Accountability: Peer review should be the norm

We urgently need to rebalance holding schools to account with helping them to improve. As such, peer review – and not Ofsted – should be at the heart of school improvement, says Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the NAHT in SecEd.

Last year, the National Association Head Teacher’s (NAHT) Accountability Commission concluded that the current inspection framework is overstretched, with too little resource to back everything it attempts to achieve.

Following this work, in September this year we published our principles of effective school-to-school peer review document, which proposes that peer review between schools should be the norm, not an exception, and should be at the core of school improvement.

Peer review could be the driving force of the school improvement system. Emerging evidence (NAHT, 2019) shows that schools can improve faster and more sustainably by working together.

Here is what we suggested:

  • We need to commit to better outcomes for all. There should be a shared responsibility to establish improvement across all schools and not just one’s own, including the sharing of good practice identified in reviews. The desire for mutual gain is imperative for success.
  • Peer review should be rigorous and objective. The review team should always consist of peer leaders with the professional distance to give a truly honest appraisal of where the school is in its journey and the experience to insightfully present evidence.

Read many more suggestions and also what a peer review is not Accountability: Peer review should be the norm 

What are your thoughts on peer review? A good or bad idea? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin


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