A Review of the Education External Evaluation Services

Brian Donnelly Education Review Office

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

TERM OF REFERENCE 1

The Authority of the Education Review Office

    1. That
    the exemption under s.41 of the Public Finance Act from the preparation
    of statements of service performance (required under s.41 (2) (f) of
    the Act) be granted yearly for Boards of Trustees.
    2. That,
    in developing the protocols for Accountability Reviews, the focus of
    attention include processes for evaluating the quantitative and qualitative
    achievements of schools and centres.
    3. That
    greater emphasis be given to training and retraining reviewers so they
    are skilled in the process of evaluation and knowledgeable about the
    essential learning areas, skills and attitudes set out in the New Zealand
    Curriculum Framework.
    4. That
    the composition of review teams reflect the interests of the institution
    being reviewed.
    5. That
    consideration be given to seconding external reviewers (e.g. principals
    or deputy-principals) on a regular basis for specialist input rather
    than where a shortage occurs.
    6. That
    the Education Review Office allocate a significant percentage of its
    PR resources to developing quality relationships with its clients -
    the schools and centres.

    TERM OF REFERENCE 2

Methodology and
Frequency

    7. That
    the Board Declaration be used by the Education Review Office to provide
    assurance that Boards of Trustees are meeting their legal obligations;
    along with spot audit during on-site visits being used to ensure such
    compliance exists.
    8. That,
    in adopting Accountability Reviews, the Education Review Office concentrates
    on educational effectiveness and outcomes in its review processes.
    9. That
    the Education Review Office prepare and publish a manual for schools
    providing details of the protocols which will guide the Accountability
    Reviews.
    10. That
    the Education Review Office implement a communications strategy to ensure
    understanding of the criteria against which performance is being evaluated.
    11. That
    the review process should include focus group interviews with the Board
    of Trustees, the Principal and senior management staff, heads of departments
    or syndicate leaders, teaching staff, support staff, students and parents.
    12. That,
    once a school or centre is notified of a review, the timetable be adhered
    to and reviewers give their undivided attention in the school or centre
    during the time allocated.
    13. That
    spot reviews by the Education Review Office be retained for early childhood
    centres with the frequency being increased to at least 3 year intervals
    and, over time, to 2 year intervals.
    14. That
    the frequency of review for schools be retained at 3-4 years, with more
    frequent reviews where warranted by the indicators and with less frequent
    reviews being conducted where educational effectiveness has been assured.
    15. That
    the timing of the next review be included in the confirmed report.

    Contributing to improvements and delivery
    of education

    16. That,
    once the unconfirmed report is received, commented on and points of
    dispute negotiated, then a period of three months should elapse during
    which the school or centre would develop, implement and report on its
    action plan in response to the recommendations for action which are
    in the review report. These actions would be incorporated in the
    confirmed report which would then become a document in the public domain.
    17. That
    the Chief Review Officer has responsibility to ensure that a dispute
    resolution process is in place and effectively communicated to schools
    and centres to cover disputes which arise over statements in the unconfirmed
    reports.
    18. That,
    when unresolved issues in the report are subject to dispute, the report
    will remain unconfirmed until the National Manager Reporting Services
    has made a decision.
    19. That
    the dispute resolution process should involve negotiation between the
    parties, involvement of the Regional Manager, availability of evidence
    collected by reviewers to support their findings and, where unresolved,
    the National Manager Reporting Services would examine the evidence and
    make a judgement. The ultimate
    authority would rest with the Chief Review Officer.
    20. That
    all disputes which require intervention from the National Reporting
    Manager would be reported to the Advisory Council on Quality in Education
    of the Education Review Office.
    21. That
    the review report include a narrative description provided by the school
    or centre on its location and the context in which it operates, a list
    of significant achievements since the last review and the issues under
    consideration within the institution.
    22. That
    the Education Review Office proceed with its intention to produce a
    parent friendly summary of its review findings for schools to send to
    all families with children at the school or centre.
    23. That
    the Ministry of Education initiate further research and in-service training
    for teachers in the craft of assessment and its application.
    24. That
    the policy of releasing the results of reviews to the schools, centres
    and the media be continued.
    25. That
    schools and centres should develop strategies for media management.

