Capacity Building Work

Capacity Building Work

As a multi-disciplinary outreach team we support schools and social care organisations in a variety of ways. Our work focuses on strengthening leadership at all levels, in order that leaders can fulfil their roles effectively. We tailor our approach to meet the particular circumstances of each organisation we work with.

Recent examples of our work:

A two year project in an inner city mainstream primary school, working closely with leaders to address issues identified within their improvement plan. This included:

  • Helping staff understand and manage pupils challenging behaviour in a more consistent way
  • Finding ways to engage hard to reach families
  • Improving the quality of play during break times

The Ofsted inspection that took place towards the end of this project reported on the changes that had been achieved:

Pupils behave well. The school is a calm, orderly and purposeful environment. The few pupils with emotional and behaviour challenges are supported very well.


Carrying out a Mulberry Bush Leadership and Management Review, in an all age special school for pupils with learning difficulties. This helped leaders identify better ways to communicate with and support their staff, create a shared vision for the school, and better understand and manage staff absences. Feedback from the review included:

“The processes was exposing and at times challenging, but provided an accurate insight. The collaborative working to respond to issues raised was supportive and productive.”

Deputy Headteacher

“Thank you once again for engaging in this process, it really has contributed in a valuable way to self-evaluation, and your constructive feedback will help ensure that Senior Leaders are focusing on the right things in the right way”.

Assistant Headteacher


A two year project working with a secondary pupil referral unit, for pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. This included:

  • Developing a common approach across the staff team to understand and respond to what pupils communicated through their challenging behaviour
  • Supporting leaders to more effectively address weaknesses in teaching
  • Provided a regular forum for staff to reflect on the emotional impact of working with vulnerable children and their families

Towards the end of this project Ofsted judged that the school had moved from requiring improvement to good. In the report it states:

The school is outward looking and has welcomed the support of the Mulberry Bush School. This support has been effective in supporting leaders, affirming that priorities set were accurate, and actions taken appropriate to quickly improve the school.

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Project 8

Project 8 is a project led by the Oxfordshire Schools Inclusion Team and The Mulberry Bush Outreach, backed by the Oxfordshire Strategic Schools Partnership and Oxfordshire County Council. The aim of the project is to support schools to reduce fixed term and permanent exclusions by developing support for pupils with challenging behaviour and social emotional and mental health needs.

We are currently looking for additional Secondary Schools in Oxfordshire to join the project. Find out more in our brochure here.

“Ray was brilliant at mapping what he did for us to our own needs and responding to the group he was training. His ideas and strategies were great, but even more importantly, his manner with people was brilliant, making them feel valued and that their contributions had value, and encouraging people to join in. It was such a positive session.”

(Hannah Barton, SENCo, Wood Farm Primary School)



The Mulberry Bush Learning & Research Centre
93 High Street
OX29 7RH

Tel. 01865 594700
Registered Charity 309565