Introduction

The purpose of internal evaluation

At its heart, effective internal evaluation is about improving student outcomes.

Schools and communities of learning conduct internal evaluation to:

  • identify and address areas for improvement
  • meet accountability requirements
  • create knowledge about what works, for which students and why.

Learners are the focus of school and community inquiry and evaluation processes.

For all decisions made in the context of school evaluation, the question needs to be asked and answered:

‘How will this impact on our learners?’

And, once a decision has been taken:

‘What impact did this have for our learners?’

There is a further, fundamental question which is crucial to being able to answer the two questions above, and that is: 

‘How do we know?’

Approaching internal evaluation for improvement in this way:

  • encourages teachers to focus on what really makes a difference to learning
  • enables trustees to allocate resources where they are most needed
  • supports leaders to develop sustainable and consistently improving learning organisations.

Student achievement and engagement information are two vital sources of evidence to help answer questions about impact. A range of additional data gathering methods such as video recordings, face to face conversations, focus groups and surveys are used to more deeply understand the impact of school decisions and practices for all learners.