Monday, January 5, 2009


These materials were prepared co‑operatively under the Training and Support Programme for School Headteachers in Africa in the 1990s. They were updated considerably in Guyana in 2000 and again in 2008 to meet the needs of the Guyanese educational context.

Governments in developing Commonwealth countries wishing to reproduce or adapt the materials in whole or in part in any language should inform the Commonwealth Secretariat which may be able to offer some assistance in doing so.

For further information, write to the Director of the Education Programme, Commonwealth Secretariat, London.


Education Programme
Human Resource Development Group
Marlborough House
Pall Mall
United Kingdom



National Centre for Educational Resource Development
3, Battery Road,

Prepared for publication by the MPU, NCERD
Originally designed and formatted by Geoffrey Wadsley.
Updated design and format by NCERD staff in partnership with

© Copyright Commonwealth Secretariat & Ministry of Education, NCERD Guyana 20098

Notes on Assessment
Please note that each of the unit contains two kinds of activities as follows:

1. Reflection – You will see these from time to time throughout the text. They are in white type and highlighted in black. E.g. Reflection. You are not required to submit your thoughts on these issues to your Master Trainer. You may make notes if you wish but they are your own personal reflections on the issues raised.
2. Activities – These are formal assessments which you will have to submit to your Master Trainer as part of your portfolio. You should number them in the same way as the units and carry out the activity as stated.


The principle purpose of a school is to provide learning. The Headteacher of a school must ensure that this function is carried out effectively. We might assume, therefore that this is his / her most important role.

A question which might seem both easy and perplexing to answer is: What makes an effective school? It is essential that all schools are effective as every child within them is entitled to the same quality of education as every other child, whatever his / her background, ability, social class, race or ethnic group. We need, therefore, to know what we mean by this term, how we can determine the extent to which each school is effective, identify the areas requiring attention and employ strategies to bring them up to an acceptable standard.. A school may be effective in some areas of its operation and life, but less successful in others. How can we determine these and how may we then plan and provide for an improved performance?

In Guyana, the MERD Unit is a key agency for determining school quality at Ministry level. The Regional Departments of Education have an overview of the standards of the schools within their region. However, each school must be able to evaluate its own performance and initiate plans for improvement without waiting for external agencies to provide advice and support. The aim of this module is to explain and demonstrate how this might be done.

Individual study time: 16 hours

After working through this module you should be able to:

explain the concept and main characteristics of an effective school;
describe the reasons for monitoring and evaluation and its place in good management practice;
apply systematically a range of monitoring and evaluation techniques;
plan a programme of monitoring and evaluation aimed at improving practices and performance;
demonstrate how to analyse and use evaluation findings to inform school decision-making processes;
identify a balanced set of performance indicators and explain both their use and their limitations.

This module is divided into five units.

Unit 1: Indicators and characteristics of school effectiveness 3 hours
In this unit you will learn about a range of concepts relating to school effectiveness and some of the characteristics by which you and your staff may recognise the degree of effectiveness of your school.

Unit 2: The Rationale for monitoring and evaluation 3 hours
Here you will derive a rationale for evaluating school effectiveness as part of a process of accountability to the pupils, the parents and the community.

Unit 3: Monitoring and evaluation techniques 4 hours
Here you will learn some of the evaluation techniques which you need to use with your staff to monitor and analyse the performance of different aspects of school life, and which may also be used by external agents, such as the REDO / DEOs or the MERD Unit.

Unit 4: Planning a programme of monitoring and evaluation 4 hours
In this unit you will learn how self-evaluation may be developed as a normal part of the planning and management processes organised by you and your staff.

Unit 5: Using monitoring and evaluation findings 2 hours
The results of an evaluation have to be used to develop aspects of school work. In this final unit you will determine the conditions and requirements under which the results of the evaluation exercise undertaken by you and your staff may be used for the further development of your school.

