A Review of the Education External Evaluation Services

Brian Donnelly Education Review Office

APPENDIX 4: TERMS OF REFERENCE

Purpose

The purpose
of this review is to recommend ways of increasing the effectiveness
of the Education Review Office's contribution to improving the quality
of education outcomes for students in schools and early childhood centres.

  1. Examine the nature
    and scope of the authority of the Education Review Office and assess
    the degree to which such authority impacts on and contributes to improvement
    in the quality of educational outcomes.
  2. Assess the methodology
    and frequency of ERO's current external evaluation services, and how
    these can more effectively contribute to improvement in the delivery
    of education by schools and early childhood centres.
  3. Recommend any procedural
    or legislative changes that optimise the educational benefits and maximise
    the effectiveness of the current usage of the ERO's resources.
  4. Examine current
    methodology for evaluating the impact of policy and delivery of services
    of other state education agencies on educational outcomes for students,
    and consider how this information should be fed back into the policy
    process.

Government
Educational Objectives

In carrying
out the review, the review panel will have regard to the Government's
educational objectives, principally to:

  • encourage a more
    highly knowledgeable and skilled nation;
  • lift the quality
    of the learning environment;
  • maximised education
    gains in cost-effective ways;
  • promote an education
    sector which is responsive to the needs of students, in particular those
    with special needs or at risk of poor educational outcomes; and
  • enable local decision-making
    at the school/early childhood centre level to enhance the quality of
    education.

Other
Matters to Consider

In addressing
the Terms of Reference, the review panel will consider:

  • the appropriate
    balance between self reviews and external evaluation in schools and
    early childhood centres;
  • the functional
    relationship of external evaluation with other agencies in the education
    sector relevant to schools and early childhood centres;
  • the adequacy of
    current processes to develop common understandings between agencies
    for policy formation, policy implementation and advice, and the Education
    Review Office (ERO) as to what is considered satisfactory performance
    from schools and early childhood centres;
  • the constructiveness
    of current processes to communicate evaluation findings.

Assumptions

The review
is to be based on the following assumptions:

    the Education Review Office remains
    in existence, as an independent Government agency;
    the objective of the review is to maximise
    the effectiveness of the office; and
    the review panel will be requested
    to keep recommendations fiscally neutral.