About conducting surveys
As with other monitoring tools, these tools are best done as ‘before’ and ‘after’ surveys to monitor attitudinal changes over time. The survey questions address all 12 principles, at the three phases of development, for Students, Staff and Team Leaders.
A staff survey can give valuable insights of how things are working in practice, whether staff share team leaders’ views, and how this compares with LQS approaches.
What to do
Decide when to carry out the survey and consider:
- using existing meetings already planned
- making the questionnaire available on-line
- new meetings specifically time- tabled
Decide who should take part in the survey
The survey may involve all members of staff or a representative sample of all sections of staff. It should include both teaching and support staff.
- what is realistic, achievable and cost effective
- logistics of analysing results
- the sample size and, if less than 100% of a group, what criteria will be used to select
- you may not need to sample the same proportion of each group (eg 50% of Faculty Heads and 20% of standard scale)
- decide composition of groups (e.g. all post holders, staff in post less than 2 years)
Consider how the survey will be conducted
- Assign someone to manage the process.
- Determine survey methods: will you use the same method for all groups?
- use of questionnaires and/or group or individual discussion
- use of disinterested external facilitators for groups
- management of confidentiality and use of information
- supporting documentation to accompany questionnaires
- coding of questionnaires and feedback sheets by staff category for ease of data analysis
- guidance notes or briefing for facilitators (if you use them)
Making sure a survey will work
What to do:
- Prepare documentation (questionnaire, group discussion questions, etc) or adapt the examples given in this guide.
- Prepare an analysis format
- Run a pilot survey with a sample group in a large school.
- You might use the LQF steering group as guinea-pigs.
- understanding of language and terminology
- difficulties encountered
- time taken
- ease of analysis
Amend the documentation as a result of the pilot.
Undertake the survey.
You may need to add notes to the front of the questionnaire or use a few minutes of a staff meeting to introduce it. Be sure to explain:
- why staff have been asked to take part
- there are no right or wrong answers
- they are encouraged to answer honestly
- the results will be confidential
- what the next steps will be, i.e. what happens to the information
- their contribution is valued
Inform staff of survey results.
A word of warning!
Experience shows that staff will be very honest in completing the survey and that the results can sometimes come as a shock, even to the most open and communicative team leaders. Sometimes staff interpret questions from a different perspective than leaders. You may also discover areas where what you thought was happening is not happening at all, or only partially. Finding out this sort of thing can help you plan more focused action.