Unit One Indicators and characteristics of school effectiveness

Schools and Departments of Education have become increasingly aware of the need to be effective. This is partly due to the pressures for accountability brought about by the government through the Ministry of Education. The parents in a school are also becoming increasingly aware of the need for their children to have a sound education and the qualifications that go with it, to prepare them for the rigours of their adult lives.. At the same time, a realisation of the importance of the issue has grown as heads and staff have sought to increase effectiveness in the school setting as part of the development of professionalism. In this unit, you will focus on the concepts and characteristics of learning and teaching effectiveness, and consider your role in the process of monitoring school effectiveness.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
By the end of this unit you should be able to:

explain the concepts of effectiveness, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, professionalism, assessment and performance in the school setting;
identify the characteristics of an effective school;
describe when and how learning and teaching are effective in the school setting;
state the characteristics of effective guidance and counseling for school pupils;
outline the qualities of a good head as a leader;
explain how school ethos and policies contribute to school effectiveness.

In order to avoid ambiguity in the interpretation of the contents of this module, the following definitions are suggested:

Monitoring: This can be defined as collecting information at regular intervals about ongoing projects or programmes within the school system, concerning the nature and level of their performance. Regular monitoring provides baselines against which to judge the impact of inputs and identifies areas for improvement.

Effectiveness: This is the extent to which the set goals or objectives of a school programme are accomplished. Such effectiveness can be seen in relation to the quality, quantity, equity or equality of learning and teaching in a school.

Efficiency: This is the extent to which the inputs produce the expected outcomes in a school setting. Increased efficiency means achieving the same or better outcomes with fewer or the same inputs.

Accountability: This is the process of justifying to others our job performance in relation to agreed goals and targets. In other words, it is accepting the responsibility for providing the conditions and learning experiences which will promote the development of the students to effectively participate in the development of the society in Guyana.

Professionalism: This is the practice of setting, maintaining and working to improve educational standards in Guyana

Evaluation: This is a formal process normally linked to monitoring. When carried out within a school setting, it involves forming conclusions about the quality of education provided and the overall effectiveness of the school. It uses data provided from the monitoring process. This data may be qualitative or quantitative in nature. In other words, it may be based on observation and judgements about what has been seen or has happened; or about hard numerical data, usually about pupil performance over a given period. The evaluation could be formative or summative in nature. Formative evaluation will be used by the school to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop an action plan to build on the strengths and improve the weaknesses. Summative evaluation is normally used by external agencies such as the Department of Education and the MERD Unit. Although, remember that the “D” in MERD stands for “Development” which would mean that their judgements should be formative in nature and schools would be helped to improve.

Assessment: This involves the measurement of performance against a set of criteria.

In the above list of terms a simple definition of effectiveness was given; but what exactly does this mean?

What is effectiveness?
When people discuss what they mean by ‘effectiveness’, we find that a number of terms and concepts will constantly crop up, including efficient, improvement, quality, development, evaluation, monitoring, reviewing, professional, appropriateness, accountability, performance, etc. This shows us that the concept of effectiveness is very broad. It deals with purpose, effort and accomplishment. Measurement may be used but it also involves judgement. The determinants are manifold and complex. Thus, the head may perceive the school’s effectiveness as the pupils’ performance in the external examinations. The parents may perceive the school’s effectiveness in the way their children behave at home and perform at national examinations. Society may perceive the school’s effectiveness in terms of the good moral behaviour of the children. The Ministry of Education may use a combination of indicators. The following indicators may be used in the school setting:

Internal performance indicators over a given period of time
Qualitative indicators where judgements are made about what has been observed against certain criteria, usually the objectives and mission of the school and national expectations
External performance indicators such as CSEC, CAPE, A level etc.
Staff productivity indicators such as punctuality, attendance, examination results, participation

Reflect for a while on whether you consider your school to be effective. Consider external examination / test results, qualitative indicators and whether you consider the school meets its stated objectives and mission.

You will not only consider whether the examination / test results are at the level they should be but also whether there is continuous improvement over time as a result of the strategies you have employed to improve them. You will have looked at every aspect of your school from the use of appropriate teaching methodologies to pupil behaviour and personal and social education to effective financial management.

It will be useful now for you to compare your thoughts on this matter with the ones below and then attempt to make some assessment of your school’s effectiveness on these indicators as well.

