Sam Blyth is director of schools at Canvas EMEA.
Q. What are the key events this year that have affected your sector?
A new Ofsted framework (EIF) announced in the first half of 2019, and rolled out in September, called for a shift away from focusing on exams. The new framework puts more emphasis on the substance of education and actively discourages unnecessary data collection.
For many, the new framework has made it necessary to fundamentally re-evaluate the way that they measure progress in education. Ofsted’s new approach will draw attention to the idea there is good data and bad data.
Bad data is labelled ‘national accounting’ – designed to report to assessors how the system as a whole is performing and to contrast good practice with bad. Good data – the nuanced ability to understand students’ strengths and weaknesses and progress paths – will become much more important under the new framework.
This is, of course, more difficult to measure than the pass/fail tests of the past, and calls for broader, ongoing, and real-time assessment, which can only be delivered by the use of technology. Indeed, data-driven learning technology can help educators understand students’ learning behaviours, which courses are being consumed and where students are excelling or struggling. It also allows teachers to personalise learning journeys and demonstrate added value.