Updated: Oct 10
Step 2: Monitor & Evaluate What You Do
It's the second of the 4-step procedure we use to promote excellence in schools. Let’s talk about it some more.
Why do it?
To improve something, you need to be clear about what you do, how you do it, how often, how well you do it. They say what
What exactly should we monitor & evaluate?
Monitor & evaluate every aspect of the provision. I know this sounds like a lot, but many aspects of the provision can be combined for example – during a premises inspection you can also monitor pupils behaviour around the school and check out procedures for signing in visitors who happen to arrive while you are walking around. Create a schedule. We have created a template which you can customise, (it is currently being updated so if it interests you – say “yes” in the comments and we’ll let you know when it is ready.
Specifically monitor & evaluate – that which contributes towards achieving your school’s mission/vision/aims. In order for any of these to mean something, you (and I mean the whole school here) should be actively working to achieve these! That means you need to be able to point to specific subjects/ other curriculum activities/procedures/events/ norms aimed at achieving your mission/ vision/ aims. So your aim is to support pupils to become independent adults who contribute positively to society? What exactly are you doing to achieve that? You need to monitor and evaluate that!
Specifically monitor & evaluate - what will be evaluated by Ofsted. Yes, I know, you don’t do any of this for Ofsted…blah, blah, blah. But it is their job to tell the world how well you are doing it. So maybe monitor what they will evaluate too? So you know where you stand and can improve instead of waiting for them to tell you.
Create a schedule, a realistic schedule not an aspirational one, and follow it.
As often as you can. By this I don’t mean you don’t need to state the frequency, I mean you should state whatever frequency you realistically think you can maintain. It’s better to monitor and evaluate an aspect of your provision effectively twice a year than aiming to do it every half term, then failing miserable and doing nothing in the end.
Identifying what’s working well & what’s not working well
Use criteria from your mission/vision/aims; Ofsted criteria; feedback from stakeholders to decide what’s working well and what isn’t
Be honest in your evaluation, don’t try to hide what’s not working well because you are afraid of highlighting it to your governors/proprietor/stakeholders/Ofsted. You are doing this with the objective of improving what’s not well so you can strive towards excellence, not to look good. Anyway, if any of these people identify what you tried to hide you then become either an ineffective leader or a dishonest one and who wants that.
Evaluations should be based on evidence. Which you already have from your monitoring activities right? Each evaluative statement should be backed up by evidence. Also take care to ensure that what you say is a strength is a strength and not just something you do well. It must be above the expected.
So that is a little bit about monitoring & evaluating what you do. You can read more about it here in this free guidance document: https://bit.ly/48HrfHo