last year and are well underway. Their aim is to improve particular aspects of maths teaching using IRIS Connect to capture and demonstrate techniques, and curate supporting content to be shared throughout the project network.  This then serves to support a coaching model with coaches from the teaching schools working face-to-face and remotely with coachees in the 17 primary schools. In their latest newsletter on the project they said:

“Years of research show that to make sustainable improvements to teaching and learning, teachers need to engage with all of the proven components of effective adult learning. These include access to theory, feedback and coaching. Our project aims to give the teachers access to all of the activities that have been shown to improve classroom practice, through the IRIS Connect learning platform.”

We’re experienced and committed to supporting bids in a variety of forms (including schools wishing to apply for SSIF) from individual PhD projects right through to international programmes spanning multiple countries, involving thousands of teachers … and everything in between.

Our system supports a school-led approach to CPD, by enabling multiple schools to collaborate easily and effectively over distance, creating a cost-effective, scalable and sustainable approach to school improvement.

If you would like help with your application, we’re happy to work with you and offer our support.

Contact us to get support with your application


What is SSIF?

The fund is designed to further build a “school-led system” by providing school improvement grants to schools that need to raise performance and pupil attainment. A mission close to our hearts here at IRIS Connect.

How can schools use the grant?

The money can be used by schools to support a range of medium to long-term sustainable activities across groups of schools with a preference towards school-led provision, in other words, support provided by schools, for schools. It covers a wide range of areas for improvement, including leadership, governance, teaching methods and financial health.

How can schools apply?

Applications for round 3 are now open and will close at midday on Friday 20th April 2018. Each application must support a minimum of 4 schools, of which at least 70% must meet one or more of the eligibility criteria. Eligible schools will be those that are currently underperforming, as well as schools at risk of doing so. For more information on this, click here.

Find out who we’re working with from the latest recipients of the SSIF >


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