What a difference a year makes

Nathan Easey

The Key’s insights manager, Nathan Easey, takes a look at school leaders’ information needs this term.


The autumn term certainly started with a bang here at The Key, with more school leaders and governors using our services than ever before.

There were some definite themes among the most popular topics during September. Most popular were our articles on questions that Ofsted might ask the head and SLT (on our school leader service) and questions that Ofsted might ask governors (on our school governor service). Looking at the 10 articles viewed most by school leaders, no fewer than seven concerned Ofsted, inspection or self-evaluation.

To find out what’s grabbing school leaders’ attention right now, I looked at which topics had seen the biggest change in interest compared to this time last year. I’ve plotted some of them on the graph below.

september-2015-vs-2014-school-leader-needs-changing

It’s easy to guess why some areas have seen such large increases from last year, with school leaders getting to grips with updated statutory guidance on safeguarding or changes to inspection. What interests me most are those areas where there is a clear difference between primary and secondary school leaders. In September 2014, the interest in articles concerning CPD and ITT was the same across both phases. A year on, secondary leaders have more than doubled the rate at which they access this information – far more than primary school leaders.

At the other end of the scale, some themes were accessed a lot last September but seem to be less so a year on, including SEN management and pay and progression. Both areas saw big changes this time last year. I’m not surprised that school leaders have fewer questions now that the changes are more familiar.

Were you surprised at the data? Were there topics you expected to see listed but didn’t? Continue the conversation @TheKeyNathan

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