Indicators for measuring school effectiveness
When looking at the effectiveness of a school, it is important to look at the whole institution as every part of it can have an impact on the quality of learning that takes place – the principle purpose of the school. When one part does not function well, it affects the whole. For example, the best methods of learning and teaching will be severely hindered by a teacher’s inability to control unruly pupils and, conversely, poor teaching methodology will affect the behaviour of children.

In looking at the whole school, therefore, we will consider the following:

1. The leadership of the school
The amount to which the Headteacher and SLT creates the vision for the school, articulates it to all and ensures that it is carried out
The way in which the Senior Leadership Team will create the ethos in the school which is conducive to effective learning and pupils’ social, moral and cultural development
The degree to which the SLT prioritises pupil achievement and school effectiveness
The amount of effective and guided delegation given to middle leaders in the school (HODs, SMs, Level heads etc.)
The scope created for team work and the effective involvement of all staff
How the school uses it’s resources including human, property, financial and educational materials

2. The standards achieved in the school
The school’s results and pupils’ achievements
The progress pupils make over a given period of time

3. Pupils’ attitudes and the values they hold
What pupils think about the school
Children’s behaviour in and out of the classroom
The way the children develop in school and their personal relationships with each other and with the teachers and staff
Pupil attendance
The climate of the school

4. The quality of teaching and learning
The methodologies used by teachers and their effectiveness
The extent to which the lessons are intellectually challenging
The quality of teaching and learning
The way children learn
The structure of lessons and lesson planning

5. The curriculum
The quality of the curriculum offered and the extent to which it is followed by the teachers
The extent to which all children are catered for regardless of their race, ethnic group, gender or ability
The extent to which provision is made for children with Special Educational Needs, whether physical or learning related, temporary or permanent (See module 4)
How the school provides for the social, cultural and moral and spiritual development of children
The way in which the school cares for its children generally .i.e. a child centred approach.
The quality of assessment and the way it is used to improve pupils’ learning
The scope of the record keeping procedures in the school

6. The school’s relationship with its stakeholders
The relationships of staff within the school
The involvement of parents within the school
The attitudes of parents to the school
The relationship with the local community
The relationships between the school, the Department of Education and the Ministry of Education.

7. The professionalism and accountability of the school’s staff
The extent to which school staff set, maintain and work to improve educational standards in Guyana
The way in which all staff of the school accept their responsibility to others, in and out of the school in relation to achieving the school’s agreed goals and targets.
The degree to which all staff carry out and fulfill their contractual responsibilities.

8. The areas in which the school does well

9. The areas in which the school needs to improve

Activity 1.1
1. You have been provided above with 33 overall indicators of an effective school. Judge your school in general on these indicators by scoring each one with a points score of 1 – 10 with one being low performance and ten being high performance in each area. Do not spend too long thinking about it, but for this exercise, give an overall first impression. However you do it, be really honest and consider the evidence you have for your judgements.
2. Add up your scores and convert it to a percentage (your total score divided by 330 multiplied by 100)
e.g. 225 x 100 = 68.2%
3. Now indicate three areas for numbers 8 & 9 above – what the school does well and what needs to be improved.

It is clear that there are very many ways of judging an effective school and your original list may have been somewhat different to this one. However, heads often overlook many of these factors, and it would be useful for you to examine some of them more carefully so that you can reflect on the effectiveness of your school. We will deal with this in much more detail as we progress through the module.

Effective learning and teaching
The quality of learning and teaching should take precedence over other factors of school effectiveness. This is because effective learning and teaching determines the perceptions of everyone who is interested in the quality of your school. Because effective learning and teaching start from the classroom, let us see how pupils learn effectively in a classroom situation. Pupils learn effectively when they:

are motivated
understand the purpose and relevance of their work
are given tasks in a sequence planned to maximise learning
are able to use available resources and know where and when to ask for help
show consideration for one another and for the teacher
rise to the challenge of working and show commitment
have first-hand experience and are able to observe, estimate, record, measure, collect, classify and interpret
formulate and test hypotheses
acquire key information and are able to recall it in new contexts
plan, choose and take responsibility for their learning
acquire study skills and use resources well
revise and practice to improve performance
receive feedback on their progress from teachers and from other pupils
present good work for others to see or hear
undertake tasks in their own time and out of school
work co-operatively in groups
read, write, listen and discuss in a variety of contexts
experience the creative aspects of individual subjects.

