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Lampton School, Hounslow

How is BlueSky Education helping Lampton School evaluate the effectiveness of professional development and learning provision?

About the school

Lampton School is an Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ school and was one of the first teaching schools to be established by the DfE. A ‘complex urban’ comprehensive, the school is non-selective and its 1,600 students come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, but generally fall below the national average in terms of ability and socio-economic circumstances with 1,200 students speaking English as an additional language. However, student achievement is above average and the school has been deemed ‘outstanding in challenging circumstances’ by Ofsted in each of its last three inspections.

Its 170 staff have year on year been responsible for the significant student progress or ‘value added’ measure.

What was the challenge?

The senior leadership team was seeking a holistic approach to assessing each member of the staff. They needed to gauge the value-added measure achieved; record internal and external lesson observations; and receive their line managers’ appraisal of how staff perform against the school’s, and National Teachers’ Standards.

Key challenges:

  • Improve its Progress 8 ‘value-added measure’ year-on-year
  • Track staff progress in relation to Progress 8 targets
  • Enable staff to document their achievements
  • Identify areas for development
  • Bring transparency to discussions on performance-related pay

At Lampton School, Continuing Professional Development and performance management are a core part of the culture. They form an important part of its annual cycle, and start and finish on the same day every year – in early September – when Lampton School kicks off the new term with its first INSET day for all teaching staff.

At the beginning of the year staff work with middle leaders and senior leaders to ensure they know how to set SMART targets – targets that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

“Transparency is key to holding people to account and staff have warmed to BlueSky as it enables them to highlight their successes. They view it as progressive and particularly like it when it supports them to progress up the pay scale!”

Johnnie Pavey
Assistant Head and Teaching School Specialist Leader of Education.

BlueSky's Role

BlueSky has enabled Lampton School’s SLT to aggregate and evaluate data necessary to gauge the effectiveness of Lampton’s professional learning provision. This helps to inform strategy planning for the coming year.

Lampton School uses the following features in BlueSky:

  • Reviews: staff review themselves against internal and national standards
  • Objectives: staff work with their line manager to identify and enter their professional objectives, linked to their development needs and the school's improvement plan
  • Training: Lampton advertises the professional learning courses available to be booked for staff
  • CPD: staff log their professional learning, including Lampton's professional learning sessions, and the impact it has had

The Impact

BlueSky has impacted staff by giving them a platform they can use to document their successes and to provide evidence to the senior leadership team ahead of discussions on performance-related pay. Gone are the days of ‘value added’ progression spreadsheets.

As a diagnostic tool BlueSky is used by senior leaders to highlight issues and challenges that need to be addressed before external reviews. Being evidence-based it has made decisions regarding performance-related pay significantly easier.

Both the staff and the school have benefited from BlueSky.

  • Staff members now have a platform where they can document their successes, and set down meaningful evidence before discussions on performance-related pay. (The dreaded value-added progression spreadsheets are, thankfully, history.)
  • The school has a diagnostic tool that reveals, simply and clearly, how staff are performing: the successes, the challenges, and any issues to be addressed before external reviews. From the SLT team, it sends out a clear message: "We are here"

The school continues to value the contribution it gains with BlueSky, tracking standards, celebrating successes, and gaining all-important evidence for pay discussions.

"Most importantly, it clearly illustrates teaching and learning achievements in an easy to digest manner, and helps SLT know explicitly how well their staff are doing and to say emphatically “we are here”, says Johnnie Pavey, Assistant Head & Teaching School SLE.

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