Dataproof Your School: How to Use Assessment Data Effectively

Data is a big deal for schools. Assessment data informs school league tables and is raked over to determine the degree to which pupils are making progress, attendance and behaviour data can give a snapshot of whether the internal culture of a school is fostering a positive learning environment, and many large secondary schools and academy chain employ specialist data managers to gather and monitor all this information. The key challenge for schools is making sense of this wealth of information and using it to inform policy at either school-wide or classroom level. Although a big issue for which there are lots of ed-tech solutions on the market, no-one has really tried to publish meaningful guidance in book form in the UK market., and existing books in this area are US in origin and won't engage with some of the specific system issues in the UK. This is a follow-up to Richard Selfridge's Databusting for Schools (2018) which was a 'statistics for dummies (for teachers)'-type book which, although an impressively written book, has had modest sales, this follow-up has a number of important extra USPs that should boost its commercial appeal: (a) James Pembroke is coming on board as co-author, he is one of the country's foremost schools data analysts and has a whopping 21.3K Twitter followers (@jpembroke). By comparison Richard as a schools data blogger (@Jack_Marwood) has just under 4K. This should give this book much greater reach; (b) Richard and James are forging a professional partnership and are starting up jointly-run workshops and a schools data podcast, all of which we can leverage to promote this. (Richard has not running training previously, his first book was promoted via his blogging and his presenting (researchED, Fest Ed etc); and (c) The focus here is much more heavily geared towards answering a specific challenge ('how can I use all this student data to make sensible decisions for my school/classroom?'). This could help support more targeted messaging. The Databusting book's focus was a little broader and aspirational ('how can I be a more stats-literate teacher?') and that may have held it back slightly. This book will help teacher and school leaders to understand the different types of data they can generate in classrooms and schools, and how to make the best use of what they have gathered. It has a specific focus on assessment data, one of the biggest issues in schools. The intended audience is a crossover one, it pitches school-wide strategies at a management level, where these concerns are most prevalent, but also offers classroom-specific advice for teachers to apply in their own classrooms. It covers the full primary/secondary age range (and ensuring a sensible balance here was one of the key tweaks that came from the review process). It is deeply aligned with the data and assessment packages and policy measures (e.g. Progress 8, Ebacc) that are most popular in UK schools and offers a depth of analysis here, currently missing from the UK market. We've asked for a clarifying subtitle, but should it include the word 'assessment'?

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