Would there be any real advantages in me abandoning my paper-based/excel observation procedure?

observation procedures











Paper Based Observation Forms


  • Completed Observation Forms are filed away, they are not readily available, nor easily shared, they are easily lost and not always to hand to be reviewed at next observation.
  • If more than one printed copy is produced they can get out of ‘sync’.
  • Quality auditing takes longer as Observation Forms are in a file.
  • If Ofsted criteria changes forms need to be reprinted.
  • Cost of paper, ink cartridges staff time etc due to the need to supply paper forms to staff involved.

Advantages of using a web based electronic Observation Form – e-observations 

  • Saved electronically, readily available 24/7.
  • Shared controlled resource, different access levels for different staff members.
  •  Available for viewing at next observation, updating action plans, appraisals, performance management .
  • Save time when quality auditing as not searching through files.
  • Criteria fully customisable by you for every section of the Observation form.
  • E-observations reduce staff time and save money. 

2.Excel Spreadsheet for collecting data and analysing results



  • Time consuming – criteria grades from each observation need to be manually entered into spreadsheet.
  • Human error in entering grades.
  • Difficulty in producing timely management reports.

Advantages of using a electronic system whereby grades entered on the Observation

  • Form by observers automatically update tutors’ records and feed into reports
  • Saves time – reduces the need for double entry
  • Eliminates human error
  • Timely management reports are available at the click of a button.


3. Separate database for maintaining and tracking action points



  • Time consuming – have to be copied from Observation Form and to keep in ‘sync’ with updates of completion dates the Observation Form and the database need to updated.
  • Not always easy to see what action points are overdue therefore not an effective method of ensuring timely compliance.
  • Cannot see at a glance the support and training given to individual staff to increase their capacity to improve their teaching practices further. 

 Advantages of using an electronic Observation System

  • Action points with dates can be automatically logged and coloured icons used to indicate action points completed and overdue.
  • Monitoring of timely completions is made easy.
  • An effective logging method makes it very easy to demonstrate to Ofsted and other external agencies what actions are being taken to improve standards.


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