The Director of Education says School Self Review and Evaluation (SSRE) is raising standards for the benefit of pupils.
Geoff Moorcroft (LEFT) was speaking as five schools – Castle Rushen High School, Bunscoill Rhumsaa, Ballacottier Primary, Henry Bloom Noble Primary and Scoill yn Jubilee – shared with parents the comments from an external validation of their SSRE.
All schools take part in SSRE, making judgments about themselves that are externally validated.
Mr Moorcroft said: ‘SSRE is an ongoing continual process, not just a one-off inspection.
‘SSRE requires schools to evaluate what they are doing well and where they need to improve. Schools consider aspects of their work, judging them as being a significant strength, good, satisfactory or requiring action.
‘However, to make the process work, we need to ensure such judgments are accurate, robust and supported by a strong evidence base. Therefore, a validator from a UK organisation called World Class Learning then visits the school with an adviser from the Department of Education and Children.
‘The validation either confirms a school’s judgments or helps it re-evaluate them – perhaps finding, for example, that a school has been overly self-critical or that it doesn’t quite yet have the evidence to support a judgment.
‘While the judgments themselves are significant, of greater importance is how well schools know themselves and can measure what they achieve,’ Mr Moorcroft said. ‘The main aim of the validation process is to provide professional support to schools to help them to refine their own judgments and develop their capacity for appraising their own work.
‘Having evaluated themselves, schools are then in a strong position to improve practice and provide the best possible learning opportunities for pupils,’ Mr Moorcroft said.
‘Any areas for improvement are included in schools’ improvement plans and are supported by the schools’ link advisers.’
The first SSRE cycle took place from 2008 to 2011 and a second cycle started in September 2013.