The probable, the possible, and the actual

A group of us (some Secondary HTs and Quality Improvement Officers) met this afternoon to consider how we might develop attainment targets for schools.

One of the things we are all agreed upon is that the notion of plucking figures out of thin air and saying to a school “this is what you need to achieve next year” is nonsensical, damaging and anti-professional. After some very positive discussion we agreed to meet again with some more colleagues to flesh out out a process built upon the following principles:

  1. We will start small  (perhaps one year group) and grow our system building upon evidence
  2. We will implement the agreed system across all schools
  3. We will try to use work on MIDYIS related principle (all schools now test S2 pupils using MIDYIS) this score provides reliable predictive data about how pupils will perform at Standard Grade level in S4.
  4. We will use the ScotXed box plot data which shows how a school is perfroming in relation to other similar schools.
  5. We will try to identify and use as models departments who are adding significant value to predictive data and performing strongly in relation to similar schools – we will share this within and between schools.
  6. Head teachers will negotiate targets for departments using a similar data driven model
  7. We will ask principal teachers to negotiate targets with individual classroom teachers using a similar data driven model
  8. We will develop a targets setting model for individual pupils which is based upon a dialogue between the teacher and the pupil where the probable and the possible attainment is discussed – parents will be involved in this process.
  9. We will compare pupils possible(aspirational targets) with their actual attainment on an annual basis
  10. We will link the entire system to the the learning and teaching process in the belief that this is the only way in which we can truly raise attainment. 

Our next meeting will involve HTs, DHTs PT and members of the department – we believe that we can develop a system which is founded upon our three key areas of focus leadership, self-evaluation and learning and teaching.