Chase High School

Investors in People Awards 2023 finalist case study

Chase High School

Nominated for The Award for Learning and Development (up to 499 people)

Why did you enter the Investors in People 2023 Awards?

The education industry is suffering dramatic teacher shortages, and we have a real recruitment crisis, especially in a school like ours which has a high percentage of disadvantaged students (50% of our students receive a free school meal.) 

We entered Investors in People Awards 2023 to gain accreditation for our internal professional development programme after recreating it, putting staff career progression at the core, and ensuring that they receive ample opportunities to upskill and succeed, despite the ever-dwindling school budgets. 

This accreditation and formal recognition serve as a great tool during the recruitment process, encouraging teachers to consider our school as their next career step (as opposed to a local grammar, faith or private option) because they have the seal of approval that we will invest in their future, whatever their career plans within education may be. 

What has it meant to you, your team and your organisation to be shortlisted for an Investors in People 2023 Award?

I rewrote the entire professional development programme over the course of a year in response to staff voice and it grew organically – we included a core and external model, sourced funding, and opportunities to ensure that it was the very best it could be for our teachers.

We listened to feedback, adapted as required and believe that our professional development is one of the best in any school in the country as a result.  Being shortlisted proves that our efforts have been successful, and that others recognise that our professional development model is worthy of award status. 

This supports both how our own staff view the model but also how others externally will too.  This will really support our recruitment and retention drive during a difficult period for our industry, especially at a school with many socioeconomic challenges to overcome.

What would it mean to your organisation to win an Investors in People 2023 Award?

To win the award would be unbelievable for the future of our school.  Our school has been on the rise over a period of three years, finally achieving an Ofsted ‘Good’ for the first time in thirty years as a result of the professional development and upskill for our existing teachers. 

The community are starting to look at us as a school of choice, with our reputation improving dramatically, and we now need this echoed amongst educators so that they want to come and work with us.

Our focus now has to be on recruitment – ensuring that the greatest teachers look at our school and want to work here – which the award will very much help us to achieve.  We will be able to market our award on our adverts and beyond, fill our classrooms with exceptional teachers and provide our students the best education possible, which they really do deserve, especially given the context of our school. 

We want to eliminate ‘cover lessons’ and fill our recruitment gap in order to provide consistency for our students – this is easier said than done during a recruitment crisis.

Winning the award would retain our existing staff that we have self-moulded through our professional development programme, hopefully encouraging them to stay and develop their career with us, whilst also encouraging new teachers to want to work here.  Though we have staff career development at the core, a happy workforce leads to an incredible school experience for our students which is what it’s all about.

How important is it for your organisation to be a part of the Investors in People community and engaged in awards and events like this one?

Sharing best practice is something we strongly encourage in education, but it extends across industries too.  It’s great to hear how others promote their own learning and development programmes, and which ideas we can use across sectors. 

In schools, often the focus is on students, but we have to consider the adult too – how are we supporting their needs and ensuring that they enjoy coming to school as well?  Hearing from other industry professionals and celebrating their own successes makes us a part of a wider community of support that we can draw on if needed.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London


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