Evaluation of the School-based management pilot
|Evaluator company||Student Engagement and Program Evaluation Bureau (SEPEB), NSW Department of Education|
|Study type||Expert opinion|
|Evaluation type||Both process and outcome|
This evaluation aimed to identify how the pilot schools used their increased authority and flexibility in recruitment, staffing and funding control to achieve improved student outcomes and school improvement. The methodology comprised interviews with 40 of the 47 pilot school principals and some school administrative staff, interviews with principals, school leaders, teachers, students and parents in 15 pilot schools and interviews with stakeholders document review. Overall, the responses reported a very positive picture of how the pilot was received in schools and which pilot functions were used to create flexibility and school improvement. While many principals said that the pilot contributed to this improvement directly, other principals indicated that it was not possible to unpack the effect of pilot initiatives from other initiatives in operation in the school. The evaluation found that the issue of the impact of pilot initiatives on student outcomes was difficult, if not impossible, to quantify in the short two-year timeframe since the commencement of the pilot. In a few cases, respondents indicated that improved student outcomes were very clear as a direct result of the pilot initiatives. In other schools, the pilot was used to improve the whole-school teaching and learning focus, and to support delivery of other programs such as the Smarter Schools National Partnerships.