Oshwal Academy, Nairobi

In the words of Oshwal Academy’s (Nairobi) Director of Education, Peter Barton:

Bringing research evidence and evaluation techniques for the improvement of teaching and learning to a total population of 3,600 students and 320 staff across five campuses in two cities in Africa is no easy job…

Well, we never said we’d take the easy road!!

Having just agreed to a three-year programme across the whole Oshwal network for the improvement in use of CEM’s assessment data, we have begun phase two of development.

Initially, Director Stuart Kime visited Kenya for a weekend of training in February 2015, and staff were impressed by his style of training, knowledge, ease in dealing with tricky questions, and his resolve in supporting the Governors in their quest for evidence-based learning.

So, what’s phase two all about?

The brief

The Senior Leadership Team at Oshwal, as a next step in their evidence-based journey, wanted to engage evidencebased.education in developing a programme to overhaul and improve the use of assessment data. What they didn’t want was a quick-fix, two-day training session; instead, they were looking for a sustainable, complete solution, involving staff in a bottom-up process to harness the full power of CEM’s top-quality assessment data, across the whole school network.

The programme

What we did, then, was to base a programme on our assessment data training packages – affordable and blended solutions including, variously, in-school visits, Q&A webinars, a comprehensive video library, and a PDF workbook (and, what seems to be the biggest selling point, our data guru hoodies!).

This would be perfect for one school site, starting from scratch; for such a huge operation as Oshwal, though, without an integrated network-wide data use plan, we needed something that would strip it right back and get everyone on board – from the class teachers, right up to the Board of Governors.

With that in mind, the first step (scheduled for June of this year), is a one-week data audit visit, within which we have planned some early-stage training sessions for staff, 30-minute pre-booked drop-in sessions for any teachers with specific questions, a twilight session with parents to explain the data, and a two-hour presentation/Q&A with the Board of Governors.

Not only are we looking to secure an early buy-in from all involved on this visit, but we have also begun to plan a complete data audit, to see how teachers and school leaders tend to use the data at present. This will then inform the specifics of the training over the next three years.

In year one, we will:

  • provide each campus with a login to access our suite of training videos, allowing them to conduct their own, just-in-time refresher training;
  • offer full email support, and a responsive service – when training on a specific topic is needed, we will create a video or write a guide to meet that need;
  • give access to quarterly Q&A webinars, where staff both at Oshwal and from our other subscriber schools can submit any questions they’d like answered;
  • run a termly two-hour webinar solely for Oshwal staff, to work on particular areas outlined during the data audit.

Years two and three will be similar to each other, and, although the content will depend on the audit process, a two-day pre-planned training visit will be supported by a PDF workbook/guide to certain aspects of data use, as well as all of the above features from year one.

This is a really exciting development for both evidencebased.education and Oshwal Academy, and we will leave the final word to Peter:

I have no doubt that this week-long training, consultation, audit and reflection will move us to the next step [over the next few years] in our search to track, monitor and support student learning in a more concerted way.

evidencebased.education has my whole-hearted support and unqualified recommendation.


If you are interested in our CEM assessment data training packages, or a bespoke solution, similar to that described above, click here for more information, or send an email to jack@evidencebased.education – find us on Twitter at @evidenceinedu for the latest news.

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