Think about some different groups of children in your school and ask yourself to what extent they are provided with the above factors which will improve the quality of their learning.

It is an accepted fact that really effective learning requires a good teacher. This implies that there are certain key qualities of an ‘effective teacher’. Children and adults will learn whatever their circumstance and without parents and a teacher. Life’s experiences will provide them with opportunities for learning through experimentation, improvisation and trial and error.

However, to be a really rounded person, a child needs to have his / her learning accelerated and the scope for his / her experiential learning widened. This is done through the teacher and the available learning resources. It is true to say, therefore, that the quality of these will affect the quality of learning. It is, therefore, the role of the teacher to provide for these key factors of learning and the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that they do!

You may find it useful to consider the answers you gave to the above activity in relation to the following qualities of an effective teacher:

§ patience
§ firmness
§ enthusiasm
§ calm control
§ tolerance
§ understanding
§ fairness.
§ ability to generate an atmosphere of purpose
§ seeing learners as individuals
§ ability to communicate effectively

§ encouraging
§ emotionally stable
§ physically stable
§ willingness to praise
§ a genuine interest in pupils
§ valuing pupil contributions

Activity 1.2
1) Can you suggest other qualities that an effective teacher should have?
2) Identify the qualities of teachers in your school in relation to their ability to teach effectively.
3) Which qualities, if any, would you suggest are generally exist and are lacking amongst your teachers?

Before a teacher can be effective, he or she must plan and organise their teaching well. The following are guidelines for an effective teacher in planning and organising teaching:

Be clear about the learning objectives both for each lesson and for the whole programme.
Plan each lesson well, anticipating where questions, explanations and feedback will be appropriate.
Allow learners to reach outcomes in different ways.
Provide resources in such a way that allows learning to progress with little interruption.
Use learning groups of different and appropriate sizes.
Match methods and tasks to the abilities of pupils.
Use the space available to best advantage including the use of displays.
Set tasks in varied and imaginative ways.
Be aware of other approaches to learning used by colleagues.
Model how pupils can improve
Put the children’s interest first
Cater for the individual needs of all children, regardless of their gender, age, ability, race or ethnic group
Ensure you provide for children with Special Educational Needs.

The collection of information about teaching styles and the extent to which they are successful becomes crucial if teachers in your school are to improve their learning and teaching processes. Observation of classroom practice and the systematic collection and reporting of data about the quality of teaching is essential.

For effective monitoring, the head should try to check on a day-by-day and week-by-week basis what learning has taken place. Here, the main judgements about effectiveness will be in terms of the quality, the quantity and the variety of tasks engaged in by the pupils and its relationship with effective learning.

Effective guidance and counselling
One aspect of school effectiveness is the extent to which the head introduces and manages a programme of guidance and counseling of the children. This involves ensuring good relationships between teachers and pupils, meeting the needs of individual pupils and working with all the teachers to create a generally caring atmosphere. For effective guidance and counselling, the school head should note:

The need for effective organisation structures in the school
The need for effective communication.

Effective organisation structures
The school organisation structure and procedures should ensure the effective care of the pupils. They will vary from one type of school to another, but in general for effective guidance and counselling the following requirements are essential:

appropriate information on pupils
appropriate confidentiality at all times
sound advice and reassurance for pupils and parents at important times of transition
appropriate counselling sessions with the pupils on a regular basis
prompt responses in crises
continuity of procedures for a pupil moving through the school
effective forms of records and record-keeping
a policy in which all teachers and especially middle and senior leaders are involved in information and review of the school policies.

Effective communication is an essential tool for the head in managing the school and ensuring that staff are aware of the pupils’ needs at the right time. In respect of this, the following guidelines for ensuring effective guidance and counseling are suggested:

Make a clear statement of policy which preferably all staff have the opportunity to formulate and review.
Apportion and describe jobs and relevant tasks.
Link guidance and counseling with the academic systems so that an all-round view of the pupils is available.
Give all staff an appropriate and satisfying role within the school’s activities.
Ensure a flexible system which allows teachers to maintain an interest in a child rather than handing a case totally to a colleague.

