Observers play a key role in delivering our programme. Our schools and PTs recognize how their contribution is vital for the programme’s sustainability. It is therefore important that the right people are recruited for the role and that they are given enough support.
This activity is designed to help you think further about how best to select the observers, and how to support them.
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1. Observers should not be paid (except for expenses). They are performing a role that is intrinsic to their work in their respective fields.
2. Observers should be experts in inclusive education and not need to be trained before monitoring the programme’s impact.
3. Observers should be paid so that we attract the best in their field.
4. It is vital that observers are briefed on each pilot school they visit, including contextual information on the challenges the school and wider community face, before they are asked to make any assessment of the impact of the training.
5. Observers must be ready to accept they may not be familiar with effective approaches to promoting inclusive education. They must be willing to be trained in new ideas and approaches.
6. The observers need to represent a range of disciplines that are needed to ensure that inclusion is successful. They should reflect different gender, ability and ethnicity groups as far as possible and include those with experience of working in the field of education, of teaching, or advocating on behalf of learners who are vulnerable to exclusion.
7. Our observers need to have the skills and experience to be able to identify when teachers may have tried to ‘window dress’ to look better than they might really be, during observed lessons. This includes teachers using lessons previously taught in order to look good in front of the observers.
8. Observers must be good at processing information, have the ability to listen and communicate effectively, to ask pertinent questions and give feedback in a diplomatic way.
9. Observers need to be aware of every child’s right to a good education, and the responsibility of mainstream schools to promote the inclusion and achievement of all their learners.
10. Observers must be senior officers in their organisations.