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We shared some of our analyses and people could see actually — that’s going to be very, very useful to us.

- Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive

United Learning is a trust with over 80 primary and secondary schools all across the UK

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Edurio and United Learning began working together in 2016, starting with a Learning from Learners project focused on collecting and using feedback to improve schools. From there, the relationship has grown to include surveys across all of the three key stakeholder groups: pupils, staff and parents.

United Learning sets a great example for others to follow - regularly using stakeholder feedback at every level of the trust to learn and improve continuously. Discover how United Learning made stakeholder feedback a core part of their trust journey, saving time on guesswork and focussing directly on the areas that matter most for the people who make up their trust.

Why is stakeholder feedback important to United Learning?

We were excited to get the chance to work with United Learning first and foremost because we share the belief that feedback has the potential to have an enormous impact on school improvement, and it was obvious that they wanted to take a new forward-thinking approach to pupil feedback surveys.

"One of the principles of our Framework for Excellence — continuous improvement — is fundamentally about the belief that everything we do we can do better, and one very powerful way of improving what you’re doing is by getting good quality feedback and acting intelligently in response to that feedback."

— Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive 

How does Edurio improve stakeholder feedback?

United Learning kicked off its Learning from Learners project with a small pilot group of volunteer schools. The first Edurio pupil surveys started in the Spring of 2017. While the pilot's first round was successful, improvements were needed before it could run smoothly across the whole network. We scaled up the pilot with each following survey round until everything worked just as United Learning had envisioned and all of the schools were on board.

“We started with a group who wanted to be involved in the pilot, who could see the benefits of it, who for one reason or another wanted to do what they were doing more systematically… At the next stage, I presented some of the results back to the wider group of heads after we’d done the first round of piloting and showed them what was coming out of it. We shared some of our analyses, graphs, data, and so on and showed what would come out of it … and that was all that was needed to persuade the heads. People could see actually — that’s going to be very, very useful to us.”

— Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive

How have survey results been valuable to United Learning?

United Learning started surveying their staff in an effort to understand better how they were feeling and what their unique experience was like working both for their school and for the trust — how well-managed they were, how satisfied they were with professional development opportunities, if they understood what the organisation was trying to achieve, etc.

This insight from the people on the front lines — those teaching the pupils every day, seeing how policies and programmes actually work in practice — is critical for leadership to understand to make decisions and changes that lead to continuous improvement.

What is the impact of using Edurio across the whole trust?

With this new level of fine-grained detail and analysis of pupil feedback, both school and trust leadership at United Learning can now compare results and identify opportunities for collaboration between schools while also looking within a school to see what is going on with specific classes, subjects or small groups of pupils. They have a level of information and understanding that they’ve never had before, allowing them to react and solve problems much more quickly and effectively.

"What’s been really interesting is that sometimes, it’s given us an insight into an issue we thought we understood very well."

When the United Learning team visits a school, they get one perspective on an issue. They have a second layer of feedback from the staff, but once they added a new perspective from the pupils, they realised they hadn’t seen the whole picture.

Take behaviour, for example — the last thing anyone expected was for staff to have a more positive view of behaviour than the students themselves. Still, in some cases, that is exactly what happened. The pupils sparked changes in behaviour and discipline policies because they knew what negatively affected their learning.

Schools are also using the Edurio survey data to evaluate specific projects, shape new policies, communicate with pupils and parents, learn from other schools facing similar challenges and make strategic decisions both large and small every day.

Yes, it’s really important that we look at assessment data and how well our students are doing — but it’s also really important to see how our students feel about the education they receive. I think the fact that we’re at this point now, and this data is appearing alongside very important assessment data, is really exciting. I think this will take us to the next level of improvement.”

— Anna Cannizzaro, Technology Project Lead

Want to learn more about how we work with schools and multi-academy trusts? We would love to hear about your school improvement goals and see how we could help — you can also send us an email at hello@edurio.com.

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