March 4, 2021Comments are off for this post.

Back to normality?

Ahead of the wider reopening of schools Edurio CEO Ernest Jenavs shares his thoughts on how schools can build forward stronger after covid-19 disruption.

Schools are now days away from opening to all pupils. While it will take quite a bit more time to get past the disruption caused by Covid-19, seeing children excitedly rushing back to school will be the first step on the way back to normality for many school leaders. But we should all make sure we do not go back to normality, because that is still going back. Instead, school leaders can use this opportunity, taking an evidence-based approach to build forward stronger.

When we carried out research on the impact of Covid-19 with 45,000 pupils, parents and staff members, we found high variation across the respondents. There were elements of the experience that stakeholders praised and hoped would continue in the future such as virtual parent events, use of technology to diversify learning and flexible working. A minority of pupils actually reported better progress due to lack of distractions and travel time loss.

We don’t have a clear answer yet on whether the future is “blended”, “hybrid”, “mixed” or whatever other fancy term we can come up with, but we do know that thousands of schools have carried out thousands of experiments in providing learning differently. As schools return to in-person learning, we should not lose the knowledge of what has worked. We urge every school leader to gather feedback from your stakeholders on how they are doing and how the school or trust can learn from the last year of disruption. Perhaps there are even more radical changes that innovative school trusts might be able to implement!

By gathering such evidence, every school can look forward with the confidence that this time, although difficult, can contribute to a better education experience in the future. Whether you use surveys or just gather stories from your staff, pupils and parents, here are the five reflection themes you should consider exploring:

  • What have the main challenges been for our stakeholders during the last year? Which of these can the school prevent in case of future disruption?
  • What learning methods have pupils appreciated the most? Which ones do we want to keep?
  • How are our pupils doing in terms of well-being? Where do they need the most support over the next year?
  • How do our staff prefer working in the future? What elements of the disruption should we maintain to ensure a more efficient working environment?
  • How has parental involvement supported the learning of our pupils? How can we retain parents as partners in learning going forward?

To access all of Edurio’s research for free, including our reports on covid-19 disruption, click here.

January 28, 2021Comments are off for this post.

Review of DfE remote education framework

The Department for Education recently published a new framework to help schools and further education providers review their remote education provision during the pandemic. 

The initial guidance on how to use the framework has been somewhat vague, but the DfE emphasise that it is not a compliance tool. Rather, its intended use is to support internal discussions within schools and Trusts on how things are going for their pupils and staff, what their organisations are doing well, and what would be appropriate next steps.

By now, there is no shortage of documents advising schools on ways to organise their remote learning provisions. Ofsted’s recently-published What’s Working Well in Remote Education, as well as Remote Education: Expectations, Evidence and Experience by the CST and Making remote education work by Edurio are just a few examples. The new DfE framework does not attempt to be another resource of this type; instead, you could view it as a proposed template for SLT discussions on remote education based on previously published DfE guidelines and known evidence.

Next, let’s briefly look at the six main themes of the framework.

Leadership - having a clear vision and plan for remote education provision as well as systems to monitor its quality and impact on staff and pupils. The framework highlights the importance of clear communication among adults - staff, governors, parents - regarding the school’s arrangements for remote education.

Remote education context and pupil engagement - access and engagement are two prerequisites for enabling learning. The framework invites schools to understand what resources and skills their pupils and families need in order to be able to connect to learning from their homes, and how schools can help provide those.

Curriculum planning and delivery - this theme looks at everything related to the actual learning process: the curriculum, minimum provision, resources, and assessment. It seems that the framework spells out a fairly demanding vision for schools. At the same time, it reminds that in many ways the quality of remote education depends on the same principles as in-school provision.

Capacity and capability - this theme focuses on the support available to staff to enable them to fulfil their roles. The three main types of support the framework emphasises are clear guidance on effective practice, availability of material and professional development resources, and engagement in broader professional networks with other schools and organisations.

Communication - although an element in other themes as well, communication is also included as a separate theme. Here, the framework reiterates the importance of clear expectations, particularly for pupils and parents, and of the need to maintain the school community despite the circumstances.

Safeguarding and wellbeing - the final theme covers pupil safety and wellbeing, and lists aspects of remote education provision for which schools really should strive to develop a clear strategy. These include clear reporting routes, online safety, data safety, monitoring pupil wellbeing, and expectations for behaviour.

Overall, this list of themes aligns well with our research at Edurio before the pandemic as well as now. Throughout this past year, we have been supporting Trusts across England in their work to better understand each of these themes with the help of our surveys. 

