The Education Improvement Service (EIS) consists of four full-time and one part-time advisers and two advisory teachers. These work closely with the two advisers and a part-time advisory teacher who are attached to the Services for Children section as well as with the two advisory teachers who are attached to the ICT section and who are responsible for developing the way in which ICT is used to support the curriculum across all schools.
There are two key strands to the work of the education advisers. Most critically, they are responsible for the quality assurance of the educational delivered through schools. They work with schools constantly to support and encourage them in their development and evaluate their success.
They also ensure the Department fulfils its responsibilities in relation to Section 50 of the Education Act 2001, which describes the arrangements for the inspection of schools.
The second key strand to their work is one of innovation. Advisers shape thinking, generate ideas and lead working groups of practitioners to develop the direction, content and quality of the curriculum offered by schools. They also contribute directly to a wide range of training for teachers and oversee or manage the work of other individuals and teams who work with schools.
In addition, advisers undertake a wide range of day-to-day tasks that ensure the smooth running of the education service including providing professional support for the appointment of classroom staff, undertaking the appointment of senior staff in schools and monitoring the provision for children who are in care.
They are also often the Department’s link with parents or members of the public and undertake multi-agency roles, especially relating to the more closer integration of children’s services.
By contrast advisory teachers work directly with teachers and children either to support the development of the area they are responsible for or to support the needs of specific children. These posts are often filled by staff seconded from school, reflecting the need to provide short-term support to some areas and providing staff with professional development opportunities.
Overview of roles/responsibilities can be found on its dedicated web page.