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Quality Assurance through School Self-Evaluation: the role of External Review and Inspection David Taylor Formerly Director of Inspection, Ofsted Structure of presentation n Quality Assurance and Self-Evaluation n Working with schools on self-evaluation Quality Assurance (QA) and School Self-Evaluation (SSE) n Quality n Assurance and control n The place of SSE in a QA system What is school self-evaluation? n Self-evaluation is the process by which a school is able to look critically at itself in order to improve further the quality of its provision and its performance. SCHOOL SELF-EVALUATION: the 3-step process What are we going to do next? How do we know? How good is our Through self-evaluation, a school? school is asking questions of itself which probe thoroughly all aspects of quality. Promoting School Improvement (1) n Self-evaluation aims to promote school improvement by seeking: u To inform improvement planning t all staff are, or should be, involved in improvement planning t improvement planning must have standards of achievement, quality of teaching and quality of learning as high priorities; t monitoring and evaluation are indispensable parts of the improvement planning cycle; t schools need to integrate a programme of self-evaluation into their improvement planning. Promoting School Improvement (2) n Self-evaluation aims to promote school improvement by seeking: - To promote effective learning and raise standards • all pupils are learners and should take part in self- evaluation; • good teachers are good learners; they continually ask questions of their own practice to improve provision; • different people learn best in different ways; • teachers need to know how their pupils learn best; • school managers need to know what makes members of staff effective learners and therefore effective professionals; • parents/carers and governors have a key role in supporting learning Promoting School Improvement (3) n Self-evaluation aims to promote school improvement by seeking: - To encourage a climate of professional trust • self-evaluation is most effective when the process is transparent; • everyone is part of the self-evaluation process; no-one hides behind status; • positive outcomes for teachers and pupils are evident and people have faith in the process; • good practice is celebrated in more than one way. The Improvement Cycle Improving schools’ self- evaluation n Improved training in leadership and management n More available data n Growing use of external performance indicators n Effective use of classroom observation n Understanding how to carry out self-evaluation Involving all staff in planning and self-evaluation Staff should: n Understand the planning and evaluation process n Have ownership of it n Focus on pupils’ attainments and experiences n Engage in appropriate professional development n Review their approaches to teaching and learning Internal and external: complementary roles n SSE: event or process? n Which comes first? n Frameworks and criteria n Training and development Working with schools on self- evaluation n Preparing for self-evaluation n Data collection and data analysis n Understanding how to evaluate n Collecting evidence n Securing trust n Self-evaluation and staff appraisal Six ‘acid tests’ for effective SSE n Is the SSE based on a good range of convincing evidence? n Does the SSE identify the most important questions about how well the school serves its pupils? n How well does the school compare with similar schools and use such comparative data? n Does the SSE include the views of key groups, especially parents, pupils and wider community? n Is SSE integrally linked to key management systems? n Does SSE lead to action to achieve he school’s longer-term improvement goals? A focus on learning outcomes (1) n Taking responsibility for learning Good features: Learners u Know their most effective ways of learning u Can apply themselves to learning effectively u Sustain concentration u Appreciate what they need to do to make progress A focus on learning outcomes (2) Learners u Plan sensibly how they will achieve their learning goals u Seek appropriate help in working towards their goals u Show initiative and take responsibility u Work well without supervision u Review their progress and adjust their learning as necessary A focus on learning outcomes (3) n Taking responsibility for learning Shortcomings: Learners: u Have limited awareness of how they learn best u Plan inadequately to address deficiencies u Rely too much on others for assurance and support u Are easily distracted A focus on learning outcomes (4) Learners: u Do not work well without direct supervision u Are too compliant and passive u Work too slowly u Seek the direction of the teacher too readily u Are uncertain about their own progress. A focus on effective leadership action (1) Leadership has consistently been shown as the key factor in determining the success of a school. Leaders who seek to transform their schools tend to: n Have self-knowledge and clarity about values and commitment n Focus on developing people, and empowering them to bring about a shared vision which produces good learning outcomes for pupils n Be found operating at all levels in the school, not just the senior management team A focus on effective leadership action (2) Leaders who seek to transform their schools tend to: n Encourage, manage and sustain school improvement n Manage the organisation well, respond to change effectively and welcome greater school autonomy and innovation n Ensure that there is an unvarying focus on improving teaching and learning A focus on effective leadership action (3): n Take early, firm intervention to secure effective leadership and management n Establish and implement systems to identify key priorities for improvement through effective data management, ie: u Gathering, analysing and presenting data on pupils’ achievement u Using the data to identify good practice u Surveying the opinions of staff and students u Gaining the commitment of staff A focus on effective leadership action (4): n Focus on dealing with issues in a staged manner, with measures to ensure early success, eg: u Developing pride and self-esteem u Targeting specific under-performance, while developing long-term improvement strategies u Improving attendance, punctuality, uniform- wearing A focus on effective leadership action (5): n Focus on teaching and learning: u Establishing a set of core behaviours u Re-skilling teachers in their repertoire of teaching methods u Implementing a firm and consistent policy on behaviour (around the site as well as in classrooms) u Supporting and building on models of excellent teaching u Establishing collaborative working as a way of improving teachers’ practice A focus on effective leadership action (6) n Introduce models of leadership and teaching quality: u Building effective leadership teams throughout the school u Bringing in new staff with developing teaching skills (eg Advanced skills teachers) u Coaching staff to develop their teaching skills 1. Characteristics of the School n Context of school and learners n School aims 2. Views of Learners, Parents/Carers and other Stakeholders n How are views gathered? n What do they say about provision? n How are findings shared? n What action is taken? 3. Achievement and Standards n What are the standards achieved? Are there significant trends? n Are there any underachieving groups? n How do you know? n What action do you intend to take? 4. Personal development and well-being (‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes) Learners should : n Be healthy n Be safe n Enjoy their learning and achieve n Make a positive contribution to the community n Be prepared for the future and for their economic well-being 5. Quality of provision n How effective are teaching and learning? n Do the curriculum and other activities meet the needs and interests of learners? n How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? Example: Teaching and Learning 6. Leadership and Management n How effectively do leaders and managers set a clear direction? n How effective is performance monitoring? n How well are equal opportunities and inclusion promoted? n What is the adequacy of staffing, resources and accommodation? n How effective are links with other providers and agencies? n How effective are Governors? 7. Overall effectiveness and efficiency n The extent of improvement since the previous inspection? n Is there sufficient capacity for further improvement? n What steps are being taken to improve provision? Some key questions for discussion n Suppose you were a person such as a ‘school improvement partner’, how would you set about working with a school on SSE? n How does a school inspection/review gain evidence of the effectiveness of SSE? n What should happen if the inspection/review disagrees strongly with the results of the SSE? n How far should SSE go in incorporating the views of students, parents and the wider community? n How should schools develop the skills of evaluating lessons and outcomes for students? Some conclusions n Inspection/review and SSE should complement each other and dovetail closely, using related: u Frameworks u Criteria u Data sources n Effective SSE has clear goals, clear evaluation of teaching and learning and of leadership and management n The whole school community should be involved in SSE n Inspection has much to offer in developing and improving the quality of SSE.
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