Organisational Quality Improvement

Every system has an impact. Do you know what impact you’re having? Is it the one you want?

Lesson observation

“I often say that if you want a creative climate, you minimise the number of meetings, you minimise the amount of paper, and you minimise the bureaucracy. And I think part of my task is to try and help people find the space to be creative.”

Sir Michael Bichard, then Rector of the University of the Arts, London*

Are your quality systems fit for purpose? And perhaps more importantly, how are you answering this question?

Take your observation of teaching and learning system. What is your judgement about its ‘quality’? On what evidence are you basing your judgement? There are some in the sector who would lull us into thinking that the quality of an observation system, or rather its effectiveness, is linked directly to how “robust” it is: the more robust, the better it must be…

Thankfully, you’ll be inspected by a professional inspector rather than a rhetorician. S/he won’t be interested in your systems ‘robustness’ – just its impact.

Every system has an impact. Do you know what impact you’re having? Is it the one you want?

If you’re trusting your evidence base to improvements in observation grades, you could be making a very significant mistake. Curious?

Self assessment

It’s the same story for self assessment. For many providers, this costs a great deal of staff time and energy; and for too many providers, it also costs management the good will of front-line staff. Why not take a 30-second test to see whether you’re getting it right.. Curious?

Internal inspection

Many providers feel that replicating external inspection inside their organisation will effectively prepare staff for a no-notice visit by the inspectorate. However, that strategy could be the very thing that prevents them from preparing properly.. Read more..


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Excellence in the Arts: Beyond the comfort zone