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Evaluation of Schools Support

Publication Details

This report discusses the findings of an evaluation of the Ministry of Education's Schools Support Project as it was between mid-1995 and late 2000. The two aspects addressed by the evaluation are Safety Net interventions and Schooling Improvement initiatives. It includes a review of recent international research literature relating to school improvement, and the findings from interviews with a range of representatives from schools, the education sector and the Ministry.

Author(s): Lisa McCauley and Susannah Roddick

Date Published: August 2001

Overview

This report discusses the findings of an evaluation of the Ministry of Education's Schools Support Project as it was between mid-1995 and late 2000. The two aspects addressed by the evaluation are Safety Net interventions and Schooling Improvement initiatives.

The introduction gives a brief description and history of Schools Support as it has evolved over a five-year period. Since its inception, the scope of Schools Support has expanded and its processes have been redeveloped and remodelled and this chapter provides an outline of these changes and developments.

Chapter 2 discusses the conceptual framework for the evaluation. This framework was developed on the basis of a review of recent international research literature relating to schooling improvement, and also with reference to previous evaluations of Schools Support. In addition, interviews were conducted with Ministry and Treasury staff, and education sector representatives to help define a common understanding of the intended outcomes for Schools Support.

Chapter 3 outlines the purpose and methodology of the evaluation, and describes the tools and processes involved.

Chapters 4-7 present the findings from the evaluation. Chapter 4 discusses the stages of a Schools Support intervention or initiative, including both entry and exit points of Schools Support.

Chapters 5 and 6 discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Schools Support interventions and initiatives, as raised by interviewees.

Chapter 7 focuses on the extent to which Schools Support interventions or initiatives are leading to change in schools. Change is defined here in terms of five factors which international literature has identified as being important for school improvement.

The final chapter draws some overall conclusions from the large range of issues in the data. Seven key points are explored in relation to the strategic conclusions, their implications and further questions raised by the interviews.

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