In addition, there should be a regular review of the progress of pupils with specific problems and formally conducted interviews and general discussion on important issues affecting the school pupils. In some schools, a special office is created for counselors.

Finally, it is important to consider effective communication with parents. This may be through the form of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings or during visiting or open days.

Activity 1.3
Plan an Open Day for the parents of your pupils during which the parents and teachers can receive reports on the progress, problems and prospects of their children. You should list areas of interest to you, including those which fall within the area of guidance and counseling. Your objectives for the Open Day should be clearly stated in the plan. You might consider such questions as:

what should the parents see and why?
What should the role of the teachers be?
How can all the pupils play some part in the programme?

School leadership
The head is the leader in the school setting and he or she is involved in a number of activities:

The strategic direction and development of the school
The provision of effective learning and teaching i.e. curriculum planning, coaching of teachers, developing methodology, assessment and monitoring and evaluation.
Leading and managing staff to achieve the stated aims, objectives and mission of the school
Efficient and effective deployment of staff and resources i.e. physical assets, buildings, personnel, recruitment, budget.
Accountability – to self, children, staff, parents and the community,

The effective leader will do this by:
ensuring the school has a coherent vision for the future and that it is communicated to all
providing opportunities to work in partnership with others as part of a team
identifying the training needs of staff and developing them
being accountable to all

To achieve this, he / she will:
be confident
have drive to lead the school forward
have the ability to influence others both within and outside of the school
be able to see the big picture beyond the school
be an excellent communicator
be capable of making decisions at all levels
be a good motivator of people

Consider for a moment your own ability in the above activities and characteristics. If you like you can rate yourself in the same way as you did in Activity 1.1.

Effective leadership is essential for the achievement of results. The head’s leadership strengths or weaknesses affect the performance of the entire school. He or she can:

clarify or confuse objectives, the extent to which the curriculum is oriented to personnel and criteria for measuring performance
stimulate or inhibit optimum performance
encourage or retard the use of his or her staff’s abilities, skills and interests
provide or withhold incentives for growth and development
enhance or undermine job satisfaction and morale.

As a school head you would want to consider the following:

to what extent I am democratic or display other styles of leadership (see Unit 2 Module 1)
the level of group participation or teamwork in which I involve my staff
the results achieved from this participation
my ability to use authority without arousing resentment, especially amongst senior staff
the level to which I prevent my wishes from being distorted by those who transmit them
the different responses that staff will have about my leadership.

Activity 1.4
Evaluate you own performance in the six areas outlined immediately above.

If you have been totally honest and you can find positive examples of your practice in the areas in which you are performing well, you will either be satisfied with your performance or have identified areas in which you need to improve. The whole purpose of self evaluation is to recognise issues for which you need further development. You will do this in a non-threatening way at your own pace. Better to realise your own strengths and weaknesses than to be told them as part of an inspection report over which you have no control.

All good leaders will need to develop personal attributes such as awareness, sensitivity and an understanding of human relations. In addition, they will need skills in the techniques of ascertaining the cause of personal problems, mastery of the art of changing behaviour and skills in on-the-job coaching.

You might like to consider also some further leadership characteristics.

The effective head:
adds value to the resources of the school
is a prime mover
energises staff
promotes the satisfaction of staff needs
builds a committed and cohesive work group
sets an example to staff
is a resource expert
is a change agent
is an essential link between staff and pupils

It is possible that you are beginning to feel daunted by the requirements and characteristics of an effective leader and are wondering how you will evaluate yourself against them. Evaluation should always be based on evidence. You have no doubt already developed many of these characteristics. The recognition of those you need to work on will provide you with targets for you to meet over a period of time. Do not expect to be all things all at once. Identify your development needs and find ways of achieving them one by one, usually through experience.

School Ethos
Most schools have traditions for efficiency, effectiveness and quality, which are reflected in the pupils’ behaviour, dress, discipline or the school mission. Parents often choose a particular school because of their belief in its ethos as reflected in the teachers’ attitude to pupils and general evidence that good relationships prosper.

