Guiding principles – school selection, key steps and the role of executive/ college principals

How many schools are being validated and how were they selected?

Each year approximately one quarter of NSW public schools undertake external validation (EV). Schools have been assigned to one of 4 School Excellence cohorts (A, B, C, D), for the purpose of EV during the four-year School Excellence cycle. Cohort A represents schools undertaking EV in 2021, cohort B schools undertake EV in 2022, and so on.

What are the key steps of external validation?

There are 4 key steps:

  • The school prepares and completes a submission highlighting their self-assessment practices and achievements using the School Excellence Framework (SEF).
  • The Director, Educational Leadership (DEL) affirms the school’s validation submission.
  • An independent panel determines whether the evidence presented supports the school’s assessment.
  • The school may use the submission, panel report and areas of improvement, identified through the EV process:
    • for professional conversations and to lead discussions with the school community
    • to inform the school’s self-assessment processes and situational analysis
    • to adjust future practices and inform the development of the school’s new four-year Strategic Improvement Plan.

What is being validated in the EV process?

The EV process validates whether the school’s evidence supports their self-assessment using each element of the School Excellence Framework (SEF).

What is the role of executive/ college principals?

The executive/ college principal plays an important role in the planning and reporting cycle of a college and as such will have an ongoing role in self-assessment.

Depending on the local context, organisation and structure of the college, the executive/ college principal may participate in the collaborative preparation of the campus’ EV submission with the campus leadership team and/or the panel meeting.

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