Sunday, 10 April 2011

Pupil performance (Understanding Attainment and Achievement)

Being a “critical friend” i.e. supporting and challenging schools, is an important function of governing bodies, and this is particularly so in the context of pupil performance. In the revised Ofsted inspection framework, for example, it states Inspectors should take account of: “…the extent to which the governing body understands the school’s performance data and has an accurate picture of how well pupils are achieving compared with those in other schools, as well as how different groups of pupils within the school are performing.”

As School governors we hopefully want all children in our schools to do well and successfully progress to the next level of learning. By doing so, they will enhance their future life chances/ opportunities, including job prospects, and play a more active role as a UK citizen.

In order to undertake this role effectively School governors need to understand their school’s performance data and explore, via a series of questions, the story underlying the figures, particularly strengths and weaknesses. Areas for improvement can then be identified and appropriate strategies put in place to raise standards. This will form part of the governing body’s annual cycle of self-evaluation and school development planning.

Understanding statistics, however, can be quite daunting. They can also be used/ manipulated to illustrate a particular argument/ point of view; hence the phrase – “…lies, damned lies, and statistics!”. Hopefully the activity guide will help improve your confidence levels and make you more aware of some of the more common statistical terms and concepts. It should also help you appreciate both the uses and limitations of data and when other evidence may be more appropriate. Most importantly it will help you ask questions, seek explanations, question assumptions, and discuss strategies for improvement.

What level of attainment are children expected to make at certain points in their school life?

Over the next 4 days we will cover Understanding Early Years, Understanding the National Curriculum and Key Stage Assessments, Understanding Attainment & Achievement, Questions governors could ask on Pupil Performance and finally Priorities and Actions within Pupil Performance.

Most of this information and advice is provided by in Greater Manchester

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