Dartford Bridge Case Study

Dartford Bridge Community Primary school opened in September of 2009. This was on a brand new housing development, in a locality with significant deprivation. Led by an inspirational head, Sam Crinnion engaged Middleground to work with staff, to enable them discover their leadership roles. Key to her vision was the idea that every member of her staff, from deputy heads, heads of form, kitchen staff, teaching assistance and administrative staff were all leaders in the school and that together they would transform the life chances of each and every pupil, without exception.

MiDDLEGROUND were engaged over a period of two years, working with the whole staff team and in smaller focus groups. Work with the whole team focused on reconnecting staff to their founding vision for pupils: “Asking, Aspiring, Achieving”, and how each could be more powerfully take up their role as leaders to embed this in every behaviour. Games and leadership models were used in a series of workshops, enabling staff to see the school as an interconnected system with each part having an essential connection to other parts. From this experience staff discovered how every action impacts across the whole system and affected the development of pupil progress and welfare.

To dive deeper and secure the culture of leadership, staff established their own subsystems that crossed formal boundaries within the school. Now every member in the school contributes to the leadership and opening up of future possibilities. One being the realisation that the principle of collaborative leadership should be expanded to include the wider community, with the release of further resources and energy being made available to the wellbeing and progress of students.

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“Excellent, very skilled, some of the best facilitation I’ve experienced in the last 20 years!”

Country Director, British Council

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