The Aldridge Foundation tries, directly and indirectly, to understand and improve and/or alter the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of our target audiences to improve their status and condition and their ability to contribute to society. Ultimately, our Outcomes Framework is designed to ensure that the skills we promote DO achieve what we want, that target audiences genuinely benefit from our work as we intend, and that we are an effective organisation. We want to ensure that we concentrate on results, not on processes.
It is also important to us to ensure that our goals and achievements link and are relevant to wider strategic goals, for example those put in place by the Department for Education, the Department of Communities and Local Government, and individual Local Authorities.
The Foundation primarily works to achieve its aims through access to entrepreneurship, community strategies and improvements in standards. The 'microsystem' that we work within is the triangle of home, school and community.
The protective or preventative factors we wish to measure are:
- Highest possible level of qualification and formal education
- Effective Communication skills
- Self-perceptions of opportunity – fostering competitiveness, creativity, active participation
- Capacity to self-regulate - reducing and managing risk (resilience, discipline, determination, concentration)
- Autonomy, sense of control – allowing users to navigate to resources they need effectively, problem-solve and be self-reliant
- Achieving economic well-being and independence
- Improved employment prospects – levels of, types of, stability of, perceived status of/wage-earning ability/opportunities offered by
- Stronger teamworking and community engagement – understanding the value of partnership and team working, making a positive contribution/participating and receiving valuable mutual support and better navigation of services and needs as a result
Our specific community goals relate to the relationship between our academies and their immediate catchment:
- Increasing levels of engagement from the community as a whole, specifically parents and carers, in the education and school life of children in the area
- Effective management of transition moments for children in the community (between homes, between schools, etc)
- Effective community use, informal learning and social opportunities on Academy premises – including ranges of volunteering activity
- Effective extension of engagement with Academy specialisms into the community
- Effective cross-boundary working between community-based organisations to support Academy Community aims
How will we use agreed measurement of outcomes?
- To generate consistent performance indicators around all areas of our work – and to share the same measures with our partners
- To be able to compare our work with that of others
- To allow us to understand what is working and what isn’t
- To ensure that our work is consistently focused on our priorities
- To improve the design of what we do, improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- To explain/report to others what we do
- To improve our ability to make the case and advocate for what we do
We want all measures to be:
- Specific, unambiguous, observable, measurable, understandable, relevant, time bound, valid, reliable, unbiased, consistent, verifiable.
- Easily understood, able to be actively used in the management of activity, not just in reporting.
- Heavily influenced by service users themselves.
- We need to distinguish between:
- ‘Quality of service’ goals (how good an organisation are we?) and
- ‘Quality of delivery’ goals (how effective are we?)
- At three levels –
- Strategic (the foundation)
- Service (our partners, academies etc)
- Service user (our clients – young people)