Twitter staged its first ever Education Day on 15th October – A celebration of teaching and learning, educators and students and the multitude of professionals, communities and individuals who do amazing things everyday in classrooms around the world.
As a community who supports educators, UKEdChat joined the celebration by holding an extended #UKEdChat discussion, with a ‘questions from the community’ session from 6-8pm, followed by our main topic ‘Accountability and Performance Tables’ from 8-9pm, hosted by @JonColes01.
From 8pm, the #UKEdChat session asked:
- To whom should schools be the most accountable?
- Who should decide school accountability measures?
- Are performance tables a useful tool for school accountability? What are the alternatives?
- To what extent will new accountability measures (Attainment 8 and Progress 8) be beneficial?
- How should schools be held to account for the quality of their extracurricular activities?
- If there were no restrictions (time or money), how would you measure school success/failure?
The session coincided not only with Twitter UK’s #EducationDay, but also with the Department for Education’s first-ever release of provisional school-level performance data. As such participants were primed and ready to share their views on topics such as the use of data by Ofsted, schools’ accountability to the taxpayer, and the validity of comparing dissimilar schools using blanket performance measures.
Question one got the ball rolling, producing a wide range of responses about accountability. Some users felt that schools should be most accountable to their pupils and parents, others their community, their alumni or the taxpayer.
The utility of performance tables was up for debate in question three. Leadership Matters @Andy_Buck tweeted: When people ask my advice on choosing schools, I never say look at performance tables. Latest Ofsted report should be best guide #ukedchat.
This comment sparked a debate about Ofsted’s reliance on and use of data, which ended in a positive spin from Relentless Optimism ?@ROptimism, who tweeted: @Andy__Buck @ProfDanielMuijs @JonColes01 although under new framework inspection should be more collaborative and dialogic!
Question five concerned schools’ accountability for extracurricular activities. There appeared to be consensus amongst the session’s participants that extracurricular activities are a vital part of education and development; however that creating an accountability system around this could detract from the benefits.
Overall, contributions to this session tended towards agreement on one thing: the best possible outcomes for individual pupils, both personally and within the wider community, should be at the heart of the school accountability system.
Eye-catching tweets from the session included:
A1: Sharon Smith ?@SharonSmith_edu
We’re accountable to our students! We must do what’s best for them, not what’s best for a league table! #ukedchat
A1: Andrew Davidson ?@designandrewd
@JonColes01 schools should be accountable to the alumni, who’ll judge if they’ve prepared them for work & adult life #ukedchat #EducationDay
A2: Helen ?@sillylongname
@JonColes01 #ukedchat Q2: it has to be a central organisation for consistency for the measures then to have any meaning.
A2: Happy-Headteacher ?@happyheadteach
#ukedchat @JonColes01 A2 – should be agreed between school and an evaluation officer of some sort. Embedded self-evaluation at heart.
A3: Leadership Matters ?@Andy__Buck
When people ask my advice on choosing schools, I never say look at performance tables. Latest Ofsted report should be best guide #ukedchat
A3: Gary King ?@Gary_S_King
I’d like to see a greater emphasis on NEET’s as a performance indicator #ukedchat
A4: Vicki ?@vip_computing
@JonColes01 #ukedchat A4 depends how they are used! If to label students – no. We need to have high expectations for what can be achieved
A5: Happy-Headteacher ?@happyheadteach
Important part of mental health and well-being too is for children to develop their interests and we have a big role to play #ukedchat
A5: Cherryl-kd ?@cherrylkd
@ukedchat should schools be accountable? The more we track things unrelated to learning the less time we have for t and learning #ukedchat
A5: The Trainee Teacher ?@TrainingToTeach
@ukedchat A5- ‘held to account’- A sure fire way to stop staff giving up their own time after school, for children. #ukedchat
A5: The Trainee Teacher ?@TrainingToTeach
@JonColes01 @ukedchat Training in the skills they are providing after school? Not treating them as after school babysitting? #ukedchat
A6: Kate Bradley ?@kabradders
@JonColes01 on the destination of leavers. Do they contribute to society in some/any way? #ukedchat