The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to raising levels of achievement in secondary education. It works with headteachers, teachers and students to encourage them to develop and share new and effective teaching and learning practice, and to support schools to raise standards and levels of achievement.
SSAT's excellence journey began in 2004 when they first adopted the EFQM Excellence Model as a framework for performance measurement and improvement. Excellence is now embedded in everything they do and this is reflected in their corporate plan which uses the nine criteria of the Model.
After achieving Committed to Excellence (C2E) in 2004, SSAT's next step was to progress to Recognised for Excellence (R4E). They began their first R4E in 2006 and were successfully certified at 3 star level. They renewed their R4E certification in 2008 and achieved the highest R4E 5 star score that year, having made significant improvements in all nine criteria of the Excellence Model. Their biggest gains were in the areas of leadership, customer results and people results.
In renewing their certification in 2011, they have managed to not only retain their 5 stars, but also to strengthen their scores in some of the key criteria against a backdrop of considerable change.
'The feedback we received was invaluable in helping to shape our business plans. We have applied greater rigour to our performance monitoring, extended our use of benchmarking and become more systematic in how we listen to our customers and make improvements based on what they say.'
Jennifer Dalby, Corporate Planning Manager, SSAT
'SSAT has really benefited from working with the framework provided by the EFQM Excellence Model. The organisation has become committed to continuous improvement and is increasingly driven by data. We will continue our focus on improvement in every part of SSAT by working with the Model, and I would highly recommend it to service organisations.'
Elizabeth Reid, Chief Executive, SSAT