How to embed the EIF into your organisation, improving the quality of education and performance

The advent of the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF) has been a blessing for the sector. Organisation have been able to accurately demonstrate their real performance, due to the distinct move away from the over reliance of data. They can now demonstrate their impact from a holistic perspective.

However, in my humble opinion, a large majority of providers have missed opportunities to embed and map these practices into their quality assurance systems, thus restricting the ability to improve from Good to Outstanding.

The advent of a partial paradigm shift, where the FES sector is now at the core of Government policy, driving the rebuilding of the economy, reskilling the decimated workforce, and delivering the mechanics of building back better, with a distinct focus on growing skills to deliver net zero carbon, green technology, cybersecurity, digitising decimated retail, leisure and hospitality and a whole swathe of challenges we now face in our ‘brave new world’.

However, the FES sector is still playing catch up, in terms of its ability to embrace, deliver and to fully integrate the tenets of the EIF. Many organisations find it challenging to move away from the model of measuring everything that moves. Unfortunately, the need to measure and audit, has yet to pass, thus restricting real growth, development in the sector. Surely it is time to move away from these old models and find new ways of working that are truely developmental, rather than carrying out ungraded observations, which are in fact graded by the type of language which is used and have the same impact on staff as graded observations.

Updating quality sector practices requires a bold new approach to quality, some ideas that I believe that work, are as follows:

Abandon formal lesson observations and learning walks, measuring does not create impact!

Use technology and entrust staff to self / peer asses, give them the opportunity to demonstrate their very best practice, on their terms. Share and celebrate this! Neutralise the organisational toxicity associated with traditional practices. This will engage staff in their individual improvement journey.

Embed the 3 I’s (intent / implementation / Impact) into all systems and be creative!

Throw away your old ways of working and reframe quality around these pillars of the EIF.

If you get this right the rest will follow! Explain your intent from the bottom up; embrace metacognition, sequencing, spaced repetition and abandon the over worked questioning, stretch and challenge and flipped learning, these topics no longer engage anyone. Support creative approaches to the planning of learning and assessment. Reframe pedagogy, refresh it and make it new, so that staff can reengage, learn something new and actually experiment. Capture the rich learner voice whenever possible, map destinations, encourage work scrutinises between peers and use those case studies of great achievements of our learners to demonstrate real impact. COVID has destroyed the importance of achievement data, get your evidence from elsewhere.

Kill the tabulated SAR’s and QIP’s

Apart from being a part of the quality cycle and acting as a comfort blanket for leaders, tear up your tabulated encyclopaedic documents and find new ways to concisely identify the long standing areas for development and strengths in a concise, user friendly way that staff can access, recognise and own.

Create a live short, sharp working entity that everyone at all levels can engage with and deliver on!

These are just a few examples of what I have been experimenting with, they seem to work, create impact, engage and tick the correct boxes. Finding new ways of working in the sector is a mighty challenge; however, we need to distance ourselves from our habitual recycling of old practices and grow new ways of working. To compliment the “Build Back Better” let us work towards being “Bold, Brave & Boundary Breaking”, when it comes to quality and demonstrating our real value.

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