School Self-Evaluation
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School Self-Evaluation. Information for schools November 2012. Inspectorate. Aim of session. To enhance understanding of SSE To prepare schools to use SSE as a school improvement process. Objectives of Session. What is SSE? Why? What does the SSE process look like?

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School Self-Evaluation

Information for schools

November 2012


Aim of session
Aim of session

To enhance understanding of SSE

To prepare schools to use SSE as a school improvement process

Objectives of session
Objectives of Session

What is SSE?


What does the SSE process look like?

What does this mean for schools? What does this mean for me as a teacher?

Support for SSE

What is school self evaluation
What is school self-evaluation?

  • SSE is a way of systematically looking at how we teach and how our students learn and making decisions about what we want to improve


  • We want to make learning better for students

  • We want to make teaching more rewarding

  • Schools are best placed to examine their own practice and to tell their own story

Put another way
Put another way…

SSE is a process that allows schools and teachers to improve outcomes for learners.



Gather evidence

Arrive at decisions about quality (Judgement)

Direct school improvement

Improve learning

Why school self evaluation
Why school self-evaluation?

We know SSE works

Research here:

evidence from DEIS schools

pilot project trial schools

Research in other countries

New Zealand, Scotland, Finland, Canada

Why school self evaluation1
Why school self-evaluation?

Part of balanced and integrated approach to supporting better teaching and learning

Supports the Literacy and Numeracy strategy

Consistent with DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) (action planning)

Gives greater autonomy to teachers

Sse encompasses
SSE encompasses…

Over time schools will address three dimensions

Teaching and Learning

Management and leadership

Support for pupils

We want schools to start by focusing on teaching and learning

We are focusing on teaching and learning
We are focusing on teaching and learning…


Teaching and learning is the core work of school

All teachers want to improve learning for students

Building on and reframing SDP

SDP helped focus on developing policy, promoted collaboration and dialogue

SSE will focus more on having an impact on teaching, learning and outcomes for students

SDP and School Self-Evaluation

The SSE process is a reframing of the school development planning process

It places a greater focus on gathering evidence and making judgements

It works best when it is integrated into the day-to-day work of the school

It leads to action for improvement


Purpose of task:

  • To give teachers an opportunity to reflect on what is currently working well in teaching and learning in their school and how they know this

  • To highlight the need to base judgements on evidence


  • In pairs discuss what is working well in teaching and learning

  • Indicate how you know

  • Suggest how you could find out more

Frequently used terms in sse
Frequently used terms in SSE

Learner outcomes


Evaluation criteria

Quality statement


Sse process getting started
SSE Process Getting started

Start small – a limited aspect of teaching and learning

In first four years: literacy, numeracy and one other area

Ask simple questions

How well are we doing?

How do we know? What evidence do we have?

How can we find out more?

What are our strengths/areas for development?

How can we improve?

Build on what you know….


  • Group/subject department reflection

  • Whole-school reflection

  • Peer dialogue/sharing experience

  • Team planning and teaching

  • Professional collaborative review

  • Sources of evidence

  • Assessment data – formative and summative

  • Learner and parent surveys (student/parent voice)

  • Focus group discussion

  • Interviews

  • Individual teacher reflection



  • Analysing data and benchmarking againstevaluation criteria

  • Check learner motivation, attitudes, engagement in learning, application of knowledge and skills

  • Share and compare practice – think and reflect on this

  • Examine attainment levels of students (standardised tests/SEC data): check against national norms, for in-school trends

  • Use evaluation criteria to check analysed data against a set of standards


  • Reflect and draw conclusions

  • Reflect on the information you have

  • Reflect on how this compares to best practice

  • Do the criteria and quality statement help to identify next steps in improvement?

  • Can you place practice in this area of work on a continuum from significant strengths to significant weaknesses?


