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Last reviewed on 25 June 2020
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School types: All · School phases: All

School closure has made it very difficult to measure quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and progress. Find out what you should consider in your self-evaluation instead, to reflect the changes to your school this year.

Even if you're using an online learning platform for remote learning, results from home can't compare to the classroom

Don't closely evaluate pupil progress during lockdown - the data isn't reliable

This year is an outlier, with lockdown and partial reopening disrupting at least 6 months of teaching and learning.

Even if you're using an online learning platform for remote learning, results from home can't compare to the classroom - pupils may spend longer on a task than they're supposed to, or get answers online.

Some pupils might have knowledge gaps from the first half of the academic year too (especially if you planned to consolidate this learning between March and July), so progress data from this period might not give you an accurate picture.

So instead of looking at pupil progress, you should focus your self-evaluation on pupil engagement, supporting parents with behavioural issues, and how well your pupils settle back into school.

Measure engagement to fill the gaps in your attendance data

Pupil attendance won't return to normal until September at the very earliest, so you won't be able to get a full picture from attendance figures. Pupil mental health might have an impact on attendance during reopening, too.

You can use pupil engagement to fill in the gaps during closure:

  • If you use an online learning platform (like Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams), you can track how many pupils have handed in work, even if teachers haven't marked it - here's our guidance on monitoring pupil engagement remotely
  • If pupils completed work from resource packs, get in touch with families and discuss how much work their child completed - you could also ask parents to send photos of completed work. Bear in mind that you should limit the number of resources going back and forth between school and home, according to DfE reopening guidance

You should also evaluate yourself on what you're doing to encourage eligible parents and pupils to return to school - especially pupils who had low attendance before lockdown, since they're most at risk of not returning in September.

Evaluate attendance and engagement for safeguarding reasons

Pay closer attention to vulnerable pupils, and evaluate what you've done to keep track of them during lockdown. You should evaluate based on how often you've been in touch with families, and what you've done to support them.

Consider how you've supported parents with behavioural issues at home

You can't evaluate yourself on pupil behaviour at home, but you can look at what you've done to support parents who were struggling with their child's behaviour.

If you sent additional resources to families when they reached out for help, you should take note of this, as well as how many families came back for more assistance.

Evaluate yourself on how pupils settle back into school

Behaviour will likely be different as pupils return to school. For example, particularly energetic pupils might overstep many boundaries when they first come back.

To get an understanding of behaviour during this time, you could measure how pupils are settling back into old routines, and learning new rules around social distancing. Keep track of incidents where pupils have broken new routines (like staying within their bubble, or keeping a distance from other pupils).

Self-evaluate on how safe pupils feel

Your staff should ask pupils whether they feel safe in general, as well as in terms of social distancing.

Acknowledge staff development in your self-evaluation, too

If your staff had time to complete more CPD during closure, you should evaluate how effective your approach was.

Schools in the Shared Learning Trust sent questionnaires to staff to see how satisfied they were with their CPD during lockdown, and have included this in their self-evaluation.


Our thanks to:

  • Barry Carpenter, pupil mental health expert and education consultant, who spoke to us about how pupils are likely to behave differently when they return to school
  • Rebekah Howe, director of primary education at the Shared Learning Trust, who spoke to us about measuring the support they've given to parents, evaluating how safe pupils feel, measuring engagement of vulnerable pupils, and acknowledging staff development
  • Sam Strickland (principal) and Kat Howard (assistant principal) at The Duston School, who spoke to us about measuring the quality of teaching and pupil progress during closure
  • Patrick Ottley-O'Connor, executive principal at North Liverpool Academy, who advised us on measuring pupil engagement as well as attendance

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