Leading achievement and progress
I would be very surprised if a school leader who is leading achievement and progress, reflected, and suggested that their role was dull. Yes, I spend a good deal of time preparing and exploring data sets, however, its how I see the connections between these data sets up, seek out opportunities for student progress that is most important. The more I learn about the job in hand, the more I want to know about the data behind it, and we have not even discussed the rock face impact on teaching and learning yet.
Every role is a servant of its context. I spent the first few months learning about how data was collected, monitored, interrogated and employed at our school. The last half term, of last the academic year, was spent investigating how successful schools went through these same tasks, whilst at the same time hurriedly learning as much as a could about the data I was soon to be responsible for. The last three months has been about establishing and introducing our protocol for data. About raising expectations for the use of data for learning and proving its integrity. So this is my job at the moment. Purposefully a colourful diagram, the role is inter-woven with numerous of school roles, notably the VP role for ‘Teaching and learning’ but also the VP role for ‘Behaviour and Well-Being’ and part of the AVP role for SEN. What is noticeable, and perhaps disappointing, is that I have only recent started to address ‘student progress’ – following our first data collection.
The process of embedded sustainable change can take a heavy toil on the leaser and on the staff responding to, and adopting to new systems and procedures. I have not been met with any real opposition, but I have seen first hand the additional commitment being expedied. Real change demands middle leader colleagues must first learn new skills and apply new understanding themselves, before passing it onto department colleagues. And without a full understanding and commitment from them, I fear change will be superficial at best or collapse at vulnerable points at worst. I have at times felt that have lead change at a cumbersome and uneven pace, instead of being measured, constant and sustained but in reflection I think that partly follows the context of this role and the data cycles we work to. I hope that the next four weeks will be about pinpointing progress, or lack of progress. About how and where it can be tackled and tackled well before the ill-advised dearth of short term, high density interventions becomes the fated final push for both staff and students.
Given the diagram about, the three orange calendars must be in place well in advance of the new academic year. To enable curriculum planning a purposeful assessment, collection, monitoring and action. In my mind, the addressing progress will attach to the ‘reporting to parents and carers’ and ‘parent and carer meetings’ blocks and form part of the academic intervention. This relies on effective and accurate assessment (the synchronisation of Assessment Calendar and Data Collection Calendar) followed by insightful and efficient monitoring. In turn, that reporting is longitudinal, running the duration of Key Stages (from KS2-Ks3 and KS3-KS4) with clear identification of the member of staff responsible for year on year progress.
Next steps, process Y7, Y8 and Y10 data collections. Interrogate and report the data. Extend the ATL reward and intervention to all years.