Event Summary


Robins Wood House
Robins Wood Road

Date and Time

Wednesday 21 September 2022 (09:30 - 17:00)


£75.00 (£90.00 non-members)

We are delighted to welcome back Tony Davis from the Centre of Creative Quality Improvement (CCQI) to run this blended event on innovative and effective self-assessment reporting and quality improvement plan writing.

Tony’s knowledge and experience of self-assessment has come from his role as a full-time lead with the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) at its inception in 2001 before transferring to the new Ofsted in 2007 as HMI, and we are delighted to welcome Tony back to deliver this informative and interactive session to further support the self-assessment process.

The morning element of today’s event will focus on some of the typical self-assessment issues identified by Ofsted, including:

  • Leaders’ and managers’ evaluation of the college’s performance is inaccurate and does not focus sharply enough on the long-standing weaknesses.
  • Managers do not analyse weaknesses accurately and identify specific actions for sustained improvement.

The Live Self-Assessment model presented challenges the traditional approach to self-assessment – the annual look back at the quality of last year’s provision. Typified by the need to justify one’s self to senior management, funding organisations or inspectorates, traditional self-assessment can often feel overly bureaucratic. Also, writing with a third party in mind leads many staff to make mistakes that have significant consequences for the effectiveness of their quality improvement activities.

Those attending will be offered an opportunity to review their own self-assessment reports.  Staff will be guided through a process of identifying five categories of commonly made mistakes, then through a series of carefully designed collaborative tasks, delegates will practise a formula for writing effective judgements that collectively will produce a roadmap to outstanding for every aspect of their provision.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • use their understanding of Live Self-Assessment to challenge their status quo
  • identify the five most common SAR-writing traps in their own reports
  • use the formula for writing judgements to produce impact-focused text
  • rework incorrectly written judgements
  • avoid bureaucracy and develop a new culture in which self-assessment can thrive.

Following lunch, the afternoon session will consider the next stage of the self-assessment process, challenging some the perceived fundamental approaches to development planning writing, and offer those attending an opportunity to improve both their understanding of the process and their writing skills.  Initially, the afternoon's input will review the Data Springboard, a process which is designed to challenge the data hierarchy in education and training.

Retention and achievement rates simply tell the story of learners who have left; with any quality improvement information which has been derived from this analysis unable to benefit those learners on whom the data was collected. Instead, the Data Springboard, will help staff articulate the difference between indicators and causes, with the information enabling them to identify some of the weakest aspects of their provision and develop project-managed actions that will impact on learners who are on programme now.

The second part of the session will consider the four key issues that typically undermine development plans; delegates will be given a particular lens with which to look at their own development plans. This will then offer an opportunity for those attending to make a judgement within minutes about whether their plan is fit for purpose, or whether the plan's format and content will severely undermine their ability to resolve their issues and become outstanding.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • identify the four most common issues with development plans
  • use their understanding of symptoms and issues to write the text needed for the beginning of a development-plan row
  • use their understanding of the volatile (reactive) data associated with root-cause issues to write effective monitoring strategies
  • clearly articulate the issues associated with jumping to writing ‘actions’ too early in the development-planning process

Please note: this training will offer full access to the CCQI support resources for both sessions.  This session is planned to be delivered through a blended approach, so if you live and work outside the Midlands region, an option to participate online will be available.  If attending in person, delegates are requested to bring access to their own laptop/tablet to ensure that they are able to interact with the online elements of the activities being undertaken during the event.  Guest Wi-Fi access will be available.

What others say:

  • I finally understand self assessment which has never been correctly explained. I understand how and why.  Bexley College
  • Finally, SAR writing seems worthwhile!  Nottingham College
  • Actually, useful and practical. Canterbury College
  • This is embarrassingly simple and understandable. Totton College

This was brilliant, if we don’t have any other training this year I’d be happy to wait until Tony can return. Gloucestershire College

Did you know? This session can be delivered in-house directly to your staff.  For more information about this or any of our other bespoke training opportunities, please contact cpd@skillsedugroup.co.uk.

Key Speakers

Tony Davis

Director, Centre for Creative Quality Improvement

Former HMI and manager of both the ALI and Ofsted Good Practice Databases.

  • How to find us

    Robins Wood House Training Centre is located in Aspley, about 2.5 miles to the north west of Nottingham city centre. It is easily accessible from the M1 (Junctions 25 & 26) and there are public transport links from the city centre. The nearest train station is Nottingham. Car parking at Robins Wood House is free.

    Please click here to find us on Google Maps.  Our postcode is NG8 3NH.

    If you are planning to attend remotely, Zoom joining instructions will be forwarded to you a day prior to the event taking place. If you have any questions or do not receive joining instructions, please call us on 0115 854 1626.

  • Would you like this session delivered directly to your staff?

    If you would like this, or a similar session, delivered to staff within your organisation, please contact our Professional Development team to explore options.

  • Terms and conditions

    Completion of the booking constitutes a contract between yourselves and the Skills and Education Group. In order to receive a refund, all cancellations must be made in writing at least 14 days prior to the event taking place. Non-attendance will result in the place being charged at full cost. Substitutions are welcome and can be made at any time. The Skills and Education Group reserves the right to cancel or alter the event for reasons beyond its control.