Automating work scrutiny
Work scrutiny is one of those jobs that can get put on the back burner and then end up never getting done if you're not careful. It can be tedious, difficult to arrange and time-consuming.
And I should stress that I'm no big brother manager - I happen to think that most people, left to their own devices, work hard and do a good job. As a result, under Douglas McGregor's X/Y management theory I tend toward Y - the assumption that the vast majority of people enjoy their work and want to do a good job.
That said, I recognize the need for occasional checks and balances to ensure that there is a degree of consistency across the organization, that no one is struggling, and that pupils are getting the help they need. Work scrutiny is just one of the many tools at managers' disposal to ensure that things are ticking along nicely. It's an important one, but boy can it be labourious...
To circumvent the worst of the logistical and bureaucratic aspects of the task I decided to automate the process as far as possible. Here's what I did:
I made a Google form like the one below:
The form collects data to a Google spreadsheet to which I have added Autocrat. This amazing little tool allows Google sheet users to merge the data in their sheet to a template document for sharing with anyone they specify. By asking for the initials of the scrutinized teacher in the above form I ensured that the document could be shared easy and automatically once complete (at Oswestry e-mail addresses are teacher initials, followed by a standard suffix).
So, having set up the form I then sent out a letter like this to a random sample of top, middle and bottom pupils from each year group (one from each is all you need to get a flavour for what's going on). Once the books and files had been deposited on my desk I set to work.
Once I had flicked through a book and filled in the form above (the work of minutes), Autocrat sent out a shared document like the sample below. The paper trail is tight - ready for when an inspector calls...!