School self-assessment is a key component of the School Excellence cycle. As a reflective process, the school regularly collects, analyses and evaluates a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence to inform their overall performance in relation to the desired improvements in their Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP).
Once, during a four-year cycle, schools undergo an external validation of the evidence of their school self-assessment.
Each year approximately 25% of schools are selected as a representative sample across School Performance Directorates. Schools engage in discussions with an external panel and have their self-assessments validated using the School Excellence Framework (SEF).
The panel, comprising of a Principal School Leadership (PSL) and a peer principal, meet with the school external validation team and determine whether the school's evidence supports their self-assessment using each element of the SEF. An external validation panel report, which includes the school-determined next steps in the self-assessment process, and school-determined future directions to support school improvement, is provided to the school following the external validation.
The School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) software is used by:
- schools - to prepare the external validation submission
- Directors, Educational Leadership - to review and affirm the external validation submission
- panels - to view validate and report on the external validation submission.
External validation guidelines are available on the School Excellence Policy webpage. These comprehensive guidelines provide more detail on the implementation of the external validation process.
External validation submission support
Resources have been developed to contribute to a shared understanding and consistent approach across schools to evidence gathering and self-assessment. Information advising schools what to include in an external validation submission, as well as examples of content to include in the executive summary, next steps, annotation and analysis are available on the submission support page.
Additional information, including templates to support the development of an evidence set can be found in the resources section of the SPaRO software, as well as frequently asked questions including specific material relating to a small school context.
School Excellence Framework
The School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey (SEF S-aS) has been designed to support schools to capture a 'point-in-time' judgement that has been informed by their ongoing self-assessment processes using the School Excellence Framework (SEF).
This SEF S-aS requires school leadership teams to work collaboratively to:
- collate and reflect on evidence gathered as part of their ongoing self-assessment using the SEF
- provide an on-balance judgement of which stage best describes the school's practices for each element of the SEF.
Each year schools complete the SEF S-aS within the School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) software. SPaRO is available to schools through the department's staff portal.
The School Excellence Framework evidence guide provides further information to support schools to undertake rigorous, evidence-based self-assessment practices.