Why it’s Time to Rethink Our Approach to Lesson Observations

Matt Tiplin, with experience as a senior leader in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) school and an Ofsted inspector, reflects on his history with lesson observations, acknowledging their potential to significantly enhance teachers’ practices and student learning.


He recognises, however, that traditional approaches often fall short, feeling more like obligatory evaluations rather than constructive feedback sessions. Matt argues for a paradigm shift towards low-stakes, supportive observations that foster genuine professional growth without adding stress to an already demanding job.


He suggests that changing the perception and execution of lesson observations can transform them into valuable opportunities for self-reflection and improvement, rather than mere formalities. This perspective is informed by both his own experiences and a desire to see observations contribute more effectively to educational excellence.

What Can EdTech Do For Teacher Development?

The article discusses the impact of technology and peer review in enhancing teacher development at Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA).


Led by David Chapman, the Head of School, AUEA emphasises the importance of innovation and tailored professional development. Teachers at AUEA benefit from dedicated CPD time every Monday afternoon, with a diverse rotation covering areas like departmental work, SEND, and safeguarding.


The academy also encourages participation in external courses, such as NPQ and Teaching Times’ Masterclasses, and offers access to courses at Aston University.


AUEA’s approach has led to many staff advancing to leadership roles earlier than their peers in other schools, demonstrating the effectiveness of their development programs.