As a school head you may be able to think of some other aspects. The following are identified as factors associated with a good school ethos:

The general well-being of pupils
Teacher commitment and morale
Positive attitudes of teachers to pupils to each other
Recognition of the motivating effects of praise
A sense of identity and pride in the school
Suitably high expectations of academic progress and behaviour
The quality of teaching
The way the senior leadership team supports the staff
Opportunities for pupils to participate actively in their own learning
The range and quality of extra - curricular activities
The opportunities for pupils to assume responsibility
An appropriate degree of both cooperation and competition
A concern to establish good relations with parents and the wider community
Staff consensus on the mission and values of the school
Pleasure in learning
A sense of belonging
Firm but fair classroom management
Care for the fabric of buildings
A functional and supportive former students’ body
Sound school policies relating to such areas as the curriculum, teaching styles, assessment, guidance and counselling, provision for pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, discipline, resource management, management structure and procedures, homework and staff development.

An examination of school policies in each of the above areas will tell us a lot about the school’s prevailing ethos.

Ask yourself if your school has such written policies that are communicated to the staff and expected to be followed. If not, why not?

Although there are common basic policies in schools, most vary from school to school; but differences occur also in the nature of policies themselves. Some policies are documented, while others are traditions and a part of the school ethos. There are administrative policies which differ from statutory ones. But having a policy is one thing, ensuring that it is implemented is quite another and here, the head’s role is crucial.

Given the policies you have identified above, recollect for a moment on how you monitor to ensure that those policies are maintained by all in the school. If you do not do so, consider why not.

The means you adopt to monitor the implementation of school policy will of course vary, depending on the nature of the policy. The important point is that monitoring and evaluating are essential for an effective school system and may involve many agents and elements and especially all the staff at different levels. In conclusion:

1) Each school has policies and practices which require monitoring and evaluation across all aspects of school life.
2) Individuals should monitor and evaluate their own practices, taking their pupils’ views into account whenever appropriate.

Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing, therefore, are features of what should go on in every school. Everyone engaged in the process, at whatever level, should seek to improve the effectiveness of the school for the benefit of all concerned – staff, parents, the community, and potential employers. The various characteristics and features of effective learning and teaching and of the effective head have been explored in this unit. Subsequent units will look in more detail at how evaluation may be undertaken.

We started our discussions in this unit by looking at a few concepts, the major one being that of effectiveness. Some indicators of school effectiveness were identified, but there is no doubt that the effectiveness of the school is closely tied to the existence of some key school management characteristics. These include sound teaching and learning, functional school organisation, good personal relations, effective guidance and counselling, a good school ethos and effective leadership as well as continuous monitoring and evaluation. The latter can be considered a defining characteristic of effective leadership and management.

Unit 2 The rationale for monitoring and evaluation

This unit explains why monitoring and evaluation are necessary tools in determining school effectiveness. Many school heads do not use these tools as much as they should do. They often merely look at examination and test results but ignore, for example, the progress children need to make from one given point in time to another in order to achieve good results. They may see external examinations and tests as evaluation and consider the results as the end of the process.

Evaluation involves reviewing the whole school process to find out why certain things have happened or what should be done to improve performance. School heads need to be aware that they are accountable not just to the Ministry of Education but also to pupils and parents, as well as the community which is served by the school.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
By the end of this unit you will be able to:

list reasons for establishing standards of accountability
identify the main functions of monitoring and evaluation and the difference between the two
outline the place of monitoring and evaluation in effective school leadership and management
understand the importance of monitoring the curriculum and especially Learning and Teaching
understand the types of evidence used in the monitoring process
be aware of the potential of target setting for raising achievement

Earlier, we defined accountability as accepting the responsibility for providing the conditions and learning experiences which will promote the development of the students to effectively participate in the development of the society in Guyana.

The broad aim of formal education is to produce people who are able to appreciate the benefits of education and contribute to the development of the community in different spheres of life, be it political, moral, social, economic or technological. The government of Guyana sees education as an important investment and therefore devotes huge sums of the taxpayers’ money each year to the provision of education at all levels. The government spends money on infrastructure, such as school buildings, on the payment of teachers and other personnel and on the provision of materials. There is, therefore, a serious need for the government, through the Ministry of Education, to ensure that the money provided for education is wisely spent. In other words, that there is value for money.

