Step 5: Using the Inclusive Practices Tools to review progress
Step 5: Key points about using IPT to review progress
- Use the Inclusive Practices tools and consultation processes to review actions and progress
- Reflect on changes, successes, and barriers and sharing these with the school community
- Revise the action plan and resources needed
- Start a new self-review cycle, and share the plan with your community
Information for Step 5
Step 5 is about reviewing and reflecting on progress. During Step 5, schools re-use the Inclusive Practices survey tools to collect data to review actions. We suggest that a formative review of progress happens annually, and a major review after 3-5 years.
Using the Inclusive Practice Tools to review process
Inclusive Practices data can be used to review longer term progress, and assess the impact of activities in your action plan. This is the focus of Step 5 of the self-review cycle. This information sheet offers some ideas about using the Inclusive Practices Tools to review progress against your action plan.
Repeating the Inclusive Practices Tools
You could be using the Inclusive Practices Tools to explore overall short or longer term changes, or to explore the outcomes from a particular activity in your action plan.
The Inclusive Practices Tools can be repeated annually or bi-annually to contribute to a formative review of action plan activities. After a year or two some patterns may start to become visible in your data. Your data may also show areas that need more attention or resourcing. A more intensive review can occur at the end of a 3-5 year cycle. By this time patterns should be more clearly visible in the data.
Common longer-term data patterns
When comparing data over time it is important to consider common patterns. When schools start a new focus an initial burst of activity in the first year or two can be followed by a plateau. Unless a new cycle of change is started, a return to previous practices can be likely.
Research suggests that this is a common pattern in schools that are working to change school culture, as over time, staffing changes and other priorities take over. Therefore it is important to see school review as an ongoing journey rather than a one-off change, and to plan for the longer-term. One way of doing this is to plan a more intensive review of progress at the end of a 3-5 year cycle.
Monitoring progress and using formative feedback
Like curriculum design and review, making changes to school approaches is best viewed as a cyclic process. This process also involves monitoring and making ongoing adjustments if necessary. We suggest that you undertake a formative review of how you are tracking in relation to activities in your action plan at least every year or second year. As part of this process you could collect feedback from students, staff, and parents, whānau and caregivers.
For a formative review, it is important to explore perceptions and improve the effectiveness of the processes you are using. The sorts of questions that could be asked are:
- Have we been able to start all planned activities? Did we allocate enough resources?
- What is going well? Are there things that could be improved?
- How engaged are people with the new approaches? Is everyone doing them?
- To what extent does everybody have a shared understanding of what we are trying to achieve?
- To what extent has everybody been able to access learning opportunities, and were these effective?
As well as feedback from those most involved in the process, it can be important to collect other data to assess the impact of the new approaches in your action plan (see Step 2 - Gathering data and assessing needs)
The action plan template encourages you to think about what data you could collect. Repeating the IPT Staff, Community and Student Surveys, and the SRP is one form of data.
Reviewing the action plan
After 3-5 years you can use the Inclusive Practices Tools to support a more intensive review of your action plan. The focus of this review is on exploring the extent to which the activities in your action plan are making a difference. This review is likely to result in new goals and a revised action plan.
You may want to use the Inclusive Practices tools to look for a global shift towards your goals or to assist you to evaluate whether particular activities in your action plan have made a difference.
Collecting more than one source of data can give you a stronger sense that changes you see are related to the activities in your action plan. As you repeat the Inclusive Practices process, this is a good time to hold feedback sessions with the students, staff, and parents, whānau and caregivers who have been most involved with activities in your action plan. They may also have suggestions for new priorities.
When you developed your action plan you may have also specified other sources of data that could give you some information about whether changes you planned would make a difference. What does this information show you? Some data that could be used for this purpose are discussed in Using the Inclusive Practices Tools to collect data (info for Step 2).
If the data and feedback you get from different sources shows a similar picture about the effectiveness of the activities in your action plan – then you can be more assured that these activities are making a difference.
Sharing results with the school community
Change in schools is more successfully managed when the wider school community are fully informed and onboard. Therefore, it is important to share findings (or a summary of findings) with all staff, students, and parents, whānau and caregivers. You might want to use the School at a Glance reports for this purpose.
Holding a staff and community workshop to share and interpret results is one way of creating space to reflect on changes, successes, and barriers to change. This sharing could assist your review team to revise your action plan. You could present staff and community groups with a list of possible priorities developed from your review. This could involve a continued focus on existing activities, or addressing a new priority. Staff and community members could then vote on the 3-5 most important things they would like to see in a revised action plan.
What next? Revising your action plan and starting a new review cycle
Once you have reviewed your data and collected feedback, the next step is to revise your action plan. Your review may show that some existing activities need further development and monitoring. Your review may also suggest that other activities in your plan have been effective in achieving your goals. At this point you may need to re-prioritise the goals and actions in your plan. Decide on the 3-5 priorities that are now the most important as you start a new cycle of change. Developing new priorities will assist you to engage in an ongoing journey to strengthen inclusive practices at your school.