Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2022-23

Think Tank Academy Ltd

Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment 2022-2023


Quality Monitoring Systems

Purpose of this policy

This strategy has been prepared to offer guidance on aspects of teaching, learning and assessment within the organisation.



Think Tank Academy Ltd regards observation of teaching, learning and assessment as a vital system in the quality improvement framework and has incorporated the results from observations into self-assessment to support continuous improvement in the delivery of learning.

Observations are a central part of the approach adopted by the Education Inspection Framework. Think Tank Academy Ltd wishes to build a culture of critical self-evaluation within which the process of observation should be regarded as positive and developmental.


Policy Statement

Teaching and learning underpin all the aspects of our learner journey. Providing high quality teaching and learning equips learners with the relevant knowledge and skills and enables them to achieve their qualification, to develop vocational and employability skills, to gain employment and progress in their lives and careers.


Think Tank Academy Ltd is committed to delivering high quality teaching and learning for all our learners. The knowledge and skills we develop will ensure that our learners have the best possible opportunity to achieve and exceed their aspirations for life and work. All learners at Think Tank Academy Ltd are entitled to receive professional, high-quality teaching and learning provision. Learners and staff are respected, valued, and supported to achieve success of learning goals through a range of approaches such as in the workplace, our sub-contractors, or in other settings.


The overall aim of this policy is to promote, monitor and enhance the development of the teaching and learning provision throughout the company, raising levels of enjoyment, engagement, and achievement, and encouraging the drive towards outstanding teaching and learning across the company.

All observations will be carried out in line with Think Tank Academy Ltd.’s Equality & Diversity Policy. The purpose of carrying out observations is:

  • Recognise and share excellent
  • Improve the standard of teaching, learning and assessment through feedback to

tutors/assessors and a professional dialogue that leads to effective action planning and improvements.

  • Monitor and ensure that effective learning takes place.
  • Identify staff development and support needs.
  • Underpin the self-assessment process.
  • Monitor and manage sub-contracted
  • To maintain the standards set by the assessment, moderation, and external examination process.
  • To maintain the standards set by Ofsted, ESFA and Awarding

To achieve our aim, we will:

  • Develop, equip, and up skill our staff with the knowledge, expertise, relevant qualifications, and resources to enable them to raise their standards of teaching and learning and be confident to deliver the relevant support to their learners to enable them to achieve, as well as enabling them to do their job role.
  • Implement a robust and comprehensive continuous quality improvement system which includes a strategy of regularly observing and judging teaching and learning sessions as laid out in the observations policy.


All training staff and assessors will be observed formally at least once per year. In line with revised Ofsted guidelines; all training and assessment sessions will be ungraded. Each session will comment on strengths and areas for improvement. Any member of staff receiving significant areas for improvement will be offered further support and the opportunity to be re-observed, however, the re-observation must take place within two months of the original observation. If following re-observation, the sessions is still deemed require significant areas for improvement, the member of staff will enter into the capability procedure.


Unqualified / newly qualified assessors and trainers new to Think Tank Academy Ltd will have an induction and settling in period and should not be observed within the first three months of starting with the company but will be observed within their first six months.

Observations should be carried out in environments where learners are present and may include observation of taught sessions delivered in the workplace. All observers will be approved by the Quality Manager and the Lead IQA and may include external consultants. Approved observers must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3 years training experience with consistently good feedback.
  • Hold a teaching qualification or is working towards achieving a teaching qualification and is deemed competent.
  • Have undertaken approved lesson observation training.
  • External consultants will ideally, be approved Ofsted


Informal observations will be used throughout the year such as walkthroughs, learner questioning and peer observations to maintain rigor and quality.

Formal Observation protocol

Observations will be conducted on a variety of learning activities, including inductions, practical and theory sessions, learner progress reviews, British Values, and assessment. Functional skills sessions will also be observed. Outcomes will be judged in the following scale.












Requires Improvement






Observation Team

  • Head of Quality & Compliance
  • IQA’s
  • Other staff as appropriate which must be qualified to carry out OTLAs’ (e.g., Coaches)

Before the Observation

  1. OTLA training will be delivered to staff prior to any observations
  2. The observer should provide the observee with at least five days written notice prior to a planned observation.
  3. Observers should request that the observee should have any course materials and session plans available for review during the
  4. The observer should provide the observee with a copy of the observation form that is to be

During the Observation

  1. Normally observers will be in attendance for the whole session, but observers may
  2. enter a session after it has started and leave before the end, they will stay for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Observers may return to a session if they need to observe another component.
  4. Observers must take all precautions to minimise any disruption to the session.
  5. Observers will review all relevant documentation during the session (e.g., class list, schemes of work, lesson plan, Individual Learning Plans).
  6. Observers must not take an active part in the session.
  7. Observers will take appropriate opportunities to speak to learners and look at their work without deflecting their attention from learning.
  8. Observers will make notes on the observation form during the

After the Observation

  1. Verbal feedback will be given, as soon as possible, after the observation and preferably on the same day.
  2. Feedback will be concise and will focus on the strengths and areas for improvement identified during the session.
  3. Observation grades will be included in the feedback; however, the focus is to be developmental.
  4. Observers will agree a follow-up action plan and timelines with the trainer / assessor to address areas for improvements or disseminate good practice.
  5. A copy of the completed observation form will be provided to the observee following moderation. The Quality Manager will ensure a copy is held on One File.