The Ministry of Education also needs to know that the aims of education are being achieved. It needs to know, through constant evaluation, where there are areas of strengths and weaknesses which need to be built upon or corrected so that the goals of education can be achieved. In addition, as schools draw their pupils from the community they are accountable to the community in many ways including, for example, the kind of curriculum which is being operated, the quality of examination results, and the health and safety of the children.

We will look further at the various functions in due course but first let us develop our understanding of monitoring and evaluation as a leadership and management tool, building on ideas introduced in Unit 1.

Effective school leadership and management
In Unit 1, monitoring and evaluating were identified as important school management functions, necessary for ensuring effective and efficient schools.

Activity 2.1
1) From what you have learnt so far, what do you understand by an efficient and effective school?
2) What steps should the school head take to ensure efficiency and effectiveness?

You will no doubt have looked back over unit one and identified some broad areas in which schools might be judged about their effectiveness. Furthermore, you will have started to think about the means of evaluation that you would use to ensure efficiency.

This section recalls some of the points made about effective schools in Unit 1 and introduces other issues relating to efficient leadership and management. As you read through, check whether these notes provide a full list of everything which may contribute to the efficient management of a school.

This simple model shows the hierarchy in the school authority which must be maintained for discipline. A school without discipline cannot be efficient or effective. To each of the offices there are specific duties attached and failure of one officer will affect the effective administration of the school.

We are unable to show this model in text format. Please see the PDF version for all pictures and diagrams.

Every school has an allocation of staff and it is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that this is used in the most effective way. The senior staff and middle leaders will be made up of headteacher, deputy headteacher, senior teachers, level heads and heads of department. How these are organised will depend on the size of the school. In a large school, for examples, HODs may form part of the middle leadership, whereas in a smaller school, where there is no deputy and fewer senior teachers, they may be part of senior leadership.

A school may be organised as a hierarchical structure or a flat structure. The former is the norm in Guyana and the latter applicable only in small schools.

Senior Leadership Teams
Every school must have a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) which will be appointed by the Headteacher and approved by the REDO. The size of the SLT will be according to the size of the school and will consist of a minimum of 2 members in a small school.

· The Headteacher will lead the SLT and the Deputy Headteacher will automatically be a member.
· In Grade A and B schools, there will be a minimum of three members and a maximum of 5 according to the number of pupils on roll. In Grade C, D & E schools, there will be a minimum of two members and a maximum of 3.
· The third member of the Team in Grade A and B schools will be chosen from the Senior Middle Managers (SMs, HODs, Level Heads). The second member in Grade C school will selected from any SMs, HODs or Level Heads. The second member in a Grade D or E school will be chosen from the remaining staff.
· The selection will be based on a combination of competence (proven professional ability) and years of service. However the former will be the deciding factor.

When the school’s SLT has been appointed, these members will be responsible, along with the middle leaders (HODs, Level Heads etc) for monitoring key areas of the school to ensure effective delivery of the curriculum and other areas which allow the school to function efficiently. To do this, every member of the team must have defined responsibilities and it is these areas for which he / she will be accountable. It is the responsibility of the headteacher to agree these areas of responsibility with the staff.

Under normal circumstances, each level will monitor the areas for which he / she is responsible. Those working at higher levels will ensure that the monitoring is taking place and will validate the findings.

Activity 2.2
Take another look at the hierarchical staffing structure you have just studied above. Imagine one of the HODs is responsible for the teaching of Spanish.

1) What do you think his / her responsibility will be in the monitoring process?
2) What will be the responsibility of the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Senior Teacher in the monitoring of Spanish teaching?
3) What will be the responsibility of the classroom teacher of Spanish?

The person responsible for standards in the Spanish Department is the Head of Spanish. He / she must be fully accountable for the success of the learning of the pupils studying Spanish. There can be no excuses (staffing, resources etc.) only challenges. The Head of Department must demonstrate that the standards in the classroom are the best they can be. This will be done by observing lessons, scrutinising pupils’ work and ultimately, coaching staff to ensure they reach the necessary standards.

