Last week, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) published a guide for governing boards on Understanding your Data. The new guide sets out the broad range of information governing boards might consider when fulfilling their core functions of setting the right strategic direction for the school or trust, holding school leaders to account for educational performance and ensuring value for money. The guidance also features optional templates and explanations on how to use exceptions reports, comparisons to key benchmarking data and features a list of useful resources.
In the foreword of the guide, EFSA chief executive Eileen Milner wrote: “this is not about collecting more data, but collecting the right information… You can use this resource to refine your board reporting and to actually reduce the amount of data collection and associated work”.
Your evidence base will support you to develop, monitor and deliver your school or trust strategy, inform discussions about the curriculum, education standards and ensure probity in the deployment of resources. Any information collected should align with the strategic improvement priorities of the school or trust and agreed on at the beginning of the year in partnership with executive leaders to avoid excessive workload and duplication.
For further support on how to use data to the best effect, the National Governance Assocation has developed a Learning Linking module on ‘Progress and attainment: using data to improve educational outcomes’.
If your school buys into the Kirklees Governor Clerking Service you can access the NGA Learning Link portal free of charge.