March 11, 2020
We launched our new leadership and management tools Inspection Coach and Improvement Hub at Bett in January this year. In this blog, we talked with Geoff, director at 2Eskimos and part of the team who created both Inspection Coach and Improvement Hub, about both tools and how they can support school leaders.
Geoff – could you give an outline of your role at 2Eskimos?
My role at 2Eskimos is to identify what school leaders will need to help them be happier and more effective in the future. I spend lots of time visiting schools and speaking at headteacher network meetings/conferences. This helps me to understand what frustrates them and identify what we can do to help.
What are Inspection Coach and Improvement Hub?
Inspection Coach is an online place where school leaders can complete their school self-evaluation in a fraction of the time that it traditionally takes.
Improvement Hub is a website that revolutionises Improvement Planning. Actions for plans are automatically suggested during the self-evaluation process – these can then be quickly assigned to Subject Leader Plans, Improvement Plans, Development Plans and even Personal Development plans.
What makes Coach & Hub so special is the way that they work together to save school leaders time and make the whole process of school improvement more effective.
Why did you create them?
I meet so many head teachers who are unhappy and stressed out. One of the key contributing factors to this is the worry about OFSTED coming. I thought that it would help if we could create a system that meant that heads didn’t need to worry about this because they would be fully prepared already.
Many head teachers worry that OFSTED will not agree with the judgements that they have made in their self-evaluation. We worked out that we could eradicate this worry if we worked with a team of former OFTSED inspectors to create Inspection Coach. If the head answers the questions honestly inside the Inspection Coach platform then there is a 99% chance that OFSTED will agree with their judgements. This is because the heads judgements have effectively been self-ratified against strict success criteria written by inspectors already.
Basically, it’s like having a “virtual inspector” sat next to you when you are planning or doing your self-evaluation.
Are the tools just for school leaders?
Coach and Hub are used by everyone who is involved in making the school a better place – senior team, class teachers, governors, SIP partners and because they are web based it means that they can be accessed any time on any device.
How do they support school improvement – or are they just to tick the Ofsted box?
The name “Inspection Coach” can be a bit misleading. Whilst it definitely does help to prepare for inspections; where I have seen it used most effectively is as a tool to bring together the improvement stakeholders in school.
I love it when I run in-service sessions with senior teams and we sit around a table and go through the process of selecting a judgement category, answering questions and agreeing success criteria. This process generates top quality professional discussion within very clear and structured parameters. It helps to set expectations of what it takes to be Good and Outstanding, and ensures that together we can take our school forward. Each member of the team is fully aware of what we do well, where we need to improve and what as individuals, we are responsible and accountable for.