This week three primary schools – Cronk-y-Berry, Kewaigue and St John’s – will share with parents the comments from an external validation of their School Self Review and Evaluation (SSRE).
The process of SSRE is continuous and entails schools reviewing all aspects of their work and making judgments about what they are doing well and where they need to take action to secure improvement, explained Martin Barrow, Director of Education. The possible judgments are ‘significant strength’, ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ and ‘action required’.
‘This process supports schools in having a clear view of how to build on their strengths to ensure they continue to offer the best possible learning opportunities to pupils,’Mr Barrow said.
‘The Department of Education and Children believes the process has proved very effective in helping schools to improve their practice.’
To support schools in confirming that the judgments they have made are accurate, the process has an external element built in to it.
The first external validation cycle took place from 2008 to 2011 and a second validation cycle commenced in September 2013, Mr Barrow explained.
It involves an external validator, together with a DEC adviser, working with headteachers to review the evidence schools have used to make judgments and to quality assure their accuracy. The validating company, World Class Learning, was chosen from a number of companies that tendered for this work.
Any areas for improvement or further dissemination of best practice are then identified in the annual School Improvement Plan and supported by the school’s link adviser.
Mr Barrow said:
‘The main aim of the validation process is to provide professional support to schools to help them to refine their own judgments. When a school has been involved in this validation process, they will take the opportunity to share key outcomes with parents.’