Unit 3.6 Reducing within school variation


In any school there is variation in standards and quality across areas of provision and classrooms. It has been argued that the variation within any school is greater than the variation between schools.

Every Head Teacher/School Principal would be happy if all provision in every area was as good as the best. The concept of reducing within school variation aims to do just that by attempting to narrow the gap between the best and the worst, upwards. If we can learn from and share the elements of practice of our best provision and improve our worst and mediocre to be better, then we would be reducing within school variation.

This presents us with a very powerful and persuasive notion, if this teacher in our school can get top results and motivate students, can all the other teachers learn how to do this? We have the same students, the same resources, the same building……so the variance must be in teacher efficiency and effectiveness.  This exciting notion provides a way of working and learning together to make learning and progress as good as it can be in every classroom.


By the end of this unit of study you will be able to:

  • understand the concept of within school variation
  • know about successful strategies and approaches to reduce within school variation

Learning and practice outcomes:

You will:

  • be able to implement ideas to measure and reduce within school variation in your school
  • work with your teachers to narrow the gap between the best and worst performance

Implementation Task:

Plan, prepare and deliver a whole school student outcomes scrutiny across an identified subject (elementary) or subjects (preparatory).


Reducing In School Variation

Student feedback about in school variation

Testing Times: Adding Value at Manor Primary