Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Back to business

It was back to school yesterday after a relaxing 2 week Easter vacation. It's amazing how differently we all approach matters when we are refreshed and relaxed. The term that has just passed was a very stressful and busy one for staff at Liberton High. Not only did staff and pupils have the usual pressures of SQA deadlines and folio completion to contend with but we also had our follow through inspection with HMIe. I found the whole HMIe experience to be quite stressful; I know that colleagues hold a similar view. One of the areas I have been reflecting on recently, particularly, since the tragic death of a HT colleague in the borders, is how schools, local authorities and HMIe can more effectively work together to manage school evaluation. I am convinced that self-evaluation (i.e. evaluation carried out by school staff within the school as part of an on-going improvement process) is the most important and effective means to improving educational outcomes for learners. What are the arguments for external moderation? Why do the Finnish and Irish education systems, which have a very different moderation model to ours, regularly outperform us in the various international comparisons?

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