What are the aims of the CQA?

The NAHT Aspire Collaborative Quality Analysis (CQA) is a holistic approach to understanding a school’s strengths and areas of improvement. Through a set of joint activities involving school staff, Governing Body representatives and NAHT Aspire Achievement Advisers, a rich picture as well as a set of grounded judgements are agreed. These set the scene for future working and give a benchmark against which to measure progress. The process is designed around five questions, which in turn key into the development strands of the Quality Framework for School Development:

  • How well is the school set for leading and managing change? (Leadership)
  • How well does the school promote and foster environments that support learning and motivation? (Learning Environment)
  • How well does the school use assessment, data, and feedback to promote learning? (Assessment for Learning)
  • How good are opportunities for learning and developing learners? (Pedagogy & Curriculum)
  • How well does the school use its internal and external resources to meet the range of need for all learners? (Student & Family Support)

What happens in a CQA?

First of all Head Teachers and NAHT Aspire Achievement Advisers review the formats and content of the Key School Data collection and the six Audit Activities and create a plan for how they will work on them together. Typically for a primary school a full day will be set aside for the ‘Spotlight on Learning’ which involves looking at learning opportunities across the classes, with another day for the other five Audit Activities.

The CQA activity concludes with a session that draws together what has been learned to create an overall profile of strengths and areas for improvement. The profile brings together and presents the judgements against the five questions and the Quality Framework for School Development Strands. The judgements are also sorted in relation to the main dimensions in Ofsted inspections such that they, with the supporting evidence gleaned through the Audit Activities, make a substantial contribution to a school self evaluation portrayed in Ofsted terms.


What happens as a result of completing a CQA?

Schools that follow on from the CQA into the NAHT Aspire Programme are able to fine tune their implementation journey to their particular school’s circumstances. At least annually the school and their supporting Achievement Advisers can step back and take stock of the impact of working together and think about how the school’s new baseline should influence the next stage of partnership.