External Evaluation

Every 5-7 years, The Schools' Observatory commissions an independent external evaluation. We do this to ensure that we continue to offer a quality service to our users. 

Evaluation 2020

In 2018 The Schools' Observatory adopted an internal strategy and evaluation framework guided by a set of Universal Learning Outcomes, which address the broader aims of the project, primarily influencing attitudes to STEM subjects. In 2019 we commissioned an independent evaluation to see how the project performs against these new outcomes and inform ongoing development. Hope-Stone Research produced the evaluation and report.

Read the full Evaluation Report 2020.

Highlights include:

  • In-depth case studies, including focus groups, lesson observation and interviews, were carried out in 12 schools across the UK and Ireland, covering various age groups and demographics.
  • Over 50 schools answered an online questionnaire, plus another 140 independent users (including international schools).
  • The Schools' Observatory has a strong positive impact on attitudes to STEM with 61% of students reporting that they “feel more interested in STEM” (0% were less interested).
  • The impact of The Schools' Observatory continues outside the school, with 83% of secondary students using the website outside lessons and 75% sharing what they did with friends and/or family.
  • Use of The Schools' Observatory also increases student confidence, with, for example, 71% saying they felt “more able to share skills and knowledge with others".
  • The Schools' Observatory has helped students to rethink their potential careers, with an increased interest in STEM careers.

Previous Reports

The previous report from 2013 from the Centre for Science Education and the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research at Sheffield Hallam University is available here.