Effective use of assessment data across a MAT

By Sue McGregor, Director of Education, and Jevon Hirst, Director of Training, Alps
For a MAT leader, developing robust trust-wide monitoring systems for assessment data across your schools can be complicated and time-consuming. There are many benefits to developing a single data-tracking system which is embedded across all schools in a trust and in the following article, we share some of the key gains that our trusts have discovered.
One system, one language
A common data system will support the development of a common language across all schools in a trust, creating a uniform approach to many aspects of the raising standards agenda, from target setting to interventions. This can have an immediate and striking impact on the quality of conversations, better understanding, and the creation of a shared culture for performance improvement.

Common assessment cycles
Understanding outcomes from examination results is essential in allowing MAT leaders to establish priorities across the trust. In addition, an effective data system can also support the implementation of a robust trust-wide assessment framework, enabling the pro-active use of internal summative assessment data as part of on-going quality assurance processes.

Synchronising assessment cycles across numerous schools can present many challenges, including the timely collection of aligned, accurate and complete data from multiple different sources.  Importantly, any centralised data system must be flexible enough to allow schools some autonomy over when they collect and track data, alongside the needs of the trust to analyse data across all schools within a defined time window for effective and fair review.

A common system can strike the balance between a school leader’s requirement for a flexible data-tracking system. This can be tailored to their specific setting and their responsibility to the trust to provide data analysis allows MAT leaders to compare strengths and weaknesses across all schools quickly, and facilitate them in asking the right questions at the right time to hold each school to account.

Culture of collaboration
Outstanding data systems can also be used as a key tool to enable MAT leaders to drive effective learning and teaching strategy across the trust so that their students are given a consistent and equal opportunity to thrive.
Within their 2021 paper Knowledge Building – School Improvement at Scale, Sir Ian Bauckham CBE and Leora Cruddas CBE argue that successful school improvement across a trust is centred on developing teachers to be “as good as they can be in what they teach (curriculum) and in how they teach (pedagogy)”. In order to achieve this goal, the authors identify a clear need for practice informed by evidence and strong structures that facilitate professional development.

A centralised data system can make a significant contribution to the development of structures which support professional development. Utilising assessment data at a trust level means that leaders with responsibility for driving schools' improvement can identify best practice using examination and internal summative data. This can then be used to support the development of evidence-based collaborative networks focused on facilitating professional development where there is a keen focus on sharing and developing next and best practice across schools.

In summary, the trusts with whom we work have all found significant benefits in using a single, effective data system across all their schools; saving time for all stakeholders, creating a greater collective understanding, and fostering better collaboration to support the drive to performance improvement for students.

Sue Macgregor is Director of Education  and Dr Jevon Hirst is Director of Training at ASCL Premier Partner Alps

Both work closely and successfully with trusts using the Alps Summit platform to strategically analyse and review performance across multiple schools in a simple, easy, and effective way. This allows trusts to identify areas for celebration and those that require strategies for improvement.

Visit their website here or book a demo.  
Posted: 24/06/2024 09:12:25