It’s fair to say that I wasn’t that impressed by the Data Dashboards. And I wasn’t the only one. Philip Moriarty, a school governor who happens to be a Professor of Physics in Nottingham, and therefore understands numbers more than most people, wrote a piece in 2014 which quoted me and made similar criticisms to those I’d levelled. In Lies, damned lies, and Ofsted’s pseudostatistics, Philip wrote the following:
My recommendation in 2015 was that ‘Ofsted thinks long and hard about how it replaces what is currently published.’ The good news is that it looks like they have.
For those who do want to influence education policy, I can highly recommend Sam Freedman’s talk at the 2016 Festival of Education, in which he discusses ways in which it is possible to do just that. And in the meantime, let's hope that the demise of the Data Dashboard indicates a small move towards a better understanding that schools are complex places, and that we shouldn't read too much in to fuzzy numbers generated within the education sector.