A report released by the OECD shows New Zealand is leading the world with its emphasis on schools undertaking reviews of their own performance.
Education Review Office chief executive, Dr Graham Stoop, says the report shows New Zealand is ahead of most other countries in using a collaborative approach to school evaluation. This approach complements a school’s own self reviews with regular external reviews conducted by ERO.
‘It is great to have this recognition from an international organisation like the OECD, and shows we are on the right track in evaluating and supporting schools,” he says.
“Over the past five years our emphasis has been on making self review an essential component of school evaluation.”
The report from an OECD based team examines New Zealand’s evaluation and assessment methods, and is one of 24 reviews being conducted on countries worldwide.
It shows ERO’s approach to varying the review frequency of schools from one to five years depending on performance is ‘exemplary’, as it takes into account the ‘educational health’ of the school.
Dr Stoop says it was heartening to see that ERO’s practice of helping schools where there are problems came through strongly in the OECD report.
“Through our longitudinal review process we are helping schools with difficulties to undertake better self review and to build evaluative capacity, so they can identify areas for improvement themselves and act on these.”
He says the report also identified challenges for ERO including how to balance the accountability and improvement aspects of its role in evaluating schools.
“This is an ongoing challenge. On the one hand we are reviewing schools to provide the government with assurance of quality, whilst on the other hand we are doing our best to help them make improvements. This will always be an area of tension and a work in progress.”
To read the report: Visit the OECD website - www.oecd.org/edu/evaluationpolicy