QAI’s Future Ready School Index (FR101)
The QAI Future Ready School Index (FR101) is a 5 level readiness index (Level 1 to 5) that provides schools an opportunity to asses their current levels of readiness on the QAI’s Future Readiness Framework and to receive top-level inputs and guidelines to understand the key areas that need to be considered for improvement and implementation while preparing to become a future ready school.
The self-assessment questionnaire ( to be completed by the School Management, School Principal or an Authorised official of the School ) will also help schools analyse their current practices and understand the areas of strengths and areas that may need some improvement for which the school may plan programmes covering the Teachers, Parents and the Students.
The self-assessment questionnaire contains 100 questions/statements, grouped under 8 sections.
The responses to the questionnaire are assessed in an automated way by the QAI FRI calculator and the school will receive an instant top-level view of your school’s future readiness classified under the 8 sections including their sub-sections as detailed below.
Learner Focus (including Assessing learner profile & disposition and Personalisation of learning)
A recent OECD report concluded that the researchers saw little positive link between the use of technology by learners and achievement and in some cases saw that use of technology in education was damaging in particular the development of writing skills.
It is not within the scope of this document to tackle each particular issue in the OECD report but the OECD report does highlight that unplanned use of technology is not the simple magic bullet that will positively transform learner experience for the future.
The technology has to be harnessed for learning achievement and has to be used for the learner benefit. But to try to ban the use of technology, to restrict its usage in any meaningful way will be counter intuitive to our young learners. They operate in a real world of hand-held & wearable devices and constant on line presence. That world will not disappear.
We see benefits for learners in the following practices that will help to ensure that the school is ready for the future in terms of the learner development and achievement:
- Adoption of data collection on individual learners to check individual progress and learning.
- Using data to not only identify gifted and talented learners but those with special needs, identifying learning styles and creating a unique learner profile for all learners.
Truly personalised learning is impossible without technology if a school is dealing with a cohort of any size. And personalised learning is very important for the school of tomorrow and for our learners. Class and collegiate progress are still important but learners should be able to progress at their own speed.
Curriculum (including Articulation of learning outcomes, Emphasis on ‘threshold concepts’ and Adoption of a futuristic curriculum)
We also see a need for schools to adopt a different approach to the curriculum, if they are truly going to be seen as future ready.
It will be impossible to predict the actual curriculum that will be required but a framework of how curriculum planning is approached and a willingness to change and review is important.
We seek a broad curriculum that will stretch our children including learning to learn programs but also physical education and entrepreneurship.
QAI, UK sees merit in looking more at learning outcomes and defining the curriculum in terms of outcomes rather than simply stating broad curriculum areas. What is the desired result in terms of level, depth and breadth that is required from a course of learning and how will stakeholders be able to recognise the outcomes of a particular course of study.
We think that the curriculum in a number of key subjects needs to be rethought to highlight areas that are key; to really focus on the concepts that are central to the mastery of a subject.
A focus on these ‘threshold concepts’ enables teachers to make the often difficult decisions on what is fundamental in a subject curriculum and allow learners to obtain real and more complex insights rather than just rote learning or mimicry. We term this approach teaching to threshold competences.
And clearly we want to see a school that is looking to the future in its curriculum development and planning not simply adopting traditional tried and tested routes and ideas.
As we have said above it will be impossible to predict the future for curriculum content in schooling but we must have the mechanisms in place to recognize when change is necessary and required and have the structures in place to allow change to occur
Professional Development of Teachers (including Professional development for teachers and Teaching with CLIL)
This change to the learner experience will also require a fresh approach to teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It will not be sufficient to train as a teacher in a single subject and then imagine that the skills and knowledge learned in that initial teacher training process will be sufficient to last a lifetime.
Institutions will need to invest time and resources in providing teachers with appropriate and forward thinking CPD. Individual teachers must also see the benefit of undertaking fresh training and be willing to commit to these processes.
Reward structure and promotion structure should be linked to CPD to provide an incentive for all to use the systems.
This will be a challenge to individual schools who should think in terms of collaboration with other schools and learning institutions such as Universities as how best this learning can be applied.
Assessment of how effective CPD has been is also important and once again time and resources have to be found to ensure the effectiveness of any CPD Program.
And not only should CPD apply to the teachers but to all staff in the school. All staff play a vital role in delivering education.
QAI, UK believes that English is important for the future ready school as English is the language of business and technology. But it is not simply that English is taught as a separate subject but we think that it should be integrated into the whole academic environment, where content and language integration takes place in the teaching-learning process.
Teaching-Learning Innovation (including Flipped & Mastery learning, Collaborative learning, Heautagogy and Learning innovation)
As with investment in teacher training so investment in new types of delivery of learning will be required.
Each school will discover what best suits their institution and its learners but we believe the type of indicators that will be successful to be as follows;
Flipped & Mastery learning - Learning does not solely need to be practiced within the strict confines of the school building or timetable. Technology allows for learning in many locations and evidence has shown that flipped learning is effective in allowing the student time to practice some of the rote learning and simple routine tasks outside the formal classroom and use valuable classroom time to discuss, analyse and reflect on their findings. The whole traditional school system is simply turned on its head or flipped. It is a powerful tool for learning made possible by technology.
