Improvement, inspection and self-review

Chapman, C. (2000) Improvement, inspection and self-review. Improving Schools, 3(2), pp. 57-63. (doi: 10.1177/136548020000300213)

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Recent research suggests that what the teacher does in the classroom is three to four times more important in terms of pupil outcomes than what happens at whole school level. Local Education Authority (LEA) level is thought to have even less influence on pupil outcomes Reynolds (1999). This implies that teachers are crucial to raising educa tional standards. If teacher's valuable skills and knowledge are not developed or harnessed effectively then schools only have a limited capacity for school improvement. It may be argued that the more that teacher's skills and know ledge are developed through Professional Development, the greater the effect they may have on student outcomes because of these increased skill and knowledge levels. Their position in the classroom puts teachers in a potentially powerful position in terms of raising educa tional standards, however only quietly in the corner of some schools can true collaborative practice and self review be seen to be happening. The more marginalised, demoralised and technicised teachers become the more we are limiting the potential for school improvement. The key to raising educational standards is improving teacher performance in the classroom through the develop ment of teaching and learning. One method of reviewing, evaluating and hoping to develop performance is to rely on the externally imposed inspection framework. The 1992 Education Act facilitated the setting up of the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). Central government, irrespective of political party has been fanatically com mitted to the principle of holding schools accountable for their actions and progress through inspection. Frequently we hear politicians and policy makers speak of 'improve ment through inspection '.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chapman, Professor Christopher
Authors: Chapman, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Improving Schools
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
Published Online:01 January 2000

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