We are now providing a free bundle of remote learning surveys to any school or trust who wants to identify areas of improvement for its remote learning provision, support pupil and staff well-being, and stay connected to the school community through these times.

Our research has highlighted leadership and communication as two particularly impactful factors. The data from the Edurio Covid-19 Impact Review that was conducted in 277 schools across England at the end of summer term 2020 shows that good leadership and clear communication were the top criteria which affected staff and parent confidence in their school’s response to Covid-19. Staff and parents who found leadership communication clear were more likely to feel positive about their school’s response to the disruption than those who felt the communication had been unclear.

Clarity of learning tasks affected pupil self-assessment of their academic progress to a similar extent.

Any framework is only as helpful as the actions it supports. The new DfE framework offers a good structure for internal discussions with a focus on possible next steps for each school, and we welcome its emphasis on the key elements of leadership and clear communication. It is important, though, that this stays as a supporting document and does not in fact become a tool for external accountability during a time of crisis.

If your trust or school needs support monitoring your remote learning provision and the wellbeing of your whole-school community, our free bundle of pupil, parent, and staff long and pulse surveys and can be accessed here.

March 11, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Parent survey about the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

In response to the threat, our survey design team with guidance from educators globally has designed a simple set of questions you can ask your parents to understand their readiness for a home schooling scenario and where they may need support.

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January 20, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Self-assessment for staff wellbeing

Why did we bother to create a tool for self-assessing staff wellbeing — a topic that has been on Head Teachers’ minds forever? What is the difference between self-assessment and simply thinking about a problem?

This blog post will cover 3 ways self-assessment can add value to solving a problem — through adding structure, generating conversation, and identifying gaps in evidence.

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October 25, 2019Comments are off for this post.

“Working with Edurio has helped us harness the power of national benchmarking”

In the first year of Edurio’s Staff Retention project, Brook Learning Trust (BLT) ran the Staff Wellbeing and Working Conditions Survey in two of its three academies. 

What convinced the team at BLT to participate in the first year of a brand new research project? 

We asked Education Director Nicola Taylor. Her answer:

‘’Working with an external partner on important research that serves a bigger purpose... The schools who participated in the Edurio survey were able to benefit from additional rigour in the design and application of the survey as well as the quality of feedback and analysis received following its completion.’’

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June 25, 2019Comments are off for this post.

TALIS 2018 and Staff Retention in Schools

Last week, the OECD released results from its latest Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). This was the third time the OECD surveyed teachers and school principals worldwide to gather information on key aspects of the teaching profession and what schools and policy makers can do to strengthen it.

In England, 2376 lower secondary teachers and 157 principals completed the TALIS 2018 questionnaire. We were very eager to read the initial findings as just last month, Edurio published the first findings from our own Staff Wellbeing and Working Conditions Survey that involved more than 10,000 school staff in 322 schools and 23 multi-academy trusts across England.

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May 20, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Improving Staff Retention in Academies

Findings from 10,530 responses to the Edurio Staff Wellbeing and Working Conditions Survey

Over 10,000 academy staff members from across England have responded to our Staff Wellbeing and Working Conditions Survey so far.

Today, we published a report highlighting our first findings.

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March 18, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Worksheet: Survey results analysis and communication

A resource that will help you make the most out of your survey results

When it comes to analysing survey results, it can be difficult to know where to start! Whether you are a person who notices the negatives first, or someone who only focuses on the positive, it is important to go through your survey results in a systematic way, taking into account your organisation’s specific context. Once you have made general conclusions about the results, you need to share them with others — so a key element is having a strong communication plan ready.

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March 4, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Stakeholder feedback at United Learning

An inclusive approach to school improvement

It’s been two years since Edurio started working with United Learning on their Learning from Learners project — a focused effort on collecting and using pupil feedback to improve schools. We value our partnership and look at United Learning as an example for others to follow — regularly using stakeholder feedback across different roles and for different purposes at every level of the trust to continuously learn and improve.

We recently had the chance to talk to the team at United Learning to learn more about how it all got started and the impact of the project so far.

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November 5, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Into the Loop: Setting Goals

In this “Into the Loop” series of blogs we will provide you with the tools you need to start using data for school improvement — from the initial self-reflection to the collaboratively designed action plan.

In the previous blog we explored what you might want to consider before taking on a journey of evidence-driven school improvement. This time we start the work by setting clear goals.

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