DECS IMPROVEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY FRAMEWORK RESOURCES GUIDE TO SELF REVIEW

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1 DECS IMPROVEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY FRAMEWORK RESOURCES GUIDE TO SELF REVIEW Reflect... Improve... Achieve

2 GUIDE TO SELF REVIEW The purpose of Self Review Effective organisations regularly monitor and review their performance to guide their actions. Self Review is a key element of the DECS Improvement and Accountability Framework (DIAf) and is fundamental to an effective cycle of improvement and accountability. Self Review enables an analysis of current performance, practices and the effectiveness of improvement strategies. This analysis informs directions for Improvement Plans and provides a basis for performance reports to the community. The purpose of Self Review processes is to improve the quality of our core business - teaching and learning - and the effectiveness of site operations. Effective Self Review processes engage a range of stakeholders in analysing data and other evidence to examine progress towards stated priorities and targets. This will enable sites to identify both successful practices and outcomes, and areas where practices and outcomes may require action to improve. There is an expectation that sites conduct Self Review processes each year and use the information gained to direct future plans and actions. Rigorous Self Review will achieve the standards outlined on page 6 of this Guide. Regional Directors will validate the quality of Self Review processes, findings and the outcomes from actions undertaken through triennial validation processes. Self Review may be undertaken in a variety of ways, using a range of approaches and materials (for example, accreditation processes like that of the Council of International Schools or program reviews). This Guide uses the DECS Self Review Tool and rubrics as an approach to Self Review. It refers to other DECS Self Review resources, and provides a suggested process to support sites make decisions about Self Review within their context. This document should be read in conjunction with its companion document the Self Review Tool, which may be accessed at 1. Prepare for Self Review i. Understand the DECS Improvement and Accountability Framework The DECS Improvement and Accountability Framework supports DECS to achieve and sustain high performance. The DIAf reflects best practice approaches to develop effective schools, preschools and education systems. It provides a whole of department approach that integrates processes of improvement and accountability to achieve effectiveness. The DIAf outlines the way in which government schools and preschools, supported by regional and state office personnel, work to continuously improve the quality of outcomes and services for learners and communities. The five elements of the DIAf support a cycle of improvement: Standards Self Review Improvement Planning Intervention and Support Performance Reporting These elements ensure that sites have an integrated process to review performance, plan for improvement, target areas of need, and report on standards achieved to the community. The DIAf may be accessed at 1

3 ii. Understand the DECS Principles of Improvement & Effectiveness The DIAf is underpinned by the DECS Principles of Improvement and Effectiveness to support Self Review. These nine principles are based on a body of international research and informed by practice. By using the DECS Principles of Improvement and Effectiveness as a lens, this Guide provides one approach to undertaking systematic Self Review processes. The principles enable inquiry into all aspects of site operations and help to address questions on the quality and effectiveness of site processes, outcomes and performance. Focus on Learning Think Systemically Share Leadership Attend to Culture Listen & Respond Make Data Count Set Direction Target Resources Continuously Improve How successful have we been in achieving quality learning and wellbeing standards for all learners - staff and parents? How successfully do our systems and processes support teaching and learning and the achievement of standards? How effective have we been in sharing and building leadership capacity to drive our improvement agenda? How effectively does the site culture support learners, staff and parents to achieve high quality outcomes? How successfully do we recognise and respond to current and future needs of learners and stakeholders? How effectively do we analyse and use data and evidence to drive improvements in practice and outcomes? How successful are we in living our values and making progress towards the achievement of our vision and purpose? How effectively do we target resources to achieve our stated goals and support the improvement agenda? How effective are our plans and processes in creating sustainable improvements and achieving quality standards? Resources and processes to support sites understand the DECS principles are available at iii. Determine who will be involved in Self Review processes The principal/director has responsibility to oversee the design, implementation and documentation of Self Review processes within a site. Site leaders are required to establish timelines and provide information to staff and the Governing Council about the processes and opportunities for involvement. Self Review findings are to be reported to the community, and to the Regional Director through performance management and validation processes. It is recommended that site leaders establish a Site Improvement Team to drive Self Review processes. This Site Improvement Team might include: Staff representatives: year level or curriculum area Leadership team representatives Governing Council representatives Parents and learners At times sites may involve external personnel to support Self Review. This might include regional personnel, professional peers, community members, or key partnership groups. In larger sites, Self Review may be undertaken by several smaller teams with particular responsibilities that relate to key focus areas. It is important to keep the team(s) manageable and yet ensure that perspectives considered are representative of the local context. 2

