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Suggestions for using data (secondary)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by lipservice, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. I was recently appointed as AHT i/c data and evaluation. The previous postholder was very good at using spreadsheets to produce reports for departments. Although I have all the spreadsheets that they used I am not really sure of how to adapt them. I don't really want to spend my time trying to understand the code that they used and wonder if there is an easier way.

    The data manager here is very good at using the systems that we have. I would like to develop them further but am not sure of the best approach. I also don't want her to think I just want to change what she does. I would rather be able to find something that I can show makes the work easier, particularly collecting information twice a term amd producing reports. My aim is to focus on inspection issues rather than spent time analysing data which is what the last postholder seemed to spend a lot of time doing.
    What do other AHTs use to track and analyse progress? Are there ready made programs that I can use?
  2. The first thing is to make sure you are familiar with what you can get out of your MIS system - SIMS or Facility. A lot of schools under-use data they already have.

    If you want additional tools for looking at pupil progress data these look worth considering:
    http://www.go4schools.com (won award at BETT)
    http://www.pupiltracking.com (can pull data from SIMS)

    If the focus is more on self-evaluation and tracking action plans at the level of the school, department or individual then Perspective is well worth a look:
  3. You can do quite a lot with SIMS Assessment Manager, but it is quite heavy going and it won't do everything you will want to do.
    We started using 4Matrix last year and I couldn't recommend it more highly to any AHT whose job is data. It is VERY EASY to use and creates reports automatically on every subject and teaching group. You can quickly pull data out of SIMS and for tracking you can paste in estimated grades twice a term and it provides different tools that enable you to track and compare progress towards target grades. The whole thing cost us about £800 which is amazing value compared to anything else we looked at, and they did a free trial. I think they still do. It is very powerful, everyone here was amazed at what it can do. For HoDs it was an eye opener because it will rank teachers. It really has changed the way we work with data. It has changed the way our data manager works because she no longer has to mess around with spreadsheets.
    I wrote some feedback for the company which you can see at the What Users Say page at www.4matrix.org You will have to guess which one is from me. Do look at it before anything else.

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