European Inspection Study: Some preliminary results from the Year 2 head teacher survey

Professor Peter Tymms (School of Education, Durham University)
Karen Jones (Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring, Durham University)

Thank you to those who completed our Y2 online survey for the European Commission funded European Inspection Project. It is early days in the study, which still has over a year to run, but we thought you might be interested in some preliminary results.

Comparison between monitored and non-monitored satisfactory schools:

Items from the Year 2 survey have been combined to form scales and the chart above displays the means of some of these scales (for primary and secondary head teacher responses combined). The chart shows results from schools that were graded satisfactory in their main inspection, split by schools that went on to be monitored by Ofsted and schools that did not. The error bars show 95% confidence intervals on the means. Statistical tests showed that there were statistically significant differences between these groups for the 10 scales presented out of the 17 measured. All but two of the scales (the first two and last six scales) show changes in improvement actions, as rated by the head teacher, compared to last year. The first two scales show that heads in monitored schools report to be spending more time on capacity building activities and more time on activities aimed at developing the school’s effectiveness compared to last year. The last six subscales show that monitored schools in our sample reported spending more time on encouraging teachers to participate in decision making, encouraging cooperation between teachers, more time developing  transformational leadership activities, more time developing the students learning, making better use of assessments and more time spent on improving teaching compared to last year. Interestingly, despite an overall trend for the lower the inspection grade the less positive the schools are about their inspection feedback, monitored schools also responded more favorably to their inspection feedback compared to non-monitored schools. The influence of the school inspection standards on school developments is higher in the monitored schools. The data seems to show greater differences between the monitored and non-monitored groups two years after the initial inspection, compared to one year. Caution must be taken in interpreting these results as our response rate was fairly small and the data simply report associations rather than causality.

The pdf-version of this article can be downloaded here.