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@ ProfCoe. Challenges of leadership : Learning, CPD, accountability. Robert Coe Durham Leadership Conference, 26 June 2014. Challenge 1 Keep the focus on learning. True or false?. Reducing class size is one of the most effective ways to increase learning [evidence]

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challenges of leadership learning cpd accountability


Challenges of leadership:Learning, CPD, accountability

Robert Coe

Durham Leadership Conference, 26 June 2014

true or false
True or false?
  • Reducing class size is one of the most effective ways to increase learning [evidence]
  • Differentiation and ‘personalised learning’ resources maximise learning [evidence]
  • Praise encourages learners and helps them persist with hard tasks [evidence]
  • Technology supports learning by engaging and motivating learners [evidence]
  • The best way to raise attainment is to enhance motivation and interest [evidence]
poor proxies for learning
Poor Proxies for Learning
  • Students are busy: lots of work is done (especially written work)
  • Students are engaged, interested, motivated
  • Students are getting attention: feedback, explanations
  • Classroom is ordered, calm, under control
  • Curriculum has been ‘covered’ (ie presented to students in some form)
  • (At least some) students have supplied correct answers (whether or not they really understood them or could reproduce them independently)
lesson observation
Lesson Observation
  • Two teachers observe the same lesson, one rates it ‘Inadequate’. What is the probability the other will agree?

a) 10% b) 40% c) 60% d) 80%

  • An observer judges a lesson ‘Outstanding’. What is the probability that pupils are really making sustained, outstanding progress?

a) 5% b) 30% c) 50% d) 70%

evidence based advice
Evidence based advice

Judgements from lesson observation may be used for low-stakes interpretations (eg to advise on areas for improvement) if at least two observers independently observe a total of at least six lessons, provided those observers have been trained and quality assured by a rigorous process (2-3 days training & exam).

High-stakes inference (eg Ofsted grading, competence) should not be based on lesson observation alone, no matter how it is done.

improving teaching
Improving Teaching
  • Teacher quality is what matters
  • We need to focus on teacher learning
  • Teachers learn just like other people
    • Be clear what you want them to learn
    • Get good information about where they are at
    • Give good feedback
what cpd helps students
What CPD helps students?
  • Intense: at least 30 contact hours, preferably 50+
  • Sustained: over at least two terms
  • Content focused: on teachers’ knowledge of subject content & how students learn it
  • Active: opportunities to try it out & discuss
  • Supported: external feedback and networks to improve and sustain
  • Evidence based: promotes strategies supported by robust evaluation evidence

Do you do this?

rise research leads improving students education
RISE: Research-leads Improving Students’ Education
  • With Alex Quigley, John Tomsett, Stuart Kime
  • Based around York
  • RCT: 20 school leaders trained in research, 20 controls
  • Contact:
accountability cultures
Accountability cultures
  • Trust
  • Autonomous
  • Confidence
  • Challenge
  • Supportive
  • Improvement-focus
  • Problem-solving
  • Long-term
  • Genuine quality
  • Evaluation
  • Distrust
  • Controlled
  • Fear
  • Threat
  • Competitive
  • Target-focus
  • Image presentation
  • Quick fix
  • Tick-list quality
  • Sanctions
accountability and improvement
Official Accountability Systems

Professional Monitoring Systems

Accountability and improvement

If you find a problem with your performance, what do you do?

Cover it up

Expose it to view.

(Tymms, 1999)

hard questions
Hard questions
  • Imagine there was no accountability. What would you do differently?
  • Would students be better off as a result?
    • No – I wouldn’t do anything at all differently
    • Not significantly – minor presentational changes only
    • Yes – students would be better off without accountability
  • What actually stops you doing this?

Summary …


It’s about learning: keep the main thing the main thing

CPD: teachers learn just like other people

Accountability: don’t let the tail wag the dog