Small schools support

What support is available for small schools during the external validation process?

Directors, Educational Leadership (DELs) and Principals, School Leadership (PSLs) are available to provide support with self-assessment and external validation as schools prepare their submission. Schools that have an established relationship with a PSL may choose to access that PSL to seek support.

Schools should contact their DEL to discuss participation in the School Excellence – Supporting schools with external validation registered professional learning which is facilitated by PSLs. Principals are encouraged to explore  collaboration opportunities with  local schools. PSLs can assist with this process. Small schools are encouraged to contact pslcoord@det.nsw.edu.au for targeted support and resources.

What funding is available for small schools to support the external validation process? What will this involve?

In 2019, small schools will receive four days casual release to assist with external validation. This will include a one off payment directly to the school. The allocation can be used to:

  • provide release time for the teaching principal to develop the submission
  • support teaching principals to attend network meetings
  • provide release time to one of the school executive to attend network meetings run by DELs with the support of PSLs to prepare for external validation
  • employ a colleague to assist in the preparation of the submission.

How many evidence sets are in a submission?

The number of evidence sets is dependent on the school context. The implementation guidelines state that no more than 7-10 evidence sets is recommended. However, a submission may only consist of a few evidence sets as a result of carefully chosen, quality artefacts.

Can a group of small schools submit a joint submission?

No. School planning, self-assessment and reporting requirements are specific to each school context. Therefore each school needs to develop an individual submission indicative of that school’s self-assessment journey.

Does a small school need to include external student performance data?

Providing external student performance data in a submission can be a helpful way of demonstrating the impact of teaching practices. However, in a small school setting, such data needs to be treated with caution due to the small sample size. A sample size of at least 10 provides an acceptable base in which small schools can begin to draw some conclusions. If a small school has small sample sizes, it may notice trends in the data over a period of time. Consistent patterns over a longer period of time, for example, can provide a small school with greater confidence that the data demonstrates consistent change rather than random variation.

What sources of evidence should be considered in the formation of the submission?

Sources of evidence need to be considered carefully in order to demonstrate impact, process quality and activity. In some circumstances, this may best be demonstrated by triangulating internally collected data. The sources of evidence list might be a useful resource for small schools to use when collecting evidence.

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