CASPA’s output is used by a wide variety of people. This article focuses on how CASPA can help Governors in response to questions posed to us by school senior leadership teams and by Governors themselves.
It is unlikely that Governors will use CASPA directly, but Head Teachers need to be able to articulate achievement effectively and back this up with evidence. From the Governors’ perspective, it is crucial that they can understand and challenge Head Teachers on achievement.
As a direct result of discussions, we have gleaned an understanding about what is sensible for Governors to be able to expect from CASPA to help to understand the quality of achievement in school and described this in a slide pack that you can download to use within your school. Since governing bodies are not uniform and have a diverse range of skills and experiences, there is not one answer and if you would do it differently, we would be interested to know so that we can update the guidance we provide.
We intentionally use the word ‘sensible’ above. Governors are unlikely to get involved in the detail or use the CASPA electronic system themselves. However, Governors should be able to be presented with a relevant analysis of achievement in the school without either having to wade through a weighty tome of data, or needing to be a statistical expert.
Unlocking CASPA for Governors
We can all understand child growth charts which display the range of height or weight for a particular age for girls and boys. Mark an ‘X’ where your child sits and follow the curve to see what their likely height or weight will be if their growth rate is typical of other similar children.
CASPA works in the same way. The difference is that instead of height, we measure attainment (P Scale or NC Level) and instead of understanding how, for example, a girl’s height changes over time, we understand how an SLD child’s attainment changes over time. Armed with just this knowledge, a whole range of CASPA reporting can be read and understood by most people. The slide pack (download below) we have put together for Governors leads you through how CASPA can help meet the needs of school governing bodies, focusing on the higher-level reporting, but ensuring you have an appreciation for the details that also sits behind them. After all, if you know it is there, you can decide when and how you can reasonably probe into the higher-level reporting.