4 2. Conduct the Self Review i. Determine site performance The local context and site needs will influence the focus of Self Review processes annually. An environmental scan of the current level of performance against all principles is an effective starting point for sites. The Self Review Tool Level 2 Scan Document provides a process to scan the nine principles to make an on balance judgement of the site s performance with respect to each principle. From this scan, sites will be able to identify areas - principles and specific criteria - where a deeper analysis using the other levels of the Self Review Tool might help stakeholders to understand improvement needs. ii. Reflect on the Improvement Plan All sites develop a Improvement Plan that identifies the priorities, strategies and targets to strategically improve site performance and outcomes. The Improvement Plan makes clear what the site is intending to improve and achieve. A key focus of Self Review is to examine progress towards achieving these targets and the effectiveness of the strategies identified. The Self Review Tool provides support for evaluating the effectiveness of current site priorities and strategies to achieve stated targets. Self Review processes may indicate areas of the plan that require additional attention or refinements to the planned strategies or targets. In examining the Improvement Plan - What data and evidence need to be gathered and/or analysed to monitor and evaluate Improvement Plan priority areas, strategies and targets? What data or evidence confirms, or otherwise, progress towards stated goals or targets? Which identified strategies are effectively achieving progress towards stated goals and targets? What are the implications for refining the Improvement Plan from self assessment against the principles? iii. Determine the focus of Self Review processes From the environmental scan and Improvement Plan reflections, the Site Improvement Team will be able to focus Self Review to best meet site needs. This may vary from year to year but learner achievement data should be analysed annually. The Rubrics in the Self Review Tool provide a performance continuum for each principle. It is recommended that leadership, staff and Governing Council members select the specific rubrics that will support them to more accurately determine performance in chosen areas. From examination of selected rubrics, the Site Improvement Team will decide priority areas for deeper inquiry, strategies to engage key stakeholders, the data and evidence to gather and schedule time to interrogate those data. To manage the Self Review processes effectively, it is important for the team to prioritise - and limit the number of - key areas for deeper inquiry. It is recommended that all sites engage with the Focus on Learning principle as part of Self Review processes annually. Sites may wish to engage in deeper investigations with other prioritised focus areas/principles. To effectively manage a focused Self Review, it is suggested that sites explore no more than three principles in depth in any year. In examining the rubrics - Does the identified level of performance match site targets and community expectations? What questions arose and why? What issues need further investigation? What data or evidence does the site have that confirms, or otherwise, the perceived level of performance? What might be the next steps to move forward in the priority areas? Which statements from the Strategic or Embedded level of the rubrics support the identification of key site goals or targets? A range of tools and resources are available to assist Site Improvement Teams with the DECS Principles and Rubrics at 3

5 iv. Gather and analyse data and evidence In the priority areas to be focused on within Self Review, qualitative and quantitative data need to be gathered and analysed for a balanced view of site performance. When sites engage with Focus on Learning each year, learner achievement data should be analysed annually as part of Self Review. A comprehensive view of site performance results from the analysis of multiple measures of data and evidence (Using Data to Improve Student Learning, Bernhardt, 2004). Multiple data measures include demographic, perception, process and achievement data. Multiple data measures enable targeted questions to be asked that lead to significant insights to support improvement decisions. For example: What teaching practices achieve the most successful outcomes in reading for Year 5 girls/boys? DECS data protocols may be accessed at The analysis of multiple measures will highlight site strengths, opportunities for improvement, issues or areas of concern about the quality of practices and achievements. At times, a number of issues may emerge that require attention. In moving forwards, it is important to identify the root cause of issues rather than quick-fix solutions that may not address the underlying causes or needs. Resources and information on multiple measures, root cause and variation are available at Learner Achievement Data Perception Data Demographic Data / Context Process Data What do these data show about learners results, standards and needs? SACSA Developmental Learning Outcomes Running Records Student Entry Assessment Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results over time SACSA Standard Achievement Levels Teacher Assessments SACE Completion, Achievement Levels and Grade Distributions over time Year 12 Destination / Pathways in Employment / Training / Education Other site / classroom achievement / learning data over time What are the views of learners and stakeholders about the quality of teaching and learning, and culture? Student Opinion Survey results (by focus area, year level, cultural background, gender) Staff Opinion Survey results (by focus area, non-teaching/ teaching) Parent Opinion Survey results Logged parent concerns / issues Other site / classroom based Questionnaires / Feedback Processes Involvement and Wellbeing Scale instruments (Reflect, Respect, Relate Resource) Staff Psychological Health What are the unique characteristics of the site/ community that may impact on teaching and learning? Enrolments Attendance ESL / NESB / ATSI / SWD Transience / Destination Retention / Progression Suspensions / Exclusions Parents / Community Staff - skills / experience Financial & Physical Assets Data Sources: EDSAS, School Performance Reporting System (SPeRS) via the EduPortal, Indigenous Student Support System (ISSS), Site Financial Management Systems. How effectively do site processes and practices support teaching and learning? The Improvement Plan and associated operational and / or management plans Current pedagogies, teaching approaches and assessment strategies Teaching Programs / Class Lesson Plans / Curriculum Plans Assessment against DECS Principles of Improvement & Effectiveness rubrics Assessment using the SA Teaching for Effective Learning Compass review tool. Policies (documentation, flowcharts describing processes, review processes) In examining multiple measures of data: What are the strengths (i.e. highest results), challenges (i.e. lowest results) or issues from the analysis of learner achievement data and and other multiple measures of data overtime or when compared at other levels (e.g. nationally, regionally, index of disadvantage/like schools)? How do the results compare for different learning areas or the progress /growth of cohorts, targeted groups or individuals? What are the implications for intervention and support that emerge? What strengths or issues do the perception data sets highlight? What further inquiry needs to be undertaken at the site or classroom level based on any differences that may exist between staff, parent and learner perceptions? What are the implications presented by the multiple measures of data for focussing improvements on the processes and policies at the site level, and teaching and learning programs and practices at the class level? 4

