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YouGov Benchmarking Report – Transparency of learning in UK state schools

Greater transparency will enable teachers, students, parents and school-leaders to work together to raise standards, says new survey.

As the adage goes, no two schools are the same. Some lead with a core pedagogical approach, others are a sum of their didactical parts, the rest somewhere in between. Similarly, no two students are the same - each learns best in different ways, which holds true regardless of their school’s direction.

To steer the ship, senior leaders need a handle on the goings on across their school, from the success of a new policy through to student welfare, both at scale and for individual learners. It is class teachers who regularly engage students one-to-one, best positioned to gather such insight and collectively keep an SLT in the know.

But, the reality is, many SLTs do not feel well informed or updated when it comes to school-wide performance. Knowledge that could guide impactful, evidence-based decisions.

With market research firm YouGov, we surveyed the opinions of head teachers, deputy heads and SLTs at secondary schools to better understand why this occurs, as well as the data that would lead to substantial school improvement and how close they are to achieving such insight.

The school leaders surveyed believe that real-time access to student grades, progress across year groups and departments, and attendance of students could significantly raise attainment.

But, the tools that their schools are using did not provide this information as simply or accurately as they require. In turn, teachers and students were not adopting these technology solutions in a manner that would enable such data acquisition.

The aspiration, therefore, is to find technology that gets used by teachers and students, supporting their day-to-day work, and sends relevant data to the school's SLT. The report looks at the progress schools have made towards achieving this.

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