In 2017, South Cheshire College and West Cheshire College merged – and the senior leadership team required a one-week observation programme to ensure rigour and help identify the risks, priorities and support needs of staff and managers across the newly merged college.
How ESIS responded to the challenge
Improvement advisers, selected for their expertise and subject specialisms, undertook formal observations across the three campuses – following which they provided teachers with developmental feedback.
All college observers undertook two joint lesson observations with the improvement advisers. The first observation was supportive and developmental – with the improvement adviser providing coaching and advice following the dual observation. In the second observation, the improvement adviser validated the evidence and judgements made by the observer, making recommendations for further development – if required.
The advisers provided feedback to the quality team each day and, at the end of the programme, each improvement adviser provided summary verbal feedback of overall findings on the quality of teaching learning and assessment to the relevant managers.
Outcomes and benefits
- The senior leadership team had clear visibility, early in the academic year, of the interventions needed to ensure that learners’ progression and success were not hindered.
- The college was provided with an external perspective which added rigour to its judgement on teaching, learning and assessment – along with areas for improvement at both curriculum and individual level, to help inform the annual staff development programme.
- By shadowing experienced observers, college managers were able to develop their skills and confidence in making stronger evaluative judgements.
- The professional discussion and written reports supported self-assessment.
“The college was pleased with the service and support, as not only did ESIS do what the college wanted, they did it how the college wanted it –and provided additional ideas and solutions; and, more importantly, within the context of the college’s values and ethos.” – Stacey Boreham, Director of Quality,Cheshire College South & West