6 3. Act on Self Review findings i. Document Self Review The Site Improvement Team makes decisions about how to document the processes undertaken, the evidence and insights that have emerged, and future directions and actions. Documentation needs to provide a record of the improvement journey, inform key stakeholders and support future Self Review processes. Sites will integrate documentation within routine processes such as newsletters and reports to staff and Governing Council. The team needs to consider the documentation format and timing so that it supports the development of site performance reporting, improvement planning and validation processes. Models and templates developed to assist sites in documenting Self Review processes are available at ii. Refine the Improvement Plan Self Review findings will play a significant role in the monitoring of the Improvement Plan. Key findings from Self Review form the basis of new or refocused strategies, actions and targets in the Improvement Plan and subsequent action plans and/or operational plans. iii. Implement other Self Review findings Self Review may indicate that certain policies or processes at the site level or programs and practices at the class level need improvement. For example, at the site level, Self Review may indicate that intervention programs are not achieving the desired results for targeted learners. This may need further inquiry and actions, such as investigation of alternative strategies, policy review or refinements to existing practices. Or, as an example at the classroom level, Self Review may indicate that certain skills need to be explicitly taught. To take actions from the Self Review process: How might findings from the analysis of data, evidence, and the DECS rubrics improve site priorities, strategies and targets? What information from the Self Review processes will make the most significant difference for learner outcomes? What processes might be used to involve and support staff to enact improvement strategies at the classroom level? What are the implications for site operations, resource and financial management? 4. Reflect on Self Review Processes i. Ongoing Self Review processes Self Review is an ongoing and cyclic process. The regular evaluation of learner achievement and client perception data is vital for sites to monitor improvement efforts and needs. The Site Improvement Team determines Self Review processes for the next 6-12 months and makes decisions on how to continue the cycle. Decisions may include: a strategic planning day, sessions with staff / Governing Council, additional data collection and analysis, professional development, and processes to monitor and evaluate progress. ii. Self Review Validation Validation by the Regional Director verifies the quality of site Self Review processes, the findings of the Self Review, and the effectiveness of the improvement actions undertaken over a three year cycle. The Site Improvement Team seeks feedback to determine improvements for future Self Review processes, and establishes ongoing monitoring and evaluation processes. 5

7 iii. Reflect on Self Review Standards Sites are encouraged to complete an evaluation of the Self Review Standards to assess whether Self Review processes have been rigorous. By reflecting on these standards, sites are able to improve future Self Review processes. The first six standards highlighted in yellow are considered as part of validation processes. Sites are encouraged to consider all twelve standards to gain a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness and rigor of their Self Review proocesses. Are Self Review processes...? 1. Evidence Based Processes examine multiple measures of data at classroom, group, site and state levels. A balance of qualitative and quantitative data are provided to demonstrate progress towards the achievement of site goals and priorities. 2. Inquiry Focussed Processes engage stakeholders to inquire into practices and performance to identify strengths, challenges, and key improvement actions. 3. Collaborative Processes involve all stakeholders (parents, community, learners, staff) and external partners such as the Regional Office where appropriate. 4. Well Managed Processes are led by the site leader or working party determined by the site leader and Governing Council. Known processes are enacted in a timely manner and evaluated for effectiveness. 5. Comprehensive Self Review processes examine all aspects of site performance and operations. The DECS Principles of Improvement and Effectiveness provide a comprehensive approach to site Self Review. Alternative approaches are to be negotiated by the site community with the Regional Director. (e.g. Council of International Schools or Australian Business Excellence Framework). 6. Actioned Self Review findings lead to strategic actions within future site directions and intervention and support strategies. 7. Ongoing Monitoring and reflection on performance occurs throughout the year. 8. Contextual Processes reflect the needs and aspirations of the local community, can be managed within available resources and include the review of site priorities and initiatives. 9. Standards Driven Processes review site performance against external and internal standards.[refer to the DECS Occasional Paper: Standards for Improvement and Accountability (2009).] 10. Ethically Conducted Data are gathered and used for specific, agreed purposes [refer to the DECS Data Protocols]. Personnel involved in data collection and analysis maintain confidentiality and act with integrity. Data are not used to identify individuals; rather to focus on site performance trends and issues. 11. Communicated Self Review helps to identify the achievement of site goals and successes. Self Review findings are to be reported to the site community and Regional Director and inform the Annual Report. 12. Validated The Regional Director is able to validate the quality and rigour of Self Review outcomes, processes and actions over a three year cycle with sites. Yes / No Comments: For further information: Quality, Improvement and Effectiveness Unit Telephone

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