The Great School Framework strives to bring together and share the component parts of what makes a ‘great school’.  Its development has been a collaborative venture, with input from a number of HfL colleagues and many Hertfordshire school leaders.

We all have a sense of what a great school would look and feel like:

  • a school we would want our children to attend to achieve the best possible start in life
  • a school we would want to work in where we would be supported to become the best possible version of ourselves as educators
  • a school we would want enriching the community that we live in.

The Great School Framework describes the constituent parts of a utopian school, broken down into 10 aspirational features.  A key motivator for constructing the framework has been to create a common language and understanding of all the component parts of a truly great school that can be shared by school leaders (staff and governors), as well as HfL and HCC staff.

We believe that creating a common sense of what greatness looks like will enable us to work more smartly together, striving to attain collective goals, through plans, contracts and services all focused on the same priorities.

The Great School Framework is designed to inspire schools to strive for constant improvement and can be used:

  • to generate debate and discussion
  • to facilitate in-school, school-to-school, peer and external school improvement reviews/activities
  • as a self-audit tool
  • to support school improvement planning.

The aim is that the framework is classic and timeless. The 10 features (lenses) are non-sequential and non-hierarchical; there are, however, links between them.

Access to the Great School Framework

All Hertfordshire maintained schools and academies have free access to the Great School Framework through a portal.

You will need to login to your main school account for full access to the framework and to view the content behind each of the lenses. If you have any questions regarding account access, please speak with your headteacher or school administrator.

If you are a school or academy outside of Hertfordshire, please sign up to be given access to the Great School Framework portal.

Our vision of a great school goes well beyond an Ofsted “outstanding” descriptor and the features of the framework cover aspects of provision that Ofsted does not measure. We have striven to create a framework that would be as relevant to schools and settings 20 years ago as it is today and will be in the next 20 years.  We hope that you and your teams are inspired by the GSF to strive for constant improvement and look forward to working with you to achieve this over the coming months and years.