School Improvement

Statutory School Improvement Service: Commissioned by Surrey County Council

SAfE assumed responsibility for the LA’s statutory school improvement function in September 2019 and is commissioned by Surrey County Council to carry out statutory school improvement work in Surrey maintained schools.

SAfE and Surrey County Council are committed to:

  • Shared accountability for improving the holistic education experience, outcomes both educational and wider and life chances of all children and young people.
  • Promoting a culture of openness, trust, collaboration, and professional peer challenge.
  • Ensuring that all decisions made are in the best interests of children, young people and their families.
  • Ensuring actions are taken to remove barriers that prevent or make progress and achievement difficult, so that no child or young person is left behind.
  • Ensuring all schools have a network of support, educational and pastoral so that no schools, colleges or settings are left isolated.
  • Ensuring all our joint actions add value, are evidence based and as far as possible are measured and preventative.

Supporting School Improvement

‘Support & Challenge’ for maintained schools

SAfE works in partnership with Surrey County Council and the Phase Council Leads to identify schools who need to move to Support & Challenge. Resources are allocated to these schools for targeted school improvement plans to be drawn up and implemented.

These plans have a budget attached which is either allocated from the SAfE commission or can be funded by the school itself if their finances allow. Representatives from SCC, Phase Councils and SAfE meet termly to share information, review progress of current S&C schools and refer new S&C schools where necessary or transition S&C schools out of the programme when they no longer need that level of support.

Ofsted Inspection Notification Process

As a maintained school, SAfE will be informed when you receive your Ofsted Inspection notification.

You will be contacted by a member of the SAfE Team to ask whether you require pre-inspection support from a SAfE Advisor. You will then be called by the Advisor before 5pm that day. If the Ofsted Inspector asks for a conversation with the LA/SAfE, please ring 01483 749954 and a member of the SAfE Team will arrange for a SAfE Advisor to be available.

If your school has been identified as a Support and Challenge School, the allocated SAfE Advisor will contact you directly to discuss any support you may require. They will also be available to attend your post inspection feedback.

If you are either an academy or a maintained school and need any additional pre Ofsted support please contact

Support for Headteacher Recruitment and Appointment

SAfE has the commission from the LA to support headteacher appointments in all maintained schools at all stages of the recruitment process.

Once you have received written confirmation of the resignation from you Headteacher and before you start the process the recruitment process, the Governing Body must contact SAfE. This applies even if you are a faith school, although you must inform your diocese too.

SAfE can also provide bespoke support for governing bodies appointing a new Headteacher. For maintained schools this is provided at no cost to the school.

Please contact the SAfE team for further information:


“Your SI visit last autumn was a catalyst for some of the transition we saw recognised today and prepared the team for the rigour of the inspection.”