Accountability for Improvement (A4i)

The Strategy for New School Improvement and Corporate Governance

A4i makes use of an online system that creates a performance canvas called 4MAT. This groundbreaking and proven model makes use of innovative software. 4MAT enables leaders and stakeholders to see and share holistic performance and progression in a school or trust. It does this through a secure platform that portrays key information in an accessible way using a clear accountability framework and competency criteria.

This not only helps to predict and mitigate risk but to strategically commission services and interventions more efficiently and effectively. 4MAT can thus become a key part of continuous professional development for governors and leaders of all educational settings.

4MAT fits completely with the Ofsted inspection framework and was recently praised during a school inspection by HMI. 4MAT portrays performance and identifies risk and necessary mitigation to maintain the identified trajectory for improvement. Having created this portrayal, the leadership team are supported with a training programme in accountability and the construction of a bespoke but rigorous and effective monitoring system.

4MAT - the performance canvas of A4i

4MAT is created through a process of self-evaluation and audit across 10 key competencies with the support of an accredited coach. 4MAT is the portrayal of performance of an individual school or the MAT across these 10 Competencies. 4MAT enables the creation and on-going monitoring of this accessible portrayal of context, performance and accountability for improvement across all areas of a school or the MAT's responsibilities. Each competency is underpinned by a set of characteristics and then clear criteria that schools will be required to evidence. This takes the ambiguity out of accountability and supports continuous improvement.

The 4MAT is the contextual picture that comes from the process of seeking and interpreting evidence by leaders and stakeholders to establish and to maintain an effective overview of responsibility for performance and accountability for improvement.

With the changing role of Local Authorities and the evolution of academies and trusts, schools and academies must increasingly adhere to new and different lines of accountability. School networks, teaching school alliances, children's centres and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) also continue to evolve and must increasingly establish and maintain comprehensive, on-going accountability frameworks.

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