4. Analyse your data
Analyse your data to determine what it is telling you. When doing this, you should be open-minded and prepared for unexpected or disappointing results. You should also look at all of your data together to get a balanced, holistic view. For help in analysing data, visit guidelines for using data.
In analysing this data, you should consider questions such as:
- Is what we are doing working? Is it having the desired impact?
- What have we learned from this? Could we do anything differently?
- What should we do next?
Be realistic about what your results are telling you about your school, rather than singling out specific items because they are positive. You should acknowledge the things you are doing well, and the things that may need to be improved.
For example, a school may be doing very well in reading but not numeracy, or may have a group of high performers who are doing well but another group of students who are below the national minimum standard.
Different pieces of evidence may tell you different things. If this is the case, you should make an assessment of what all the measures, on-balance, are telling you. For example, if your value-added and other student performance measures are saying one thing, but one measure in SMART is saying another, then you should consider disregarding the outlier measure.
It is also important to identify any gaps in your evidence. That is, based on your current evidence, are there any questions you cannot answer? Keep this in mind when you consider your plans for the future (outlined in step 5).