Whether initiated externally to facilitate judgements about a school's performance (e.g., inspection), or internally to review the progress of policies or programmes (e.g., curriculum mapping), we have found that schools are increasingly interested in the generation of information which can be used to assess how the school is 'working'. One of the ironies we associate with this interest is the fact that information gathered by outsiders, be they inspectors or consultants, is often seen as having more significance than information which is routinely available to those within the school community. Further, we have observed that where schools understand the potential of internally generated information about progress or difficulties, they are better placed to exploit opportunities and to overcome problems.