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As we approach the end of another academic year, thoughts turn to September and the fresh challenges which await. Perhaps you’re moving schools, or maybe taking on a new role, but even if you’re staying put, you might start making resolutions for the year ahead. Work less, drink more water,... Read More

Why coach?
The promotion of coaching as a leadership style is gaining prominence with lots of people advocating it as an approach. So, what’s in it for you? The development of your staff is a significant responsibility... Read More
April 24, 2019

Contingency planning for Data Managers – A Guide
So contingency planning – that’s a bit boring isn’t it?  Well yes, it is but it’s also really important. You may be asking why do we need a contingency plan for the role of a... Read More
March 1, 2019
By Andrea Dobson , Data Consultant

Informing teacher appraisals using student performance data
Under The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012, schools must appraise teachers’ performance on an annual basis. The regulations apply to school teachers in all maintained schools and unattached teachers employed by a local... Read More
February 4, 2019
Guest Blog By Nigel Sheppard, Deputy Head Teacher, Horndean Technology College

Data Collaboration and the magic Subject Progress Index
Results days have changed dramatically in the last few years. I remember the days when the results would come in on that Wednesday in August and, with a few buttons pressed, you could see not... Read More
December 7, 2018

Seal of Approval – Managing your Unapproved qualifications
‘What do you mean it doesn’t count?’ – it’s a conversation that most of us who have worked in the school data industry will have heard at some point or another.  Qualifications such as Functional... Read More
November 22, 2018
By John Seddon, Data Consultant

Do your staff think privacy first?
It’s easy to approach the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) as a box-ticking exercise. Appointing a DPO (data protection officer), updating policies and procedures, training staff, mapping data and reviewing suppliers are all necessities... Read More
November 9, 2018

Data Collaboration – Breaking New Ground Part 2
You may have read my previous blog in which I discussed our Data Collaboration and the importance of accurate data. This obviously doesn’t just apply to the collaboration and is fundamental to good data management... Read More
September 13, 2018
By Claire Spencer, Head of Consultancy

Data Collaboration – Breaking New Ground Part 1
When Duncan Baldwin contacted me over a year ago with a random message “Claire, it would be useful to have a conversation with your developers/boss”, we at SISRA Limited were really intrigued.  The result of... Read More
September 11, 2018
By Claire Spencer, Head of Consultancy

Sharing your Data to Help Leaders Everywhere
We’ve seen an extraordinary change in school accountability this year. Normally when I say things like that I’m talking about radical change in performance measures imposed on schools by the DfE. This time I’m delighted... Read More
September 7, 2018
Guest Blog By Duncan Baldwin, Deputy Director of Policy, ASCL

Introducing the SISRA Subject Progress Index (SPI)
The Subject Progress Index (SPI) has been introduced into SISRA Analytics Reports for schools involved in KS4 Data Collaborations (from 2018 onwards). The SPI provides a direct indication of how a pupil, class, subject or... Read More
September 4, 2018
By Jon Williams, Technical Director

Data collaboration. The year that was, and what next?
It’s just a year ago since I met the development team at SISRA and we discussed what seemed a rather crazy idea at the time: what if we asked schools if they were willing to... Read More
July 9, 2018
Guest Blog By Duncan Baldwin, ASCL Deputy Director of Policy

Life at SISRA HQ with Nathan, Senior Support
Our support team answer your queries on a daily basis, so we thought you might be interested to hear what they have to say about life at SISRA HQ! Our third Q&A session is with... Read More
April 26, 2018
By Nathan Coyle, Senior Support

The power of together
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years working with school leaders, civil servants and others on the Progress 8 measure, hoping to improve everyone’s understanding of how it works, what we... Read More
December 13, 2017
Guest Blog By Duncan Baldwin, ASCL Deputy Director of Policy

Q&As with Heather Smyth, Senior Support
Our support team answer your queries on a daily basis, so we thought you might be interested to hear what they have to say about life at SISRA HQ! Our second Q&A session is with... Read More
December 8, 2017
By Heather Smyth, Senior Support

Q&As with Bex Heenan, Support Manager
Our support team answer your queries on a daily basis, so we thought you might be interested to hear what they have to say about life at SISRA HQ! We’re starting off with Bex Heenan,... Read More
November 30, 2017
By Bex Heenan, Support Manager

The Science of Science
Confused about Science? There’s a strong chance you are not alone! I’ve had many discussions with schools recently in relation to the reformed Science qualifications, which affect all current cohorts. What’s changed? As part of... Read More
November 17, 2017