    Advice and guidance

    26. That
    the Education Review Office personnel working in the field are able
    to point to examples of best practice where there is an identified need
    and request for information.
    27. That,
    as a normal part of its reporting procedure, the Education Review Office
    include a section outlining sources of advice and guidance available
    in the district and from which schools and centres would be able to
    choose the most appropriate sources.
    28. That
    the Education Review Office continue to publish evaluation reports based
    on best practice and which are relevant to the problems being encountered
    by schools and centres.
    29. That
    protocols be developed in each Education Review Office region with local
    advisory services to facilitate easy access to advice, guidance and
    support for schools and centres.
    30. That
    the Ministry of Education establish a range of actions to assist schools
    where action is required to improve the management and delivery of education.

    TERM OF REFERENCE 3

Procedural or
Legislative Changes

    31. That
    the Education Review Office provide schools and centres with the indicators
    and standards which they use during a review in order to make judgements
    about them until such time as schools and centres develop their own
    Strategic Plans and Annual Statements of Performance Indicators.
    32. That
    schools and centres be required to include a Three-year Strategic Plan
    for the delivery of the National Administration Guidelines and an Annual
    Statement of Performance Indicators in their Charters against which
    they would report annually.
    33. That
    the same requirements for amending Charters as set out in s.61 of the
    Education Act (1989) be applied to the Strategic Plan.
    34. That
    the Ministry of Education identify the production of guidelines for
    strategic planning and statements of performance indicators as a priority;
    and the Minister of Education consider professional development to assist
    the implementation as key issues for the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 budgets.

    Self-Review and Self-Improvement

    35. That
    self-review should drive both school improvement and external evaluation.
    36. That
    schools and centres be required to plan and implement self-review protocols,
    assisted by guidelines, and in-service professional development.
    37. That
    there be no change in the arrangements for recruiting reviewers to the
    Education Review Office.

    Maori Education

    38. That
    the Education Review Office focus on Maori Education in 1998 and publish
    an Evaluation Report on its provision and effectiveness in mainstream
    schools and centres as well as the entry and exit circumstances of students
    to Kura Kaupapa and Te Kohanga Reo.
    39. That
    the Statements of Performance Indicators proposed in this review include
    targets for Maori education and education of Maori.
    40. That
    the Education Review Office ensure that review teams include a speaker
    of Te Reo wherever appropriate and, if not possible, a reviewer with
    an appreciation of Tikanga Maori.

Other Issues

    41. That
    the Education Review Office work with Te Puni Kokiri to establish an
    appropriate protocol for the review of the education of Maori and Maori
    education.
    42. That
    home schooling caregivers be reviewed on an ongoing basis and continue
    to be required to provide a written annual report to the Ministry of
    Education as the exempting authority.
    43. That
    the Education Review Office prepare protocols for the audit of home
    schooling providers, including access to the learner and the learning
    environment, where caregivers are willing to give access and make them
    available to those included in the review each year.
    44. That
    the Education Act be amended to give the Education Review Office powers
    of entry to school hostels where these are an integral part of the education
    provision of the school.
    45. That
    the Education Review Office take particular note in its Accountability
    Reviews of the provision of education for students with disabilities
    in schools and centres.
    46. That
    the Education Review Office focus on Special Education in 1998/99 and
    produce an evaluation report on the provision and practices in relation
    to students in schools and centres.
    47. That
    the Education Review Office include and comment on the range of guidance
    services available for students and their effectiveness in its reports
    on schools.
    48. That
    any increase in funding for the Education Review Office should be allocated
    to the appointment of additional qualified reviewers.

    TERM OF REFERENCE 4

    49. That
    the Education Review Office and other agencies are to be commended on
    their improved working relationship.
    50. That
    protocols be developed between the Ministry of Education and the Education
    Review Office and Te Puni Kokiri that will establish relationships,
    functions and involvement in policy development which will survive changes
    in personnel and operate effectively on a continuing basis.
    51. That
    the Education Review Office continue to have a direct input into policy
    development through the Ministry of Education.
    52. That
    the Education Review Office include diagnosis of the causes of performance
    problems in its review reports on schools and centres.
    53. That
    the Ministry of Education withdraw from spot-checking in the early childhood
    sector.
    54. That
    the Education Review Office continue its practice of spot-checking early
    childhood education centres and reporting any non-compliance to the
    Ministry of Education for action.