Appeals procedure

 If an observee disagrees with any points made by the observer or with any aspect of the observation process, the observee and observer should try to resolve the differences through discussion. If this does not resolve the situation, then the observee should discuss this initially with their line manager and if the line manager agrees then an appeal can be lodged with the Quality Manager who can request a re-observation if the appeal is upheld.

Observation moderation 

Think Tank Academy Ltd will undertake standardisation and moderation activities to ensure the rigor, consistency and validity of observation evidence, judgements, and feedback. Methods of moderating observations will include:

  • Dual
  • Observer training
  • Sampling of observation

Moderation panels will consist of the Head of Quality & Compliance Manager, the Lead IQA and Operations Manager. They will review the evidence recorded on observation forms and confirm or amend the judgements awarded. This decision will be communicated to the observer and observee within five working days. The following criteria will be used to moderate observations:

  • Are all the data sections complete?
  • Is the observation judgement rich and not simply a narrative on the session.
  • Is the evidence sufficient to support the judgements and grade.
  • Is there sufficient evidence about learner progress (deep dive into learner’s work).
  • Are examples used to support judgements.
  • Is the evidence consistent with the grade? Are there any contradictions.
  • Does the ‘narrative’ match the key strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Is there a summary? Does this start with a clear judgment on the lesson.
  • Are clear actions to maintain or improve the quality of teaching and learning recorded.
  • The monitoring procedures for following up and monitoring of the completion of action plans.


Moderation of evidence confirms or amends the judgements awarded. This means that judgements may stay the same or be changed – higher or lower – following a moderation panel.

Informal observation protocol 

As part of the overall quality improvement various walkthroughs, internal audits, and observation of processes (e.g., IAG) will take place. The Quality Department and staff will schedule these are not advised in advance that the observation / audit will take place. All such processes will produce a report with recommendations and actions for improvement.

Roles and responsibilities Leadership Team

  • Commit to the implementation of this policy and to the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning within the organisation and sub-contracted provision.
  • To review and update this policy with assistance of the Head of Quality & Compliance Manager and Lead IQA.
  • Ensure that there are sufficient resources to enable quality qualifications to be delivered across all programmes.
  • Ensure that staff are fully conversant with this policy and their responsibilities for delivering high quality teaching and learning.
  • Ensure a CPD plan is in place to develop and confirm that staff are competent and confidence to undertake their roles and responsibilities for the delivery, teaching and learning within their subject area.
  • Ensure that all newly appointed staff have a good induction which includes identification of any training and development needs.
  • Ensure that all teaching and assessing staff receive training and development which enhances competence and skills in delivering and supporting their subject area and promotes and shares best practice.
  • Oversee the quality improvement processes.
  • Observations of teaching and learning and learner feedback evaluations.
  • Liaise with the operational teams to monitor the quality of teaching and learning across the company.
  • Liaise with the Functional Skills team regarding additional learning support and functional skills delivery.
  • Ensure that the delivery of teaching and learning is evaluated by the self- assessment process and is continuously improved by quality improvement.

Head of Quality & Compliance – OTLA

  • Assist in developing, disseminating, and monitoring the Teaching and learning policy.
  • Ensure that the delivery of teaching and learning is quality assured via observations and evaluation of learner feedback.
  • Ensure OTLA strategy is managed and delivered within all areas of the business.
  • Complete OTLA training and observations.
  • Support staff and Sub-Contractors with the delivery and implementation of OTLA.
  • Ensure OTLA activities are planned, action plan/CPD plans are completed, ensuring line managers are made aware of development points.
  • Support or facilitate the training to either assessors and/or trainers.


  • Monitor and evaluate the delivery of teaching and learning and reviewing processes of their subject areas within their programmes and progression of their learners.
  • Monitor performance of assessors and trainers within them. programme and arrange for CPD support where needed.
  • Monitor the delivery of subject area sessions to enable efficient and effective use of staff to ensure learner success.
  • Provide daily management of trainers and assessors delivering teaching and learning to their learners.
  • Use the outcomes of observations of teaching and learning in staff performance mechanisms (e.g., appraisals and 1:1s).

