Background and Challenges
In July 2019, Trueman Change successfully delivered an independent evaluation of a Primary Maths Improvement Offer (PMIO) for a Midlands City Council, as part of a Department for Education-funded Opportunity Area scheme. The team consisted of a Project Officer, a Project Manager and an Education Specialist.
There were areas of focus and importance for our clients, within the three key aims. For example, attainment in children from more deprived backgrounds, the transition journey from primary to secondary school, and recruitment of maths specialists to teaching.
The project had three key aims:
- Improving student outcomes
- Developing teaching and learning
- Developing leadership capacity
The key challenges were:
- The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the final phase of the evaluation was redesigned and delivered remotely.
- The pandemic had prevented SATs, a key data source, taking place in 2020. This led to a redesign of the final phase of the evaluation.
- This evaluation started mid-project, before the end of the original timeframe for implementing all actions within the original PMIO proposal.
- Some of the data collection took place in schools, meaning robust safeguarding processes needed to be in place.
Trueman Change Involvement
The Trueman Change team designed a three-phase evaluation to find out whether the PMIO had delivered on its key aims and identify how the outcomes had been achieved. Data was gathered over the three phases: surveys, workshops and interviews in November 2019 and February 2020, then a case study undertaken in November 2020. In total, interviews and workshops were held in 32 schools and questionnaire responses were received from 37 schools.
We worked with a range of participants, including teachers, pupils, school leaders and project staff to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.
Formative reports, with working hypotheses, were delivered at two points during the project, with a final report bringing together all our findings and making recommendations.
Throughout the evaluation, we kept in touch with the commissioners through fortnightly one-page highlight reports and monthly keeping-in-touch meetings.
Outcomes and Solutions
- Evaluation delivered on time and on budget
- A final report which answered key questions and accurately reflected the story of the PMIO
- Robust recommendations for future action to continue the benefits of, and make improvements to, the PMIO
- Presentation of findings to key strategic groups