“Working with Edurio has helped us harness the power of national benchmarking”
When I joined the trust in 2019, the trust didn't really have a written down strategy. So firstly, we decided to speak to all the stakeholders, headteachers, chairs of governors and others. We wanted to hear more from our staff and know where we needed to improve.
Michael Cowland - CEO at CovMAT
We took time to develop our strategy plan and one of the goals within it was to become an employer of choice (which is probably something you see in most organisations), but we realised we didn’t know what employees actually thought about us. So, we decided we needed to ask them.
At first, I tried asking in person; however I soon realised I couldn't get around 850 staff members, and was aware that this method would not be anonymous or give equal voice to all staff. So, we decided we needed to conduct a staff survey. One of the board members then recommended Edurio; after a consultation with Edurio, we chose to go ahead with their staff survey.
Everyone at Edurio has been helpful and friendly. Everyone does what they say they would do. They've been a pleasure to work with!
The opportunity to speak to the Edurio team about the results we received at the end of our survey was beneficial rather than just handing the results to us and saying, here you go, off you go with it.
Team Edurio in 2021
With the reports and executive summary that you get from an Edurio survey, it’s easy for us to pick up the headlines. It was really useful for the board reports, as you can easily scan through what’s most positive (in green) and least positive (in red) to see your trust’s areas of strength or most concern.
While it’s great to see the obvious stuff, it's the data behind the data I think that you really need to interrogate. Looking into the different areas of the survey and how results differ for each year, school, and in comparison to the national data helps you know which schools are struggling and which ones are leading the way.
Edurio has given us the data to think about our strategic planning more meaningfully. The survey answered many questions we already knew we wanted to ask staff, and questions we did not even know we had. There will always be areas where staff are satisfied and dissatisfied, but before asking staff, you don’t know whether your assumptions on what those might be are correct. For example, when asked whether or not staff felt being in the trust was worthwhile, we found it interesting to see that while we scored in line with the national benchmark for that topic, our staff did not rate the benefits of being in the trust as highly as they’d rated other things.
After collecting our survey responses, we spent time looking through the data, communicated & developed an action plan that was approved by our board. We were able to look at areas where we scored more poorly and develop a staff wellbeing plan. This plan had three main target areas, which came to light when looking through all staff wellbeing survey results.
Then we were very honest, and during a staff conference attended by all 850 staff members, we talked through the results, and outlined the areas we’d highlighted for us to focus on. Following this, individual schools and headteachers were then able to develop individualised action plans using their unique data.
Our trustees have been interested to see all the data we have collected and find it useful being able to compare it between schools and the national benchmark. Most importantly, they have been pleased to see all things the survey has brought to light that we didn’t know before.
We can now be more strategic when it comes to people planning, being led by evidence rather than by our assumptions about what our staff think, feel and need. Trustees are also happy to see some meaningful targets around the subject, as we have a baseline score from the first year, which should be better after a year of concerted effort on that topic.
Aside from the action plans we’ve created following our staff surveys over the past two years, we'd like to repeat the staff survey annually and then alternate the parent and pupil survey every other year. So essentially, we're running two surveys a year: one year staff and parents, one year staff and children to help us gain more year on year data.
I would recommend, and have already recommended Edurio.
If I were to ever move to a different trust (which I am not planning) one of the first things would be to engage with Edurio.
Edurio has given our trust a whole richness of data and enabled us to develop our staff wellbeing action plan that we couldn't have done with any information we had internally beforehand.
In terms of the financial value of Edurio, I think it's a no brainer. If one survey's data gives you enough information to change something, which enables even just one staff member to stay, Edurio's service pays for itself.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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