Coaches & Trainers

  • Take responsibility for the administration and delivery of initial assessment, offering quality feedback on learner performance and placing learners on the appropriate level of qualifications.
  • Accurately record the learners’ initial assessment and diagnostic results on the ILP and note any additional support needs the learner may have.
  • Accurately record progress tracker to be made available prior to.
  • Set and record realistic but challenging SMART targets in line with the delivery model and assessment results.
  • Record teaching and learning accurately on to learner documentation (e.g., progress reviews).
  • Ensure that teaching and learning activities are well planned, challenging, motivating and highly professional.
  • Effective planning and preparation are accurately recorded and available for the OTLA
  • Action plans to develop areas for improvement are completed,
  • Accurately assess learners work and ability to offer constructive feedback to support
  • To review learner progress made towards their qualifications during assessment visits and learner reviews.
  • To facilitate any teaching and learning support which may be required for that programme or apprenticeship, signpost learners to enable them to achieve their full potential.
  • Encourage self-development of learners and independent learning outside of the programme.
  • Ensure that the teaching is relevant, purposeful, and real for learners and enter for external assessment when the learner is ready.
  • Ensure that relevant resources are made available for all.

Staff Development (CPD) 

Staff will be confident and competent to teach and assess through:

  • Being fully conversant with the subject area assessment criteria developed by the various and relevant awarding organisations.
  • To be competent in the subject area they deliver.
  • Regularly discuss/plan support needs with the Head of Quality & Compliance and their Internal Quality Assurer Advisor and act on the plans agreed.
  • To ensure that those delivering in teaching and learning will have achieved or be working towards the relevant qualifications to enable them to be capable, confident, and competent in their teaching and learning roles.
  • Being able to adapt their teaching and assessment style/method to suit their learner(s) needs, environment and available.

Equality and Diversity

Think Tank Academy Ltd.’s staff are supported in providing a positive and fair learning experience through the company’s Equality and Diversity Policy, and the Complaints and Appeals Procedure. These documents are found on the company’s intranet.


All staff will undergo safeguarding DBS checks maintained in a confidential HR register, in addition all staff will receive training in safeguarding awareness, what to do and who to contact where they feel any learner or vulnerable person may be at risk.


The following arrangements will monitor and measure the success of this Policy:

  • Outcomes from observations of teaching and learning.
  • Learner feedback via feedback questionnaires.
  • Qualification success rates.
  • Positive self-assessment outcomes across subject sector areas for the standards achieved for teaching and learning.
By Whom Quality Improvement Group
Advisory Observation Form




Name of Teacher Name of Observer Observation
Date: Duration:
Teacher (circle as appropriate)                                                   Mode of Attendance                                 Level (circle as appropriate)
FT PT Trainer Coach Assessor FT PT  




Course Number on


Number of Learners


Number of Learners Late Worksite/Location
Topic Comments Grade
1.  Progress/Challenge: Measurable progress demonstrated via the development of skills and knowledge.

Comment on attendance: Excellent

attendance >88%+

2. Planning and Resources: Planning effective learning based on accurate assessment of learners prior skills. High quality learning materials and resources are available to learners during and

between learning.

3. Meeting individual needs: Demonstration of effective TL&A strategies to match learner’s individual needs.
4. English, maths, ICT and Employability.

Teaching, learning and assessment support learners to develop their skills in EAM, ICT and employability including attitudes and behaviours’ for work, in order to achieve their learning goals and career aims

5. Equality and diversity and British Values:

Every opportunity is taken to develop E&M skills. TLA promote equality, raise awareness of

diversity and tackle discrimination. Teaching promotes SMSC

6. Behaviour:

Classroom management is in place and effective. The teacher manages learners’ skill fully.

Quality of Learning:

All learners actively involved and engaged. Highly motivated and interested. High levels of co- operation and interaction.

8. Expectations and self- development:

The teacher has consistently high expectations of all learners’ attitudes to learning, learners are

set challenging targets to achieve.

9 Developmental feed back: Learners receive clear and constructive feedback through assessment and progress monitoring. Learners are committed to taking next steps in

order to make substantial progress

10. Challenge:

Highly effective questioning, excellent consolidation of learning. Teaching methods inspire and challenge all learners

11. ILT/E-Learning

Effectively and actively used

/encouraged in order to enhance learning, engage learners and fully support learners in class attainment.

Learner Feedback
Question the learners: (Do you feel you have made good progress in the session, what have you learnt. Do you enjoy the session, Do you feel safe in this session?)






Findings from deep dive (learners work)
Key Strengths










Areas for improvement













Development plan agreed with Coach    yes/no

If no agree date this will be sent to Coach and Head of Quality & Compliance    date


Signed Observer                                                                                                                        Signed Observee                                                                         Date