Transforming Education with Smart Auditing

August 13, 2023
Ben Barton

"Catalyst is a new educational technology project that I am working on alongside my  work at NCE, Premier Pathways and LeadershipMatters.  I’ve been working on a version of Catalyst since 2015 but I really believe that it’s time has now come.

Catalyst is an educational technology endeavour with a powerful purpose." Ben Barton, 13th August 2023

Why Catalyst Matters

Imagine a tool that empowers schools to tailor their decisions according to their unique strengths and needs. Catalyst embodies this vision. The journey began in 2015, and today, Catalyst's time has come.

Why Local Solutions Matter

Catalyst stands in stark contrast to the conventional approach where distant entities dictate decisions. It believes that schools, trusts, and local authorities are the best judges of their own challenges.Consider this: if you're part of a community, you understand its intricacies better than outsiders. Schools in different regions face distinct problems, hence, it's only logical that solutions should stem from those deeply familiar with the area.

Why Policy Origin Matters

Conventional policies often emerge from remote experts' perspectives. Catalyst reshapes this paradigm by advocating for policies rooted in practical school experiences. During election cycles, education promises abound. But if we perpetuate the status quo of centralised policies, we risk recurring problems. Catalyst proposes building policies from the ground up addressing real school challenges, and offering practical solutions. Moreover, it remains neutral and uninfluenced by political agendas, rendering it are liable compass.

Why Empowering Educators Matters

Educators hold invaluable insights into what's best for their schools. However, their relentless schedules can obscure the bigger picture. Catalyst bridges this gap. By spotlighting a school's strengths and areas needing attention, it empowers educators to prioritize effectively.


How Catalyst Drives Change

How National Audits Work

Catalyst brings forth an annual series of National Audits driven by teachers and school leaders across the UK. These audits, curated by experts entrenched in daily school life, span three weeks. After two weeks, an interim report emerges, followed by a comprehensive report featuring recommendations for schools and policymakers after four weeks. This report's funding is secured through sponsorship.

How Schools Benefit

Schools receive complimentary audits, enabling them to kickstart improvements using actionable feedback.

How Collective Growth Takes Root

Over time, schools, trusts, and local authorities foster shared growth by benchmarking progress against comparable institutions.

What? Unveiling Catalyst


The Free Version:

·     The Audit: Schools respond to statements categorized under headings, using a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating system and evidential support.

·     The Report: Each heading features a straightforward page housing guidance for the next steps. Visuals and explanations ensure accessibility.

·     The Recommendations: The collective data from audits informs a set of suggestions, allowing schools to address shared challenges.


The Premium Version:

·     Schools, trusts, and local authorities can purchase a license, affording them the flexibility to:

·     Complete audits at their convenience.

·     Track progress over time through repeated audits.

·     Engage in inter-school improvement initiatives within groups like Local Authorities or Multi-Academy Trusts.

·     Compare their audit outcomes with a 'NationalAverage.'

·     Utilize the tool for comprehensive staff and school development.


The Journey Ahead

By focusing on real challenges, empowering schools in policy formulation, and bolstering school leaders decision-making capabilities,Catalyst sets the stage for a brighter educational landscape.

Catalyst's journey unfolds through a series of Public Audits:

Reading: June 2023

SEND: September 2023

Talent: September 2023

Technology: October 2023

Maths: November 2023

Well-Being: January 2024

Finance: February 2024

Curriculum: April 2024

CPD: May 2024

Leadership: June 2024

Ben Barton