General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Schools Inspectors promote self-evaluation to raise standards



The Education and Training Inspectorate has updated a valuable resource, ‘Together Towards Improvement’, to support schools in the process of self-evaluation and so help raise standards.

Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate, Stanley Goudie, said: “A large number of organisations have used ‘Together Towards Improvement’ to help their management to evaluate the quality of their provision, the strengths of the organisation and where improvements need to be made. This requires rigorous and honest self-evaluation and a commitment to follow through, putting in place processes to ensure that the strengths continue to flourish and taking the necessary action to address the areas for improvement that have been identified.

“In this updated version, a much greater focus is given to the outcomes achieved by the learner and the quality of the leadership and management of the organisation. This changing emphasis reflects the extent to which the education service in Northern Ireland has developed in its approach towards self-evaluation.

“Those involved in the management of schools and other educational, youth and work-based learning settings are now expected to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the work undertaken by the leaders and staff and the extent to which this is reflected in the standards and outcomes achieved by the learners. Such self-evaluation within organisations should inform future planning. The revised ‘Together Towards Improvement’ reflects the Department of Education’s increased emphasis on achievements and outcomes and its drive to raise standards overall, as set out in the policy ‘Every School a Good School’ and the associated policies aimed at raising the standards in literacy and numeracy.

“A key element in any self-evaluative process is the quality of evidence on which the evaluations are based. A range of sources can be used in this process, including first-hand observation of learning and teaching and a thorough examination of the assessment data that the school or organisation collates. The more rigorous and honest such evaluations are, the more useful will be the outcomes, and these should be used as the basis for securing more effective teaching and learning and in raising the standards achieved by learners.”



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