The Northwest college is rated outstanding, with a culture of continuous improvement, whose experienced managers wanted to ensure that their observation team could maintain both currency and accuracy of judgements.
How ESIS responded to the challenge
The college, a client of ESIS for several years, wanted the focus of this programme to further develop and hone the skills of the college observation team – to enable them to maintain high-quality assurance, and to drive the continuous improvement of teaching, learning and assessment.
At the start of the year, ESIS provided updating training to the observation team, followed by joint developmental observations of teaching, learning and assessment – using ESIS advisers, who are highly skilled observers and curriculum specialists.
The large base of ESIS improvement advisers gave the college the flexibility to choose whether to select improvement advisers from previous projects, to provide continuity, or to use a new team, to provide a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ in each curriculum area.
The programme was tailored to work at curriculum level – but was planned around joint lesson observations. The improvement adviser provided support and development to the college observer to improve practice; and to externally validate the observer’s evidence and judgements.
There was regular one-to-one feedback with the manager both during and at the end of the programme – with the improvement adviser feeding back progress to senior managers. The resulting reports identified the strengths and areas for development, commenting both on the skills of the observers and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment observed while undertaking the joint lessons.
Outcomes and benefits
- This was a bespoke programme, operating at individual, group and college level.
- As well as developing the managers’ ability to make sound judgements, the programme delivered an external perspective on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment across the college.
- Having worked with the college for several years, ESIS was able to help the college to evaluate improvement – helping the college to maintain outstanding practise.
While working with observers, the improvement advisers provided additional support – by looking at the self-assessment report, quality improvement plans, work scrutiny and feedback.