Projects and Services

In this section you can browse all of our current and completed projects and services.

Click 'find out more' below to access further information regarding each of the individual projects, resources and related web pages. If you would like to talk through the details please feel free to contact the project lead or our office directly.

If you are interested in discussing how we might tailor these projects to suit your individual needs then please contact

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching is a local, Leicester developed programme that provides a small amount of regular, weekly 1 to 1 support for vulnerable Year 6 learners.  The programme blends maths and English learning support, self-esteem coaching and help with learning to learn strategies.  The programme provides pupils with a revised workbook and teachers/coaches with revised training sessions which are both in line with the new curriculum.

Project Lead: Rebecca Partington

Assessment and Moderation Strategic Group

The SDSA provide a clerk for Leicester City Council’s Assessment and Moderation Strategic Group.

Project Lead: Hayley Carter

EE (East of England) Support

SDSA has provided co-ordination and business partner support to the East of England Teaching Schools for several years. Working closely with the TSC reps and Local Leads in the region our work has included: co-ordination of the School Improvement Offer, regional peer review for teaching schools, joint approach to training and designating SLEs, supporting NLG deployment, writing the regional update newsletter, delivering DfE commissions and supporting the regional conference. Our work has involved project management, recruitment, bidding, reporting, managing finance, event management and communications with schools.

Project Lead: Mark Lambell

East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Humber Teaching Schools (EMSYH)

Like the East of England Support to Teaching Schools, SDSA also acts as the Business Support Partner to the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Humber Teaching Schools. Working closely with the TSC Representatives and appointed Sub Regional Leads, our work involves, supporting the delivery of DfE/TSC commissions including the co-ordination of the School Improvement Offer, regional peer review for teaching schools, writing and circulating a weekly e-bulletin, managing a regional portal and supporting regional conferences. Our work also involves project management, recruitment, bidding, reporting, managing finance, event management and communications with schools. Please visit to find out more.

Project Lead: Rebecca Smith

Emotionally Healthy Schools Derby

As part of an Opportunity Area funded project the SDSA were commissioned to build a web portal to support the roll out of mental health and well-being training in schools across Derby.  The portal will be developed to provide schools with an online one-stop shop for all aspects of mental health support and the existing Special School Mental Health Leads Network will develop and produce specific materials to support schools working with families, where there are special educational needs and mental health support needs.

Project Leads: Rebecca Smith and Mital Ladwa


SDSA provides business support to the Eastern Region Co-ordinators of Governor Services. Our work includes invoicing member LAs for their subscription, paying for meeting venues and events, and maintaining membership of NCOGS (National Co-ordinators of Governor Services).

Project Lead: Rebecca Partington

Healthy Schools Network

The Healthy Schools Network was set up in October 2016, as a response to demand expressed in the April 2016 survey of schools.  The Network is designed to offer school-to-school support for this vital aspect of the wider curriculum and the arrangements, in Leicester, are now school-funded.  The Network consists of Health and Wellbeing Champions’ Conferences and Network Meetings.

Project Lead: Rebecca Partington

Pathways to Education (inc Leics)

The overall purpose of the project is to support an identified set of vulnerable young people from challenging, deprived backgrounds. The key aims are to set them on a pathway to education and employment by raising their aspirations and improving their chances of becoming successful, resilient individuals.

The project takes the form of a range of scheduled sessions:
• One 20-30-minute 1-2-1 session per month for each student
• A range of 2 hr workshops around topics such as; good mental health, coping with exams, STEM subjects and interviews and applications.
• At least two offsite taster experiences per student in career areas of their interest to inspire and motivate them. These vary between half days and full days depending on the provider and nature of the careers.
• Support to attend college open events and/or training fairs where parental support is not available

If you would like to express an interest in hearing more about this programme, please contact Nicole Dishington at, and Nicola Gale,

