Ofsted: Go from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ with Dashboards for Education

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Ofsted inspections are a challenging time for college principals and their teams but the right business intelligence dashboard can help make the difference between a ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ result.

Every college head understands the pressures of an Ofsted inspection; it can make or break careers. Using Dynistics dashboards for education sector can help the whole team focus on key areas.


Recent reforms to bring college inspections in line with schools have come under criticism from leaders, but however they may change, they are not going anywhere. Dashboards can enable staff to translate corporate strategy into goals; everyone will be clear how their area can be enhanced to improve performance.

Ofsted inspections frequently arrive with short notice. Normally calm workplaces become hotbeds of panic, and key information may not be as quick to materialise as hoped. A good dashboard for education can ensure everyone has the facts they need close at hand. It can link to real-time data, which can be set to refresh at a certain time. You constantly track statistical progress and take action long before any inspection. And while you may be able to reel off facts and figures, your team may not. With the right dashboard, when an inspector calls, everyone is ready with the right stats.

Getting off to a strong start

A strong vision is vital. Identify key performance indicators and have a clear infrastructure in place before using your dashboard for education.

With the initial setting up of your dashboards, you can start slowly and gain buy-in from your team. If they understand what you are measuring and there is transparency, they will feel more engaged.

Dashboard benefits include:

  • Consistency

  • Cost and time-saving

  • Real-time information

  • Ease of use

  • Transparency

With colleges facing the strain of £260 million budget cuts coming in 2015/16, efficiency and money-saving measures are vital.

Raising aspirations

A target to enhance performance can become an even greater incentive for success when your team can see figures changing right in front of them. Fostering a motivated and informed workforce can be the difference between a ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ outcome.

In addition, a good report can raise your college’s profile and your own, as exemplified in June by Cowes Enterprise College. Unfortunately, a poor inspection can portray a negative image, and even lead to a resignation.

Recognising value

A recent Ofsted report challenged governors to hold their college to account for the quality of learning provision and outcomes. It also challenged governors to provide thorough monitoring and evaluation of their college’s response to changing local economic and social priorities. This is another area business intelligence dashboards can assist with.

In summary:

  • Dashboards can be a key tool in helping you boost your Ofsted performance

  • Decide which key performance indicators need to be measured and then set up your dashboard accordingly

  • Keep staff informed and make it easy for them to translate corporate strategy into goals

  • Use the ‘real time’ aspect of dashboards to closely monitor statistics on a daily basis;  if an area isn’t on target, you can take action long before any inspector needs to recommend you do

  • Use information to recognise and highlight success, improving morale and performance in the process.





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