Collaborative learning - Technology makes true collaborative learning possible by allowing access and sharing. We see a future where learners work closely together in formal and informal teams and share their own knowledge and ideas with each other not bound by geography or class rooms. One of the best forms of learning is teaching and we are looking for examples of how learners can pass on their knowledge to others.
Above all we believe that the successful schools of the future will have systems and processes to allow for self-directed learning. We want to see that the learner themselves have a voice in their studies. This concept of learning style is termed ‘Heautagogy’ and will shape the learning of tomorrow.
Self-directed learning (Heautagogy) - How will the school of the future capture the natural curiosity of every child and encourage support and challenge creativity innovation and entrepreneurial spirit?
How this is achieved surely must be the most important challenge for any school that wishes to make sustainable plans for the future, as well as firing up the imagination. We are looking for evidence of self-directed learning. The power of technology offers unlimited free knowledge and access to all kind of curriculum from ancient archaeology to advanced Chinese language but how are the sources of this learning adequately curated for? The internet itself does not discriminate.
The explosion of free or affordable learning material does not guarantee the quality of the material and the teacher or school must be able to position itself as guides and support to the individual learner.
Teachers will also have to recognise that they cannot be the sole expert in every field of study but they do need to be able to recognise the quality of material to guide the learner.
This is perhaps one area that does not need technology itself but needs the support and assistance of a skilled workforce who understands the new learning, the power of self-directed learning and can act as expert curator.
This will need a change in mind set for the teacher to see themselves not as the sole owner and supplier of knowledge but enabler and guide to a wider variety of sources.
This presents challenges as well as opportunities.
- How will classes be set?
- How will progress through years be achieved?
- How will academic and social development be managed?
Assessment and Qualifications (including Assessment of learning and Innovation in assessment)
Assessment of learning is a key plank of any learning program. The curriculum (what is taught), the pedagogy (how it is taught) and the assessment (ensuring that learning has been delivered effectively) are the three legs of learning that need to balance to ensure that learning is secure.
New technology has allowed assessment to be more reliable and secure and reduced the administrative burden of assessment enormously.
Schools should have plans for effective assessment of all learning and ensure that the results of the assessments are transparent and shared with all stakeholders.
Assessments should be standardised and benchmarked against international standards and recognised qualification frameworks.
At the same time assessment for learning setting a system of formative assessments that can be applied for learners to check on their progress is a fantastic tool for learning and we urge that all schools review and plan their processes for assessment for learning too.
Innovative Learning Spaces (including use of Mobile and handheld devices , AR, VR, Game-based learning and Educational and development Apps)
New technology is all around us and developing at a fantastic rate. Handheld and wearable devices are immensely powerful tools offering unlimited knowledge at a tap of a screen.
But schools have been wary of the use of technology in the school environment. QAI, UK has noted that most schools ban or limit the use of mobile phones within the school and there is no doubt that the new technology can distract. But this is pushing against the tide. We all have rapidly adapted to the potential of mobile devices and we would expect schools to harness that power; not pretend that it doesn’t exist with WiFi access in every area on tap on demand. We recognise the power and dangers of the internet and want all learners to be given guidance and training on cyber security and safety.
New technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, game based learning and educational apps all offer high potential for the school of the future and we would expect schools to be active in finding ways of incorporating these new exciting styles of learning into their curriculum and school.
Learning to Code & Computational Thinking
One area we think essential is the inclusion of coding and computational thinking for every child at a number of levels and, if possible, embedded into every aspect of the new curriculum. Learners must see technology and coding as natural, as part of their everyday lives and not something alien and foreign.
The educational technologies of today are Robotics, 3D printing, Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Understanding coding will be the gateway to embedding new education technologies as they unfold.
External Linkages to Employers and Higher Education
Schools have much to achieve and only limited resources to achieve some challenging goals.
QAI, UK thinks that effective links with both the Employers and the Higher Education providers is essential for all schools.
These links can take many different shapes ranging from entering and coaching to visits to internship to even housing employers within the school demonstrating the link of the school in its own community.
Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) should not be seen as remote unknown institutions but valuable resources to be used.
Employers are usually supportive and keen to be involved in local education and can offer schools help with mentoring and career guidance and allowing learners to see how their learning will be applied
In overall summary QAI, UK thinks that the indicators for a school that is truly Future Ready are:
- Providing high quality teaching and learning;
- Using the opportunities provided by developments in technology and improved knowledge of effective learning approaches to provide innovative ways of engaging, motivating and helping children and young people learn;
- Ensuring, through focused assessment and tracking, on-going evaluation of learners’ progress, what they need to do next and how best to achieve this.
- Supporting learners by effective use of technology and management information systems;
- Using a variety of learning approaches, such as carefully planned pupil groupings, catch up, stretch, and intensive one-to-one tuition;
- Engaging with learners so they are involved in their own learning and issues affecting the school as a whole;
- Engaging with parents to ensure they are involved and supporting their child’s learning and development;
- Playing a key role in children and young people’s wider development; self-respect, teamwork, leadership, citizenship, responsibilities and relationships
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