The School Report
The School Report presents the findings from your school’s participation in the BSfS programme and provides comprehensive and valuable information that will drive and support your school improvement strategies and efforts. Marshall Cavendish Education does its best to provide your school with a good mix of valuable, insightful information and data. At the same time, we are careful not to provide overwhelming information that may make the findings difficult and inefficient to work with. To achieve this balance, we have structured the report in the following way.
We begin by briefly explaining what was surveyed, how it was surveyed and why it was surveyed. Next, we present the most important information for your school what the surveys tell us. Reporting focuses on two key dimensions.
1 Reporting by each domain, and based on the extensive bank of survey data, we report how closely your school’s policies, programmes and practices align with international benchmarks and recommended best practice. Based on the data we receive from the key stakeholder groups in the school, we generate a set of Endorsements and Recommendations for each domain. That is, the survey data is analysed and ‘scored’ against performance ‘scales’. Where the school’s performance is above average, we provide an Endorsement, which explains what the school is currently doing well in. If the data suggests a below-average level of alignment between what the school is doing and what the international evidence supports, we then provide Recommendations that describe and explain areas for potential exploration and investigation for the school. This section of the report is the most critical because it presents valuable information and insights that can be used by the school as a basis for school evaluation and improvement. It is also a very balanced report, true to the philosophy of the BSfS programme, because it highlights what the school is doing well along with suggestions on where and how it can do better. Most importantly, it is a report that is generated by the responses of those who know most about the school.
2 The second perspective we bring to the survey findings is to measure the extent to which members of the survey respondent groups agree with one another on the different aspects of the school surveyed. We consider it particularly important to measure both the extent of alignment to international standards as well as the extent of agreement between and within respondent groups because the BSfS programme is very focused on achieving consensus on strategic improvement in the school and having the entire school community take control of that improvement process.
Consider exploring the views and perceptions of the school’s key stakeholders regarding the school’s mission statement (or strategic plan) which the survey findings suggest may be lacking in impact. Consider strategies to increase its positive impact within the school. Specifically, based on international research, literature and observed best practice, there is a range of potential follow-up strategies and actions from which the school might choose the most appropriate for its own purposes and objectives.
One recommended approach would be: To form a small group of teachers to review and report back on the current mission statement of the school. The following question types provide a guide to what might be explored:
- Is the mission statement 'up-to-date'? In other words, is it current and relevant? If not, it should be.
- Does the mission follow on logically and seamlessly from the school's vision statement? Coherency is vital.
- Are all the school's key values, goals and objectives included in the mission? Does the mission specify and quantify them? Does it contain targets that set thresholds? benchmarks? and attainment dates? (The key feature of an effective mission statement is the specification and quantification of objectives, goals and targets).
- Can the mission be described as the school's 'roadmap' to achieve its vision?
- Are the goals, objectives and targets tangible? attainable? realistic? or are they too obscure and uncertain? Are they clear and unambiguous?
- Do the objectives and targets have meaning for all the key stakeholder groups in the school - teachers, leaders, students, parents/carers, non-teachers and school governors?
- Is the language of the mission statement positive and aspirational?
- Is the mission inclusive?
- Are all key school community groups a part of the mission?
- Is it possible to plot the school's strategic plan and calendar of key events against the school's mission?
- Does the mission align with and reinforce the school's short-, medium- and longer-term goals and objectives?
On the basis of the findings and feedback from the working group, the school should decide if there is an opportunity and a need to develop follow-up strategies and actions to reformulate the school's mission statement (strategic plan) based on the feedback to the specific questions explored.
Consider exploring opportunities for the school leadership to enhance the effectiveness of staff performance appraisals. Specifically, based on international research, literature and observed best practice, there is a range of potential follow-up strategies and actions from which the school might choose the most appropriate for its own purposes and objectives.
One recommended approach would be: Form a small working group of teachers and school leaders to explore and report back on the current process for, and features of, the school's teacher performance appraisal system. This could include:
- An investigation of a range of dimensions of the process, including: looking to what leading countries do, with Singapore being a good example. Singapore closely links quality performance appraisal to professional development.
- Explore the extent to which performance appraisals are genuine opportunities to honestly review performance and to chart improvement strategies.
- Consider how clear and precise each teacher's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are. To what extent do they revolve around effective teaching and learning?
- What measures are used to assess performance? Ask staff and supervisors if they think these metrics go to the 'heart' of good teaching?
- Explore what appear to be the levels of trust involved in the process, and if all involved are focussed more on improvement than on rating?
- Most significantly, do teachers think that the most important aspects of their role are being measured?
- Consider whether data is, or should be being, used to support the appraisal process. Determine if there is a balanced or a disproportionate emphasis placed on test scores when evaluating teacher performance.
The group would benefit from referring to the literature and research when considering how they should proceed and what they should be looking for.On the basis of the findings and feedback from the working group, the school should decide if there is an opportunity and a need to develop follow-up strategies and actions.
Consider evaluating the frequency of use, and the quality of, formative assessment in classrooms in the school. Specifically, based on international research, literature and observed best practice, there is a range of potential follow-up strategies and actions from which the school might choose the most appropriate for its own purposes and objectives. One recommended approach would be: To form a small working group of teachers to investigate and report back on aspects of the school's assessment program, including for example, answers to the following questions:
- How widely known to staff is the practice of formative assessment? This should be the starting point.
- How many teachers are using formative assessment practices in their classrooms? How frequently is it used?
- How do teachers link formative assessment results to their feedback and support for student progress? Feedback is a key element of successful formative assessment practice.
- How do teachers record and manage formative assessment data? Is there a need for support for teachers in this area - for example, through an IT application?
- What is the best way for teachers to share their ideas and experiences about formative assessment with colleagues?
The school should strongly encourage teachers to become well-informed about formative assessment through further reading and research. Determine what is needed for professional learning and development if feedback suggests there is low level use of this form of assessment, or where it is under-developed or inadequately administered.
Example of Endorsement
The survey findings indicate that teachers, in general, are frequently and effectively using formative assessment in the classroom to enhance student learning.
The survey findings indicate that, in general, teachers and school leaders regard themselves as those principally responsible for student engagement. This is a very positive and productive approach that, in particular, can support those students experiencing difficulty with engagement and or performance in their schoolwork.
The survey findings indicate that the school has policies and practices that ensure the technology used in classrooms is being used to its full extent and where it can enhance instruction and understanding.
Examples of the Graphical Representation of the Survey Findings
Comparison of scores by all domains by stakeholder reporting groups
Comparison of scores by one domain by stakeholder reporting groups
Distribution of scores within stakeholder reporting group(s) for one sub-domain