Attainment 8 Estimates Data Collaboration
‘The goal is to turn data into information and information into an insight’ – Carly Fiorina If you already use SISRA Analytics you will know what a valuable tool it can be for monitoring students’... Read More
October 12, 2017
Guest Blog By Graeme Smith, Principal, Derby Moor Community Sports College

How Ransomware can cost you your data
On Friday 15th April 2016 the school email systems, the internet and SIMS went down; we then systematically lost access to the servers throughout the day. IT confirmed early on that we had been hit... Read More
September 28, 2017
Guest Blog By Nathan Page, , Data Manager, The Ferrers School

Using Data sets for ‘What if’ scenarios
Using SISRA Analytics for exams analysis? Check. Using it for assessments? Check. Using it to see how things might work out? Read on. The benefits for your SLT, middle managers, and class teachers in using... Read More
August 4, 2017
Guest Blog By Matthew Begg, SIMS and Data Lead Development Manager, Education and Leadership Trust

Hiding behind your Data? A Governor’s perspective
Are you giving your governing body accurate data? Does it allow them to see the full picture? As a governor, I am often presented with a snapshot of the latest assessment, but many of us... Read More
August 4, 2017

How to be a great Data Manager
I stumbled into the role of a data manager. I was coming to the end of a fixed-term contact and saw a position advertised for exams officer and data manager which I thought sounded interesting.... Read More
June 29, 2017

Getting the right results (PT.3)
Welcome to my third and final blog post for this academic year. Hopefully you will have found the tips in my first post Getting Results Day Ready and second post Comparing Against Targets useful. If you find... Read More
June 19, 2017

Comparing against targets (PT.2)
With Results Day fast approaching we will soon be analysing our exams grades against targets at school, faculty, subject and student performance level.  As discussed in my earlier blog ‘Getting Results Day Ready’ preparation is... Read More
June 16, 2017

Getting Results Day Ready (Pt.1)
It’s almost that time of year when we are filled with a mix of dread and nervous anticipation. Whilst chatting with some Data Managers, someone new to the role asked for some results day survival... Read More
June 14, 2017

Shadow Data
The DfE recently released schools shadow data which aligned the changes in point scores for 2017 against 2016 results recently. There were some interesting differences and implications generated by the shadow data. If schools continue... Read More
June 14, 2017
Guest Blog By Nigel Sheppard, Deputy Head Teacher, Horndean Technology College

No Grades? No Problem.
During almost ten years in education, my overall use of data is at an all-time low. I know many people have a need to quantify; whether it’s the number of steps taken with a pedometer,... Read More
May 5, 2017

How does data influence Ofsted judgements?
So; what better thing to do on a Sunday evening but to write some comments about data and the likes! There has been a lot of talk of late about the reliability and validity of... Read More
May 5, 2017
Guest Blog By Nigel Sheppard, Deputy Head Teacher, Horndean Technology College

Use of data in the classroom
When I was thinking about topics for this post, I was reading some of the other blogs that my colleagues and I have written recently and realised that the focus has been on whole school... Read More
March 28, 2017

How to train and engage teaching staff in the use of in-school data
I am guessing that some of you may work in schools where data is used by every member of staff, and is the basis of effective intervention and strategic planning. However, some of you may... Read More
February 14, 2017
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

Too much of a good thing – when data stops being useful
I am very aware that, in our blogs, we are busy giving you lots of ideas about how you can analyse, evaluate and use your data in school. However, possibly the most important point is... Read More
December 5, 2016
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

The dangers of calculating a ‘Subject Progress 8’ score
Here at SISRA, we are currently receiving a few enquiries about how to calculate a ‘Subject Progress 8′ score. I have some serious doubts about the validity of such a score, and if your school... Read More
November 1, 2016
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

Why your Progress 8 score has gone down
The DfE released the 2016 Attainment 8 estimates on Monday (27/9), and schools across the country recalculated their Progress 8 scores, previously calculated using the estimates from summer 2015. Schools across the country also found... Read More
September 28, 2016
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

Effectively tracking and evaluating your new Y11 (pt.2)
As discussed in part 1 of this article ‘Data to avoid for your new Y11’ , for our new Y11 students calculating useful headline figures seems to be a problem. However, there are many ways... Read More
September 15, 2016
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

Data to avoid for your new Y11 (pt.1)
To project or not to project, that is the question…are you worried about how best to evaluate your 2017 cohort? You may be finding that your headline measures don’t seem to be comparable to previous... Read More
September 14, 2016
By Becky St.John, Principal Consultant

Using data effectively to prepare for an Ofsted inspection
The word ‘Ofsted’ can strike fear into most and leave even the strongest of people, a quivering wreck. If this is you, then you’re not alone! Between them, the consultants at SISRA have been involved... Read More
September 8, 2016
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