Case study 1

Using ESM to help improve the quality of learning and progress (SEF A2.2) also helps improve equality and diversity (SEF section 4)

The school wanted to identify differences in the learning attitudes of different groups of students. According to the schools achievement data on progress statements there was no difference between different groups of students at KS3. Raiseonline was of no use for current KS3 students.

The school used the survey to identify the difference between high performing students, (L5 on entry) and low performing students (L3 on entry and a large part of the SEN group). The survey found that high performing male students did not feel that they work hard or were challenged significantly less than HP female and the low performing students. The survey highlighted a difference between teacher views (through the reporting system) and student views.

Further investigation through one to one interviews with students and lesson observations confirmed the view that there was insufficient challenge and differentiation for high performing students and that boys within this group were not enjoying their learning.

A league was created for the boys to encourage competition and intervention through one to one interviews continued. As a result the high performing boys attitudes towards their learning changed and the school continues to work at differentiation. The schools use of ESM enabled it to independently check its reporting system at KS3. The school was able to demonstrate the identification of an achievement gap and strategies to close it.


Case study 2

Using ESM to improve the extent to which students feel safe (SEF A2.5) and the quality of learning for SEN students (SEF A2.3)

The survey was used to contrast the views of SEN students and their peers. They were given a different code from the additional courses function, so that the different student groups data could be separated. The survey found that SEN girls felt less safe around the school and on the way to school than their peers. They also reported being bullied more and felt that the College was not as effective in dealing with bullying.

The SEN girls in different year groups met with student leaders and teachers to explore reasons for this perception. The girls were feeling uncomfortable around a particular group of older students within the college and had low levels of self esteem.

The girls were then offered the chance to work with learning mentors to improve their self confidence and were given safety tips for their journeys to school and around school. The system for dealing with bullying was explained to them in detail and they were given case studies of successful action.

The identification by ESM of differences in the extent to which students felt safe led to some SEN girls reporting bullying more and the school was able to take action as a result. The girls felt more supported and safer as a result and this was measured through further ESM surveys.


Shaping Policy
"The Every Student Matters process signals a vital shift towards recognising the necessity of student voice in shaping any modern school policy. The survey is easy to use, accessible to all levels of computer literacy. Students enjoy using it."
Assistant Headteacher - Cornwall Secondary
Contributing to Change
"We have used ESM to consult with our student body to great effect. It has provided us with a substantial amount of student voice information about how the children perceive their learning environment. This has helped us develop ideas with the students to be included in next year’s School Improvement Plan. This led to change in the College"
Member of SLT - Liskeard School
Practical Policy Initiatives
"Over 500 students completed the ESM survey which provided the SLT with some interesting student views on a range of issues. Practical policy initiatives resulted and changes were made to lunchtime organisation, the promotion of healthy eating, initiating more clubs and activities and the implementation of an extended research project for students"
Staff Student Voice Representative - Telford & Wrekin Secondary