Project Lead: Nicole Dishington

Project Read

Project READ was an innovative programme designed to improve pupils’ reading outcomes from EYFS to Year 6 for 43 eligible Derbyshire schools (SSIF round 2 project), coordinated by the SDSA. Project READ provided a balanced approach to support reading and language development through a number of key complementary elements. For more information about the project please visit:

Project Lead: Hayley Carter

Reading Rampage

Reading Rampage, a challenge for secondary school pupils in participating Leicester schools, is co-ordinated by Whatever it Takes (WiT), Leicester libraries, Creative Learning Services and the School Development Support Agency (SDSA) and supported by the Leicester City Education Improvement Partnership (EIP).  The project aims to inspire, motivate and develop students aged 11 – 13 to become active readers, encourage reading for pleasure and to promote awareness of new titles and authors and is launched with participating schools at the end of January.  The top book will be announced at an award event in June.

Project Lead: Rebecca Partington

School Council Training

School Council Training tailored to primary and secondary pupils, delivered in school, is available. It is most appropriate for newly appointed School Council members to help them understand their role but the training can be tailored to meet needs. Please contact for more information.

Project Lead: Nicola Gale

Teach Leics/LEEP

Teach Leics is a network of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers from across Leicester and Leicestershire working collaboratively to promote our Leicester region as the place to start a teaching career. They work together on three joint recruitment events per year, they have developed an informative and interactive website ( to explain the various routes into teaching and enable visitors to search for their nearest training provider, and a series of promotional films, which you can watch on the ‘Be Inspire’ page of the website. The group meet four times a year as a network to discuss their work, share good practice and discuss current topics.

Project Lead: Nicole Dishington


VESA works with schools, colleges, learning providers and other partner organisations across Leicester and Leicestershire to offer Future Pathways vocational provision courses for pre-16 students. As part of this, we also manage the internet based register programme, Collaborative Learning Manager (CLM) which is used by schools and training providers to track attendance and achievement of students who attend off-site provisions. We also work with AIM Awards and a number of schools, special schools and individual providers to help the support each other and offer an internal verification service for qualification claims.

For more information please visit our page.

Project Lead: Sonia Dayal


Clerks Programme Sector-led programme of development for governing body clerks, by the Teaching Schools Alliances (TSAs) of the East Midlands & South Yorkshire Humber (EMSYH) region.  The Programme, specifically draws on the Clerking Competency Framework (DfE, April 2017), and is aimed at all clerks within governing bodies who wish to develop and enhance their skills and support growth and development of the wider board or trust.

Project Lead: Sonia Dayal


The SDSA has been appointed to fulfil a facilitation and co-ordination role in Derby for much of the Opportunity Area programmes that is underway there. The SDSA supports the strategic leadership groups in the primary, secondary and post-16 sectors, providing extra capacity to shae and develop the ideas of schools and colleges into programme proposals that attract the support of the OA Board and DfE. The SDSA also supports elements of programme delivery to ensure outcomes are achieved.

Project Lead: Peter Chilvers

Sector Led Improvement

The SDSA has provided partnership and project management since 2005 for a regional approach to sector-led improvement in children’s service, supporting the nine Local Authorities in the East Midlands. Within this programme the LAs collaborate through a series of strategic networks for directors and key senior leaders, some robust peer challenge processes and range of seminars, leadership programmes and improvement projects. The current framework that defines this sector-led approach is a Regional Improvement Alliance.

Project Lead: Peter Chilvers

Leadership Programmes

The SDSA has worked with a range of clients, including Teaching Schools and Multi Academy Trusts to develop and deliver bespoke leadership programmes for identified cohorts. The programmes typically blend a range of elements over a period of months, usually starting with participant evaluation against a selected leadership standard. SDSA provides end-to-end support, starting with the clients ideas and specification to co-design and construct a tailored programme. Our on-going role supports all aspects of event management, participant communication, session facilitation, always delivery high quality and exceptional value.

Project Lead: Peter Chilvers