Preliminary results from the head teacher survey

Thank you to those who completed our online survey for the European Commission funded European Inspection Project. It is early days in the study, which still has two years to run, but we thought you might be interested in some preliminary results. The full report can be found here.

Differing responses across inspection grades

Items from the survey have been combined to form scales. The first chart presents the means from five of these scales (for primary and secondary head teacher responses combined) split by overall inspection result from 2009/10 main Ofsted inspections. The error bars show 95% confidence intervals on the means. Patterns in the data suggest that the lower the inspection grade the more the school uses inspection standards to set expectations, the more pressure the head feels to improve the school and the more the inspections influence the school’s development. Conversely, the higher the inspection grade the more useful the head teachers reported that they found the feedback. The pressure head teachers experienced from parents does not vary across inspection grades.

There needs to be caution in interpreting these results as response rates were fairly small and we cannot be sure what the causes of the relationship is.

 Comparison between monitored and non-monitored satisfactory schools

The chart below displays 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. Statistical tests showed that there were statistically significant differences between these groups for the six scales presented. The scales show changes in improvement actions, as rated by the head teacher, compared to last year. The first two scales shows 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. Similarly the following four subscales show that monitored schools in our sample reported spending more time on 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. Again caution must be taken in interpreting these results as our response rate was fairly small and the data simply report associations.