You say EQ, I say QA

Outburst over coffee this morning from M upon reading something on The Twitter about schools’ EQ processes. Apparently several leaders from different schools have been taking potshots at each other over this matter with each insisting their own QA process is The One True Way. Criticism in this instance appears to have been around the idea that one might be able to attain a clear and coherent overview of one’s colleagues strengths and weakness through “three snapshot observations a year”. Deeply concerned over this for a number of reasons:

  1. Troubled to think that any senior leader in a school would genuinely suggest that their QA process of teaching and learning is solely based upon formal lesson observations used for an appraisal/performance management process.
  2. Concerned that any senior leader would intentionally suggest 1. to be the case in order to Score Points in Social Media squabble.
  3. Confused as to whether the de-facto acronym for this process is EQ or QA. Are we Ensuring Quality or are we Quality Assuring? Admit this confusion reigns even in my own school where EQ and QA are routinely used within the same documents (none of which are written by my good hand, I hasten to add).

Convince self that The Reality Of The Situation must surely be that any self-respecting school leader engages with a range of tools and techniques to ensure quality of teaching and learning in their establishment. Convince self too that senior school leaders around the land are in fact triangulating evidence from a variety of sources in order to quality assure teaching and learning in their establishment. Share these Contentious Conclusions with M who, speaking from experience, immediately suggests replacing ‘triangulation’ with the phrase “from three different places” in order that colleagues not feel threatened by complex vocabulary. Take this suggestion on the chin and embark on lengthy period of mutual declamation of Other People with M. Agree that this is another opportunity to Celebrate Contradictions and pour another coffee.


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