Why carry out a School Self Evaluation?

Many schools use a range of self-evaluation activities to find out what is working, or not, in their schools. Sometimes these are overly bureaucratic, a burden on staff at all levels and don’t always tell us what we need to know. School self-evaluation can be a fundamental force in achieving your school improvement objectives. If your school could do with some guided reflection on this, and really want to make school self-review sensible then this might be just what you need.

‘Makes you think deeply about your practice to become reflective and creative in making adaptions and changes daily to have the highest impact on outcomes for the pupils’

Alice Jones, Head of Performing Arts, Hampton School.

What are the benefits?

We need to re-think our accountability measures we use in schools – they are often a distraction on our real efforts towards school improvement – and who do we really do all this QA work for?

This INSET is designed for senior and middle leaders to help you work out the most effective self-evaluation process your school should engage with to support your development of the SDP and ultimately the writing of the SEF.

Effective self-review where stakeholders feel involved, valued and empowered to be change-makers can reduce teacher workload and support improvements in wellbeing.

Writing the ISI SEF

Although independent schools do not have to complete the ISI Self-evaluation form (SEF) most schools choose to do so; where this is not done, inspectors must be directed to alternative documentation which demonstrates the school’s processes of self-evaluation.

You may be interested in our School Improvement Review service and range of audits – for more information click here

JMC Inspection Team

What will the training look like?

The INSET will start with a brief outline of the principles for effective self-review activities and how they can be fully aligned to your school and department priorities. No review activities for the sake of review.

Leaders will take time to reflect on their existing School Development Plan (SDP) and establish what lines of enquiry self-review activities should follow and if any editions need to be made to the SDP itself.

We will then look at

  • What is a ‘sensible approach’?
  • What difference could this make to your school? What will be the impact? Why is it different to looking at inspection frameworks alone?
  • The difference in value between monitoring and review
  • How can we use the ISI framework to support our activity?
  • What next? How will this programme be structured / options so that it is effective for your school?
  • Who should take part? Which senior leaders are in charge of self review activities?

The main part of the INSET will then be to review existing review activities your teams carry out and evaluate if they are fully aligned to school improvement priorities and if they are effective, using a SWOT analysis. We will look at what other evidence might need to be collected.

The final part will be to construct a detailed School Self-review schedule which can be shared with all stakeholders so that all activities are transparent, and which will itself become a powerful tool to inform the Whole School SEF.


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