Barnaby Grimble

pupilprogress-88.jpgThroughout my 12 years as a leader in 3 schools I have experienced the essential relationship between meaningful, accurate assessment with teaching & learning. When Brett approached me with the chance to have a wider impact across the education sector, I knew it was the right step to take. I have always been happy to spend extra time making data meaningful so teachers could focus their time on planning outstanding, engaging lessons. My role at Pupil Progress is to lead the product development; I am responsible for developing our tracking systems and designing new tools that help you to save valuable time, stress and to put data to more effective use.

As a Director of Science for 6 years, in both an inner city and a more rural setting, I felt the pressures that many middle leaders experience in supporting my team to deliver engaging & exciting lessons whilst ensuring that our students met their targets. My science teams could not have improved our results significantly above national averages without meaningful, accurate and reliable data. I was proud, not only of the achievement and progress our students made, but also that our predicted grades in both schools were consistently in line with actual results. 

As a Director of Intervention for 3 years I had responsibility for raising achievement across the curriculum. My team of co-ordinators for literacy, numeracy, EAL, G&T, PP and transition all relied on having data from different departments that they could trust to help them focus on the areas that could make the biggest difference to student outcomes. In co-ordinating intervention and running Raising Achievement meetings I had the opportunity to see how different departments approach assessment & worked with department leaders in using their data to inform their priorities. I also saw & experienced the pressure that all leaders feel when their data is not where they want it to be or doesn’t easily help them to identify where their biggest priorities are. 


There’s no hiding I am a data geek. I enjoy finding the best way to translate any assessment in to a grade and always spent many hours creating spreadsheets to do this in order to save my team time. For me it wasn’t just the process itself, but the knowledge that the data would have an impact in the classroom. A question I always asked myself, my team and any senior leaders was “how will having this data make a difference to a student? Will it improve their outcomes?”. I know that the time taken to manipulate data often far outstrips the time spent using that data to make a difference to the students. 

Reliable data is essential for meaningful, solution driven conversations between leaders, teachers, students and parents. I want to help take the stress and pressure out of assessment analysis. So many talented teachers and leaders end up stressing about and wasting so much valuable time getting raw marks in to a meaningful & useful format, or wait weeks for it to be collated and formatted by a supportive data team. I want to support you to use grades to instantly target underachieving groups and so you can differentiate your next lesson or organise specific interventions to narrow the gaps. The challenge I know many teachers face is making sure that time is spent where it’s needed; not in front of the computer, but face to face with students making a difference. And that’s what I hope I can help you to do with Pupil Progress.