Cutting down on collecting the data that’s needed to see the overall picture, and take the actions required to improve student performance, would cause even more stress and anxiety amongst teachers. It would lead to even more scrutiny and pressure from line managers as uncertainty about the summer’s outcomes will be higher.
The issue is that too often data analysis takes ages, then simply gets put into a document and filed away “just in case” somebody asks for it later. Collecting data and then either not taking the time – or having the time – to analyse it and decide on a course of action, working together with the people necessary to effect the change, is a waste of time.
Damian Hinds is also right in saying: “Frequent data drops and excessive monitoring of a child’s progress are not required by Ofsted or by the DFE”. The only thing that should dictate how pupil progress is monitored is what will support the teacher in the classroom and support the students in their learning.
If assessment data is collected it should show teachers:
1. Where the weak topics are in their classes
2. Which students need more support on a particular topic
3. The action needed in the classroom to improve their students understanding
For leadership at any level, data should allow school leaders to:
1. Identify which subject areas and teachers need extra support
2. Where the biggest improvements for students can be made
3. Which groups of students may need extra support across a range of subjects
As a rule, the time spent collecting and analysing any pupil data should not take longer than it does to take action on it. There are systems out there that take weeks to provide reports, and then don’t give enough detail on why certain subjects are not doing as well as expected, or which areas of the curriculum teachers need to focus on. By that time, good teachers have already reflected with their students and moved on to the next topic.
These systems don’t help the teachers do the job they are there to do: teach. Instead they help waste time through having meetings based on outdated data, potentially causing communication issues, and creating a lack of trust and conflict between teams.