Report on measuring the quality of school governance – Friday 14 July 2017

This week I highlight new research into whether it’s possible to define and collect metrics to measure the quality of school governance, a reminder that RAISEonline will close at the end of this month and a new report has been published on the impact of the Prevent duty in schools since it was introduced two years ago.

Research into defining and collecting metrics measuring the quality of school governance
On Wednesday, the Department for Education (DfE) published the results of a feasibility study it had commissioned to determine whether it was possible to define and collect metrics on the quality of school governance. The study aimed to establish a set of criteria showing whether a governing board was effective or not; it assessed the quality of governance in a sample of schools through an external review of governance (ERG) and compared the results of the ERG and survey to test whether the survey correctly measured the quality of governance.

Key findings and recommendations:

  • The study demonstrated that defining and collecting metrics on the quality of governance is broadly feasible. However, to secure confidence in the metrics, further validation was recommended.
  • Nine statistically-reliable metrics were developed, validated to a certain extent by expert reviews, that broadly identified the components of effective governance.
  • With further developmental work these metrics could possibly be applied on a large scale.

Update on Analyse School Performance and RAISEonline
On 31 July the RAISEonline service will close and the DfE is asking schools to save any data needed from RAISEonline such as school summary reports before this date. Schools are also being asked to log into the replacement service, Analyse School Performance (ASP), before the end of the summer term.

New report on the impact of the Prevent duty in schools Cov-Uni-EandI-logo
The Prevent duty for schools was introduced two years ago this month. To mark the occasion, the University of Coventry has published a research report on what the Prevent duty means for school and colleges in England. The report found that:

  • The message that Prevent is about ‘all forms of extremism’ and that it should form part of a schools’ wider safeguarding duty, is widely accepted.
  • There has been some opposition around the requirement to teach British values, which is linked to Prevent. In particular, schools are uneasy about calling the values “British” and are unsure about how to embed this into the curriculum effectively.
  • Staff who are not part of “safeguarding teams”, or are relatively junior in a school, are less confident about fulfilling the Prevent duty. Nevertheless, many practitioners reject the idea that Prevent has had a “chilling effect” on students in the classroom.
  • There were “widespread concerns” that the Prevent duty caused “increased stigmatism of Muslim students”.