Last Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The School Improvement Partnership Programme

What is this?

The School Improvement Partnership Programme (SIPP) is a solution-focused approach to Scotland’s attainment issues with a focus on innovating to tackle educational inequality.

It draws on the wealth of international educational research and practice demonstrating that the most effective school improvements are locally owned and led by teachers and school leaders working in partnership and collaboration with like-minded professionals.

Education Scotland is brokering national partnering and links across authorities and university researchers. The partnerships aim to develop a shared commitment to improving outcomes for all children and young people. Research evidence indicates that well supported partnerships can lead to significant and sustained improvement and raised attainment.

In the spirit of action research, the programme aims to encourage staff to learn from each other, experiment with their practice and monitor and evaluate change.

School Improvement Partnerships are an action research programme involving a process of collaborative inquiry which creates leadership opportunities and professional learning. A key feature of the SIPP is the evaluation support being provided by researchers from the Robert Owen Centre at Glasgow University.

Who is this for?

This is for school teachers, practitioners and researchers across Scotland interested in partnership, collaboration and improvement.


PDF file: SIPP - Purpose and rationale (213 KB)

PDF file: SIPP - Question and answers (266 KB)

SIPP reports

PDF file: SIPP Final Report September 2016 (1.1 MB)

PDF file: SIPP Final Report August 2015 - Revised July 2016 (893 KB)

PDF file: SIPP Summary Report August 2015 (1.5 MB)

PDF file: SIPP Phase 1 Report - Nov 2014 - Revised July 2016 (460 KB)

PDF file: The School Improvement Partnership Programme: Summary report (512 KB)

Research methodologies

PDF file: Collaborative Action Research (CAR) 2016 (240 KB)

PDF file: Instructional Rounds (190 KB)

PDF file: Lesson Study (186 KB)

Explore this resource

Evaluation support by The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change

The University of Glasgow Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change is providing the evaluation support for the School Improvement Partnership Programme.

The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change aims to promote more equitable education systems through theory-driven, applied research underpinned by a commitment to the principles of social justice and lifelong learning.

The aim of the evaluation support for the School Improvement Partnership Programme during 2013 and 2014 is intended to:

  • underpin the use of effective evaluation techniques by up to 10 individual partnership projects in different areas of Scotland
  • determine how well the overall Programme and each individual partnership project have been implemented
  • assess whether the Programme as a whole has contributed to teachers’ learning and development – particularly in the area of tackling disadvantage in Scottish education
  • make recommendations for the future development and potential scale-up of the SIPP.

Research methodologies

Within the School Improvement Partnership Programme, a range of improvement methodologies has been used with the single aim of addressing educational inequity through collaborative approaches to system improvement.

Key findings across the partnerships highlight the positive impact such methodologies can have in promoting collaborative approaches and improving educational outcomes.

These briefings offer a guide to three of the methodologies used within the programme: Collaborative Action Research, Instructional Rounds and Lesson Study.