What are Ofsted’s expectations of my leadership role?
The importance of your leadership in all of this is a given, but it has recently been underlined by Ofsted in the documents the evaluation schedule for schools (January 2011) and the annual report of Her Majesty’s chief inspector 2009/10. The annual report, in paragraph 54, says that the new inspection framework has “deliberately raised expectations in relation to the quality of teaching and learning, pupils’ achievement, progress and attainment, and the leadership of teaching and learning”.
The evaluation schedule for schools is now very specific about the leadership and management of teaching and learning. Inspectors are required to evaluate:
— How effectively leaders and managers realise an ambitious vision for the school, have high expectations of pupils and secure support from others
— How well the school uses challenging targets to raise standards for all pupils and to eliminate any low attainment among particular pupils
— how well leaders and managers at all levels drive and secure improvement, ensuring high-quality teaching and learning by using relevant information about the school’s performance to devise, implement, monitor and adjust plans and policies
What practical steps can I take to evaluate the impact of my leadership on teaching and learning?
Innovation and leading change
Question 1: How well did the initial analysis and interpretation of performance data enable you to convince your colleagues of the need for change in teaching and learning?
Question 2: In what ways did your leadership result in agreement to change some approaches to teaching and learning for the target group?
Question 3: What evidence do you have to show that your leadership has resulted in positive changes in the classroom?
Motivating and influencing others
Question 4: To what extent has your leadership challenge resulted in effective team working, and what evidence do you have for this? For example, how much did you involve the relevant year or phase teams in devising the strategies that were used to close the gap?
Question 5: To what extent do your colleagues feel a sense of ownership of the changes in teaching and learning that you have introduced, and how do you know this?
Question 6: What have you done to support your colleagues and help to ensure that their commitment to the agreed changes is being sustained? What has been the impact?
Monitoring and evaluating progress and performance
Question 7: How effective have your systems been for tracking pupils’ progress against their targets, and how well have you and your colleagues used them? What evidence do you have that these systems have been effective?
Question 8: How well have the success criteria that were agreed at the start of the programme enabled you to monitor the progress of the target group of pupils and evaluate their attainment?
Question 9: To what extent were the changes to teaching and learning made clear enough to enable you to monitor and evaluate their implementation in the classroom?
Question 10: How effectively did you deal with differences in the quality of teaching and learning that emerged through your monitoring, and what evidence do you have to show that your interventions were effective?
Question 11: What evidence has there been so far that the target group of pupils have closed the gap with their peers in the subjects or aspects that you selected? (In the short term, this will depend heavily on the school’s own tracking and target setting data and the use of teacher assessment. In the longer term, the use of external performance data will provide you with further evidence of the impact of your leadership on closing the gap.)