Wednesday, 21 May 2014


We live in a world where accountability is narrow, clumsy and brutal... at least if you work in the education sector... where you are judged on your last set of results regardless of context and where the detailed and intelligent analysis of outcomes is ignored! We need another way; one that recognises professionalism, experience and evidence and is built on trust, respect, self-review and teamwork.
Do we really believe that headteachers, teachers and schools will only do their job properly if they are constantly criticised, tightly directed and carefully monitored? Do we really believe that a significant and increasing minority of headteachers, teachers and schools are performing so poorly that they need to be identified, publicly shamed and removed from their roles? Do we really believe that headteachers, teachers and schools are generally well intentioned and professional in their work, but that they need to have continuous, unequivocal external guidance about what they are doing?

In a world where culture matters and passionate committed people are needed, surely what we all need is intelligent accountability. 
Accountability that...
  • preserves, enhances and develops trust, openness and honesty.
  • develops ownership and involves colleagues in the process of school improvement and development.
  • supports professional responsibility, learning and initiative and networks best practice.
  • engages passionate commitment to a relentless and uncompromising drive for improvement.
  • encourages deep, worthwhile responses rather than shallow surface window dressing.
  • recognises and compensates for the severe limitations of our ability to capture educational quality in simplistic performance indicators.
  • provides effective feedback that challenges underperformance and promotes insight into how outcomes can be improved.
  • supports good decision making about what we should celebrate, what we should challenge and what we should change.
Time for change! Pass it on!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris - great to read this. You inspired me at Canon Lee when I first heard you speak about 'intelligent accountability' at Canon Lee. Keep posting these great words of wisdom. They really help focus the mind on what really matters! Best wishes, Nichola


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