  • SSE isnot about paper work. However schools need to write a concise report

  • Report (no more than 2/3 pages) should record

    • Theme chosen for self-evaluation

    • Brief account of school context

    • The findings

    • Summary of strengths (affirm and celebrate)

    • Summary of areas requiring improvement

    • Legislative and regulatory requirements checklist (for BOM)


  • Agreed actions for improvement must be implemented

  • Actions to be implemented at individual teacher, class, subject department or whole-school level must be monitored

  • Schools will need to decide

    • Who will be responsible for monitoring?

    • How monitoring will occur?

    • How progress will be determined and reported?

    • When progress will be reported (structures – staff/department meetings)

    • If targets and actions are realistic or need to be changed

    • What changes are necessary?


Purpose of task

  • to introduce sample tools from the Guidelines and to reflect on how you might use these to gather evidence in your own school


  • Use the sample self-reflection tool for teachers to think about a recent lesson. Share your reflection with a colleague.


  • How would you use the sample open questionnaire for students?

Starting the sse process
Starting the SSE process

Circular 0040/2012

  • Over a four year period engage in SSE of literacy, numeracy or one other aspect of teaching and learning

    • Take one of these aspects each year

    • A whole-school approach to SSE to be taken with a focus on teaching and learning

    • All teachers engage in SSE of the aspect selected by the school

    • Produce a short SSE report and summary for school community

    • Devise school improvement plan with targets to improve outcomes for students and summary for school community

    • Implement and monitor School Improvement Plan over three-year period

Deis schools are ahead
DEIS schools are ahead ..

  • DEIS schools are already setting targets and have improvement plans in place for attendance, retention, progression, literacy, numeracy, student attainment and partnership

  • DEIS schools should ensure that their reviews of practice are based on good SSE processes, including having an SSE report

  • The DEIS action plan is your school improvement plan

As a school
As a school..

For example in school X they have

  • Selected literacy

  • Examined records of students’ progress and assessment to check current achievement

  • Decided on strengths in relation to literacy

  • Identified what needed to improve

  • Agreed that they need to focus on teaching approaches in order to improve literacy

As a teacher
As a teacher..

In school X my responsibility as a teacher is to:

  • Reflect on my own teaching approaches

  • Discuss teaching approaches with subject department/ colleagues

  • Reflect on whether I need further evidence? Views of students? Others ?

  • Look at the evaluation criteria for teaching approaches

  • Identify strengths and areas for development

  • Agree teaching approaches that could be used to further develop students’ literacy skills at a subject department level

Quality statement
Quality Statement

Teaching is focused, stimulating and relevant to the students’ learning needs. ………… Effective subject-specific learning approaches are used. Opportunities for the development of literacy and numeracy skills are well used. Subject-specific language is thoroughly taught. Lessons are well developed in a way that allows for progression of students’ skills, knowledge and attitudes.

All aspects of the subject are thoroughly taught with progression apparent in the students’ learning as they move from one year to the next. A broad range of activities is provided to enhance the holistic development of the student.

As teaching staff
As teaching staff..

Whole staff responsibility

  • Subject departments share experience and results of reflection with whole staff

  • Ensure evidence is balanced

  • Agree further sources of evidence, if not balanced

    • Agree what tools will be used and whose views should be garnered

    • Agree who will gather, collate, analyse and feedback

  • Ensure that findings from all evidence gathered and analysed helps draw conclusions/make judgement

  • Write report

  • Devise school improvement plan

  • Implement and monitor across all subject departments

As teaching staff1
As teaching staff..

Strategies agreed in the School Improvement Plan

  • Implemented over a three-year period

  • Embed in classroom practice

  • Part of day-to-day work

  • Progress monitored

Sse support
SSE Support

  • Support for SSE

  • Publications

  • Website

  • PDST seminars for principal

  • Internal collaboration – use experience and expertise in own school

  • Professional networks

Key messages

  • School self-evaluation works

  • Start small and keep it simple

  • Involve all teachers

  • Include the voice of students (and parents where relevant)

  • Only gather relevant information

  • Agree strategies and actions for improvement

  • Implement and monitor

  • Celebrate success

    SSE as part of normal and

    ongoing practice in the school

Thank you

Go raibh maith agaibh