Leading a vision walk

If you are not sure how to get your team to buy into a vision, here is an activity that may help. It is also great professional development for everyone involved.

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ASCL magazine features iAbacus

We are delighted that Andrew Clay, Head of Counden Court School, was featured in the ASCL magazine, Leader, talking about how the school uses iAbacus to develop its middle leaders.

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Tackling work-related stress

There are a number of ways that schools can use iAbacus® to tackle the worrying issue of work-related stress. Here we outline three of them.

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Taming the HGIOS beast

School in Scotland – are you struggling to tame the HGIOS beast? iAbacus can help you to use HGIOS to self-evaluate your provision and develop action plans.

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How do you KISS? We’ll show you

When it comes to management information systems, more features and options often in reality means more complicated and more time-consuming. We want to show you a solution that is deceptively simple and effective.

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Judgement before evidence. How come?

We recently received a Tweet asking why the iAbacus process asks users to make a judgement before inputting evidence. It is a subject near to the heart of founder John Pearce. Here he explains why.

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Reviewing and improving governance is easy with iAbacus

You know strong governance is critical, but do you know your governing board is as good as it could be? What are your options for reviewing and improving effectiveness? There are several things you could do. Commission an external consultant to do a...

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Pupil Premium – Self-Evaluation and Action Planning

Educational Consultant Jasbir Mann points up key information about Pupil Premium and offers a Draft Self-evaluation and Action Planning template to help colleague headteachers and governors evaluate the impact of Pupil Premium and improve their plans for 2014-15. What...

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What is it about the iAbacus?

  Gerald Haigh, freelance journalist, author of a number of educational leadership books and ICT guru, investigated the iAbacus and interviewed headteachers to uncover why it’s unique and innovative. The full article is available here:...

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The iAbacus goes to Dubai

Last month we highlighted our venture into Wales with the iAbacus mapped to the Estyn framework - this month we celebrate an exciting move further around the globe to Dubai. We now have senior leaders using the iAbacus, pre-populated with criteria from the Dubai...

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Improved PDF reports

Have you created a PDF report in your iAbacus account recently? If you have - you’ll have noticed that the front page now displays a full summary abacus showing all your judgements (just like the interactive abacus in your online account). This full abacus allows the...

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The iAbacus Improvement Model

Those of you who know John’s work will realise the iAbacus improvement model emerged from proven education developments in the late 1900s and early 2000s. Unusually, if not uniquely, it combines the emotional intelligence required in effective self-evaluation, action...

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This month’s focus iAbacus: Literacy

As you may already know, the iAbacus contains a template for the evaluation of literacy provision, designed to support subject leaders planning to improving provision and standards in literacy. The detailed criteria used in this template are from the Literacy...

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Schools in Wales – watch this space!

After John’s work training System Leaders in South Wales and a very successful networking event in Llandudno last month, we are on the cusp of launching an iAbacus customised for school self-evaluation in Wales using the Estyn Common Inspection Framework (CIF). This...

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No more flipping coins – it’s time to trust the iAbacus

At iAbacus we’ve always known that school improvement begins and ends with what teachers think and do. So, we’ve always worked alongside you and your staff. We didn’t stand over you hectoring you about what you could have done, or should be doing. We’ve always put...

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New subject-specific self-evaluation templates available

Have you seen the new subject-specific templates available in your iAbacus account? More importantly - Have you told colleague subject leaders about them? Each of the new templates is pre-loaded with the appropriate subject-specific criteria and guidance published by...

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Famous Five go to Ofsted (and the demise of lesson grades)

There is no doubt in my mind that what the Famous Five achieved in “Ofsted Grade-gate” is a real break-through. Well done all! ”No more grading of individual lessons”. I’m not sure it has sunk in yet. Certainly, we must reiterate, promote and further interpret the...

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Bett Awards 2014 – “And the winner is…”

  We’re delighted because, less than a year into our story, the iAbacus has been shortlisted for a prestigious Bett Award in the category for ICT Leadership and Management Solutions. So, next week, out come the dinner jackets and black ties as we head down to...

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This month’s focus: iAbacus for Governance

  Effective School Governance is now a high profile national issue. Discussions about quality, the need for scrutiny and potential payment clearly relate to specific cases but the new regulations and guidance, compound the pressures on all Governing Bodies....

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Opportunities to work with us

In less than one year, the iAbacus is proving to be an exciting new tool with enormous potential. We know many of you share this view and we thank you for collaborating with us. We want to expand our network, explore wider thinking and yes, even share the rewards, so...

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A true story about performance management.

There's a low grumbling noise coming from the school hall. It's the sound of cautious chatter as the entire staff: teachers, teaching assistants and senior leadership team assemble for the highly anticipated session on 'setting objectives for appraisal'. With all the...

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Make appraisal a natural part of what we do…

Learning from theory, research and each other The bolt on inspection, observation or appraisal, undertaken in clip-board mode by an expert, “to improve performance” is usually mistrusted, often resented and even refused. This is because there is nothing more...

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Teacher Appraisal – Reassuring the unconvinced…..

You've invested time and energy in agreeing your school's Appraisal Policy. The document is printed the CPD booked - Job Done! The Summer break looms... and yet, there’s a nagging suspicion about unfinished business. You’ve met statutory requirements but have you won...

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What do we want? Appraisal! When do we want it? Now!

Appraisal is self-evaluation shared. Why is there such little open debate and discussion about the impact of the new appraisal regulations in schools? Teachers tell me there is a lot of confusion amongst colleagues and head teachers, so why aren’t the BLOGerati and...

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The iAbacus – trains and beads and plans

Written in response to the comment, "Explain the iAbacus  to me simply and don't use jargon!" Once upon a time... When I was little, I loved pushing a toy train, making those "chuff-chuff too-toot" noises. I was in that train embarking on some epic journey. Later, I...

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Protect us from external inspection and quality control!

Picture the scene….. We're working away on the iAbacus project and my business partner Dan is describing his motivation. I know what he is trying to say and I agree. It’s all about being enablers, facilitating the thinking of others, encouraging internal quality...

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What should we DO about numbers and judgements?

I often ask little people, “How old are you?” and they nearly always get it right, saying “I’m four!” often adding “and three quarters…” Then I add, “Four what?” Most are completely stuck. Cue laughter at the innocence of children, “Tee hee, they know they are four...

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