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Core Responsibilities (Secondary): Planning for Improvement


Created on 04 November 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 05 April 2013 by ncetm_administrator

It is vital to have a clear idea of where you are as a school/department, what your strengths are and what your areas for improvements need to be.

But this in-depth self-evaluation is not enough if it does not feed a well organised and documented development plan which is shared by the whole team and involves them in its operation.

It is also key to have the senior management of your school on your side in understanding your plans and acting as a support, guide and critical friend to help you drive your developments forward.

  • Have you been through a process to find out where your points for improvement need to be?
  • Have you a clear view of what you need to do?
  • Do you have the full backing of your senior management to undertake these developments?
  • Have you the resources to make these developments realistic and manageable?
  • Are all colleagues involved in the developments with you clear about what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and do they know the part that they play in achieving it?
  • Have you a process for checking that you are on the right track and for monitoring and evaluating the progress you are making towards your stated goals.

This module will help you reflect on these questions. Here is a suggestion of how you might use the materials:

  • look through and discuss (with your line manager/senior leader and your teaching colleagues) the list of example statements (also available to download as a PDF) and decide which best fits your stage of development
  • use the ‘moving to the next level’ questions to identify the steps which will help you and your colleagues move to the next level
  • use the ‘Stories of change’ (reflections and thoughts from other fellow subject leaders explaining how they have worked on these issues) to form your own next steps
  • record your thoughts in your own learning journal and specific actions and developments in the ‘policy to practice’ pro-forma.

Description

Self-evaluation consists only of data analysis, and is purely headline figures for standards (e.g. %A*-C, %L5+) and there is little or no evidence of evaluating the quality of provision; e.g. lesson observations, work scrutiny or discussions with students and teachers.

There is no Mathematics Improvement Plan or the plan that is in place is a paper exercise that does not support the development of the department. The actions in the plan are not clear or well defined, do not have clearly identified staff responsible for the actions and have no success criteria.  Monitoring - where it happens - is a summative action and the department are not involved: nor are they interested in the results. No action takes place as a result of monitoring the plan.

SLT are not engaged with the mathematics department and show no interest in an improvement plan being in place. Regular meetings between subject leader and SLT do not take place, and there is no means of ensuring that the department is in line with whole-school, local and national priorities

Moving to the next level

If you are category 4:
  • Under what headings do you currently analyse your data?
  • Do you look at the attainment data to identify variation between groups?
  • What is working well in your department?
  • Do you know what aspect(s) need to be developed which will have the biggest improvement impact?
  • Do you know what your school’s priorities are for improvement and how will your department’s improvement plan link to it?
  • In what way will the strands in your improvement plan result in a more positive experience for learners?
  • Are the actions in your plan clear?
  • Can you identify all the actions in your plan that will need monitoring?
  • How will you check that the actions happen?
  • How will you know that you have been successful?
  • What will you do if you have not been successful?
  • How and when will you update SLT?

> Stories of change

Description

Self-evaluation consists of data analysis that is heavily focused on standards (e.g. %A*-C, %L5+) and the variation between some groups of learners is analysed in more detail; e.g. %A*-C for boys, %A*-C for girls. Data is starting to be used to inform judgements across the department in order to improve standards of teaching and learning. There is some evidence of evaluating the quality of provision; e.g. lesson observations.

The Mathematics Improvement Plan is written by the subject leader in isolation, is not evidence-based, but does acknowledge elements of whole school priorities. The actions in the plan are clear but focus mainly on administrative tasks. Success criteria relate mainly to the completion of isolated tasks and are largely quantitative. Staff are assigned to actions with little or no consultation. Key members of the department are involved in monitoring the plan, and as a result of this, any unfinished actions are completed. The results of monitoring are not communicated to the department.

