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Schools – don’t be slaves to data, says governor

Like schools, governors have become enslaved to number-crunching and many are reluctant to throw off the shackles. But tables of figures tell us very little about how to hold leaders to account, argues Nick Campion – so let’s foment a revolution

Many teachers have become enslaved by data - and they don't know how to escape, writes governor Nick Campion

I threw a small hand-grenade – in the shape of an unexpected agenda item – into a recent quality and standards committee meeting. I know, radical. But revolutions all start somewhere, and often from very small sparks. In this case, it was at a governors’ meeting at a rural primary school in Derbyshire.

My metaphorical hand-grenade came in the form of proposing that we might ditch data altogether. Of course, we would have to record statutory data, such as for phonics and Sats. But for everything else, I suggested, we should use teachers’ experience, expertise, judgement and intuition.

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