Thought Leadership

The Schools Alliance for Excellence was created in September 2019 and is a local education partnership that draws together all the key education partners in Surrey to deliver a high quality, cohesive, coordinated school-led improvement system to serve all children and schools from nursery to post-16.  

We believe that All Surrey Children are our collective responsibility and working in partnership, drawing on the collective strengths of all schools, we can support each other to do the best for every child through excellent education.  

We are an independent not-for profit school improvement company that is owned and governed by schools (80%) in partnership with Surrey Local Authority and the six Dioceses in Surrey. We will represent the voice of their local schools, regardless of phase or status, through membership and consultation and seek to create a contemporary middle tier. The local authority has also commissioned The Alliance to deliver its statutory school improvement service for three years from September 2019. 

Here you will find our latest thoughts and writings on education in Surrey, as well as links and signposting to thought leadership.

The EEF Guide to Supporting School Planning: A Tiered Approach to 2020-21

The EEF has produced new guidance to help support schools in re-opening following COVID-19 school closures. Building on the model EEF demonstrated in their Guide to Pupil Premium, the guide proposes a tiered approach to prioritising your efforts and honing existing plans based around: high-quality teaching for all, targeted academic support, and wider strategies to support pupils in the year ahead. 

Download this guide here.

Research Articles


Metacognition as a part of lesson routine

When the EEF toolkit cited metacognition and self-regulation as a high impact, low cost classroom strategy with the potential to add 7 months of progress, the approach attracted much interest.  Their really useful summary poster is here.

This article by Michele Miller seeks to encourage you to keep metacognition ‘on the map’ of high impact strategies, and perhaps think about the extent to which our modelling is deliberate, explicit and clear.




Town Farm Primary School & Nursery: Our experience of the new inspection framework

Asif Bhatti, Headteacher at Town Farm Primary & Nursery School shares his thoughts following the school’s experience of their recent inspection.




Reception Baseline Assessment

The schools within South Farnham Educational Trust have made the decision to sign up for the Reception Baseline Assessment pilot. At times of great controversy surrounding the assessment of children in the first few weeks of school, it is important for school leaders to make careful decisions for their school community. We perceive the opportunity to take time to sit with each child individually during these early weeks as a hugely beneficial activity for the child and for the teacher.

This article by Claire Harnden reflects on the participation of SFET schools in the RBA pilot. Read on to find out about the opportunities and benefits that SFET’s experiences highlight.


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