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External Evaluation Of Schools – Bringing EU And SEE Practices Together For A Large-scope Knowledge Sharing And Peer Learning

External evaluation of schools – bringing EU and SEE practices together for a large-scope knowledge sharing and peer learning

Within the EQET SEE project (Enhancements in the quality of education and training in South Eastern Europe), which is implemented by the ERI SEE (Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe), we are focusing on improvements in the systems of external evaluation of schools across the region. Our main implementing partners are national agencies which are in charge of the external evaluation systems in their respective economies.

Throughout the project, we organize regular meetings with experts in external evaluation, to allow the platform for exchange, peer learning and improvements. A set of project activities was focusing on the exchange of practices which are used in the implementation of the external evaluation methodologies. Experts from the Netherlands, Portugal, and Scotland joined our meetings to spice up the discussions and widen the horizons. It was concluded that the methodologies that regulate the processes of external evaluation share a lot of similarities within the region, but also with the EU countries. External evaluation methodologies define the quality areas in which the external evaluation is done; set standards and indicators by which the quality is measured; the methods by which indicators are analysed, as well as the steps to be used in the external evaluation – preparation, site visit, interviews, conclusions, reporting etc.

However, in the implementation of these steps and methods, there are areas for exchange and progress. How to prepare and conduct interviews with teachers, stakeholders and students and then triangulate the data? What are different ways to prepare and use data for reporting purposes? How to ensure the consistency among external evaluators and final reports? What are some of the ways to increase the social awareness and assessment of social dimension of education among external evaluators? Could the messages conveyed to the management of schools be more affirmative/clear/constructive etc.? These, and many others, were the questions that our partners wanted to learn more about, from each other, but also from their colleagues in the EU.

With the community of external evaluators which is always open to exchange of practices and constant improvements, we developed a publication consisting of 75 best SEE and EU practices from more than 20 relevant institutions. We were greatly supported by the SICI – the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates and experts within this valuable network. The publication proved what is at the core of the external evaluators’ profession and interests – constant readiness to question, improve and grow. The publication, which will be officially published in January 2024, on and , will serve as the basis for the improvements in the systems of external evaluation in the South Eastern European region. The selected and relevant practices will be integrated into the national systems and in the way national methodologies are being implemented.

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