The demand to offer quality education enabling success for all students has made all European educational systems, their schools and people responsible for them try to design strategies, techniques and tools to better achieve that ultimate goal. For the last twenty years many efforts have been made to develop quality assuring school evaluation procedures and, as a consequence, the implementation of internal and external improvement plans has become one of the key elements for school development in many European countries.
The Supervising Schools in the 21st Century: Digital Tools and Improvement Plans (SS21DTIP) Project is proposing to reinforce the improvement processes taking place within schools with the description of procedures and techniques and the creation of tools that will be aiming to enable schools to engage with educational evidence and find enhanced teaching, learning and managing strategies. In other words, SS21DTIP intends to contribute to a unique and innovative insight into school evaluation by assisting schools with what is the centre of effective planning activities, data-informed internal evaluation and planning processes. Bearing in mind all the needs and aims above mentioned, this Project aims to achieve the following objectives:
1. Identify dimensions, criteria, strategies and good practices linked to school improvement.
2. Provide inspectorate-of-education bodies and professional staff in charge of supporting schools’ development plans with new perspectives of good practices and approaches toward school improvement.
3. Create an open on-line toolkit to provide those in charge of planning, developing and assessing schools’ improvement plans with criteria, strategies and instruments to do it in an effective way.
4. Provide policy makers and universities with data and information about improvement processes developed in schools linked to partner institutions taking part in this project.
5. Promote the European dimension of all actions and initiatives of this Project.In order to achieve these objectives, this project intends to develop four intellectual outputs: A published article on the role of inspectorates supporting schools in data-informed decision making, a comparative paper based on five national case studies to identify how improvement plans are being developed, a toolkit to develop data-informed improvement plans and Multilingual Open Online Course (MOOC) in an open access format to develop and distribute training materials on how to plan, implement and assess a school improvement plan. Four organizations from Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria and Greece have become partners to carry out SS21DTIP: CEYE-JUNTAEX (Consejería de Educación y Empleo- Junta de Extremadura), Dublin City University (DCU), Sofia University (SU) and RPDE Stereas Elladas. The inspectorate of Education of CEYE-JUNTAEX has among its functions collaborating in the promotion of continuous evaluation by the educational centers, of their own functioning, of the programs that they develop, of the teaching-learning processes they carry out and the results of their students. DCU hosts the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI), a multidisciplinary research group examining the impact of evaluation and inspection in education and related fields, and is a designated University Research Centre. Sofia university will bring expertise inthe area of school inspection, school improvement and school self- and peer-evaluation and rich experience in case study research. The RDPSE is a decentralized organization of the Ministry of Education, Research & Religious Affairs in Greece with administrative as well as pedagogic responsibilities, in charge of promoting and monitoring the innovations and reformations of the Ministry of Education within the region of Sterea Ellada. All the partners will take responsibility for the four identified outputs. The entire partnership will contribute to each output and will use both online and transnational meetings to develop final products.
Committed to transnational usage the products will be available in the four partner languages. Besides, a Joint staff training event and a multiplier event will be held. The first aims to focus on the importance of adopting a data-informed decision making approach when developing school plans. The Multiplier event that will take place in Spain aims to disseminate the products of SS21DTIP at regional, national and international level.
It is expected that the SS21DTIP Project will reinforce the improvement processes taking place within schools by enabling schools to engage with educational evidence, find enhanced teaching, learning and managing strategies and develop effective planning activities, data-informed internal evaluation and planning processes. This will, in the long term, bring a qualitative change to the way school evaluation is developed.