Using a framework to support self assessment helps

Before the Common Inspection Framework is just a data-fuelled memory, here’s something to consider. We see a lot of self assessment reports. And I mean a lot. In the hundreds rather than the tens. This isn’t that much of a surprise when you consider what we do for a living and how often our clients ask us to support their reflective approach to understanding the strengths and weaknesses in their provision.

Using a framework that people in your organisation can relate to and understand can help to underpin effective self reflection. Our clients use a range of approaches; some use the Ofsted framework, some their own, some a mix. Simply put, it’s whatever works for them – and you – in driving a meaningful process of self evaluation and targeted improvement, underpinned by your chosen benchmark.

Use of the Ofsted framework still dominates; 9-10 people we asked in our recent survey confirmed this, with most using the ‘Education’ rather than the ‘Common’ inspection framework in their most recent SAR.

If this is the case for you, there’s something you may wish to consider. There is much to be positive about the structure of the Education Inspection Framework (EIF); less duplication, greater emphasis on the purpose of what we implement as a curriculum and less on a narrow interpretation of outcomes.

The Ofsted Common Inspection Framework wasn’t all bad

Arguably however, I think the Common Inspection Framework was sharper in its language concerning quality improvement (QI) and performance management (PM). We’ve found recently that this matters in supporting leaders and managers to reflect on key policies and processes which ensure they can not only build but also sustain high quality provision. Whilst both QI and PM are certainly implicit within the EIF, there is value in being more explicit when reviewing whether or not they work for some organisations; as a new provider or perhaps as a provider who may have been around the block for a bit longer and falling into the trap of measuring a lot of things but focusing less on the actual impact of those things.  When we support our clients to review the impact of activity associated with QI and PM.  They are sometimes surprised to find that we encourage them to strip back on what they are doing, rather than adding to them.

So, before the CIF is nothing more than a very distant data-fuelled memory, here’s a reminder of one or two areas, with our own twist on them, which you may like to continue to reflect on as part of your self assessment approach.

Leaders and manager’s actions secure improvement in the quality of provision and impact for learners. They ensure they have the necessary resources to sustain the quality of provision and continue making the necessary improvements. Leaders and managers have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of delivery, including in subcontracted provision. This helps them to plan, monitor and refine actions to improve all key aspects of their work.

Leaders and managers use performance management processes effectively to ensure risks and issues are managed and corrective action taken at organisational, departmental and individual levels where appropriate to secure learners’ progress.

For insightQ clients, you’ll see these lines of enquiry have been added to your self assessment tool in the Enquire module should you like to use them.

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