SLT impose a monitoring schedule on the subject leader which takes no account of the priorities for improvement. There is little support in terms of acknowledging the time or resources required. The meetings that take place between the subject leader and SLT are generally unproductive.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 3:
  • How can assessment data be used to develop and raise standards of mathematics teaching and learning in the school?
  • How well do your students progress relative to prior attainment?
  • Do some groups of learners do better than others?
  • How do your standards and achievement compare with local and national data?
  • What sources of evidence, other than data, could you use to evaluate the quality of provision?
  • To what extent are your teaching colleagues involved in writing the department’s development plan?
  • Does the Mathematics Improvement Plan address the priorities of the School Development Plan?
  • What proportion of your plan is concerned with administrative tasks compared to action which will have impact on classroom practice?
  • What are the current initiatives in mathematics teaching and learning?
  • How do you identify the CPD needs of your colleagues?
  • How will you know that you have been successful? What will you expect to see happening in classrooms? What will you do if you have not been successful?
  • How will SLT support you in delivering and monitoring the plan?
  • What is the difference between monitoring and evaluating the plan?

> Stories of change

Description

Self-evaluation is part of a whole-school cycle and draws on a range of evidence including data analysis and lesson observations. This builds a reasonably accurate picture of current provision, but pays insufficient attention to some aspects such as pupil voice.

Progression and attainment data is analysed, with variation between some groups of learners and comparisons with local and national data made. The information gathered informs the mathematics improvement plan.

The Mathematics Improvement Plan is written by the subject leader having taken the views of other stakeholders into account. The plan balances the key themes of the School Development Plan and the vision of the department. Actions clearly articulate intended changes in practice and the success criteria describe the desired impact, including both qualitative and quantitative measures. Some members of the department are involved in monitoring the plan, and if necessary, it is adjusted to reflect the findings from this process. CPD opportunities are guided by the plan.

Monitoring the plan is a regular discussion item of line management meetings where constructive feedback informs and supports further development. SLT share national and local priorities with the subject leader in order to keep them up-to-date with developments.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 2:
  • Do all your students progress at the same rate relative to prior attainment?
  • Do assessment and data analysis identify areas of the mathematics curriculum which need improvement?
  • Is ‘pupil voice’ used as source to inform your priorities for improvement?
  • Does the improvement plan capture the decisions that have been made as a result of self evaluation?
  • Is the provision for all students effective and challenging?
  • To what extent is the professional development of your department a reflection of the department’s improvement priorities?
  • How will you know that you have been successful? What changes in teaching and learning would an external observer notice? What will you do if you have not been successful?
  • Which parts of the plan need specific monitoring? Which parts of the plan can be monitored as a continuous cycle of reflection and development?  Are other members of the department involved in its monitoring?
  • How can the plan be used to inform the agenda for departmental meetings?
  • What is the difference between monitoring and evaluating the plan?
  • When meeting with SLT, what is the ‘support’ versus ‘challenge’ ratio?

> Stories of change

Description

Self-evaluation is undertaken as an integral part of the school improvement cycle and different types of evidence - including pupil voice - are used to establish an accurate picture of the current mathematics provision. Progression and attainment data is analysed against local, national and historical measures, while both quantitative and qualitative data is used to identify groups of students or areas of the curriculum that need to be addressed. The information gathered informs the mathematics improvement plan.

This plan is written collaboratively by the department and demonstrates a clear vision and direction reflecting whole school priorities. Potential development strands are prioritised to produce an achievable yet challenging plan. All actions support teachers in developing their practice and the success criteria vividly describe the desired impact on the work of the department. All members of the department are involved in monitoring and evaluating the plan and other stakeholders are invited to contribute. The plan drives the programme for departmental meetings and CPD opportunities.

SLT fully supports the mathematics improvement plan ensuring that the necessary time and resources are available. Regular contact with SLT ensures that monitoring, evaluating and reviewing of the plan is effective: these meetings also ensure that the department is in line with whole-school, local and national priorities. Successes are recognised and celebrated by SLT.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 1:
  • How does the guidance within Ofsted’s evaluation schedule inform your judgements and planning?
  • How does the department’s vision influence the improvement plan?
  • If an outsider saw mathematics being taught in your school, what would they see that reflects your department’s priorities and/or vision.
  • How do your standards and achievement compare with schools of similar contexts? Is it worth visiting one of these schools?
  • Are there any aspects of your good practice you can share within local networks?
  • How might you involve a range of stakeholders and external partners in the monitoring and evaluation of the plan?
  • What external stimuli might you use to further your vision/ suggest alternative ways of working?
 

> Stories of change



 

     
 
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