The senior teacher will have an overview of the departments for which he / she is responsible. Comparisons will be made about the learning and results of individual children and groups of children taught by different teachers / departments. He / she will ensure that the HOD does the monitoring and will be available to support the HOD in the evaluation of the findings and, in due course, the implementation of any improvements that need to be made.

The senior teacher will be responsible to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher who will have an overview of the whole school.

The classroom teacher will be involved in self evaluation on a lesson by lesson basis. This system need not be bureaucratic if each person understands his / her role in the process, carries it out and accepts full responsibility. However, herein lies the problem. It is the responsibility of the headteacher to make clear the role of each individual and to ensure that it is carried out.

The curriculum
In Guyana, there is a national curriculum which is prescribed and must be followed by schools. However, creative teachers will adapt and develop this to meet the needs of their pupils and to emphasise their own strengths and interests, thus providing a diet for the children which is broad, balanced and develops their creativity.

The head must provide the wherewithal in the school for effective teaching and learning to take place. He / she must ensure that textbooks, stationery, furniture, games equipment and library books are ready for when they are needed. Of course, this will be delegated to the appropriate persons but, nevertheless, it must be done. Syllabuses, schemes of work, curriculum and ‘scope and sequence’ guides for all classes and subjects must be available and, with the assistance of the SLT, teachers must be helped to prepare appropriate schemes of work and lesson plans. The SLT will monitor those persons who have the responsibility to make these things happen and take action when they don’t.

The head and SLT should ensure that notes of lessons are made daily and that teachers teach according to them. Pupils’ work, assignments, tests and examinations should be marked and recorded promptly and corrections done where necessary. Teachers should do corrections with their pupils so that they can understand their mistakes. There is no place for marking in the classroom unless it is done with the child. A teacher sitting at a desk marking whilst children work is not teaching and is wasting valuable time for improving the learning of the students. Monitoring such issues will ensure that bad practices are eradicated and will ultimately help to improve effectiveness in teaching.

Learning and Teaching
Arguably, the most important factor in whether a child learns successfully is the skill, dedication and commitment of the classroom teacher. All three are essential. Without any one of them, the children will be short-changed. Monitoring and evaluation, therefore, is not just about ascertaining whether effective teaching is taking place, but also about motivating teachers to develop their skills, to dedicate themselves to the learning of the children and be committed to the children’s success.

To ensure the effectiveness of the learning process, one must look at a number of key factors:-

The level of preparation by the teacher in the learning process
The appropriateness of the methodologies used by the teacher to the age and ability level of the children
The pupil response to the teaching
The end results – what has been learnt in terms of knowledge, skills, understanding and evaluation techniques.

These areas will be monitored in a variety of ways:-

By looking at the teachers’ records – notes of lessons, planning file, self evaluation notes.
Observation of lessons to ascertain whether the methods used are appropriate based on the experience of the observer. This will form a dialogue for future development.
Observation of lessons to watch the response of the pupils to what they are being taught. Are they motivated? Do they understand? Are all pupils being catered for?
By looking at pupils’ work in their exercise books and assignments.
By scrutinising assessment scores and calculating the improvement from the baseline assessment over a period of time. See Module 4 for information on formative and summative assessment.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
The head should ensure that PTA meetings are held at least once a term. It is essential that there is a cordial relationship between parents and teachers for the effective running of the school. If parents are properly approached they can help in easing some of the financial burdens in a school. In many areas, PTAs have assisted schools with transportation, building of classrooms and even assisted in the children’s feeding programme.

Staff meetings
Staff meetings (of the whole staff, departments and special committees) should be held regularly to review the running of the school. Heads should adopt a democratic system by listening to teachers and understanding their personal and professional concerns.

School records
Headteachers are required to keep many records and to make them available to the Department of Education Officers and the MERD Team or whosever may need them in an official capacity. However, this can often be burdensome and, in some cases, the bureaucracy involved may seem overbearing and could affect the head’s priorities. You will learn more about these records in Module 9 ‘School Records and Documents’.

He / she should ensure that complete and accurate records, covering those for pupils and staff, asset registers and other records which provide a full picture of the life of the school, are kept up to date. However, it is perhaps important to differentiate between those records which will have a direct impact on the quality of learning and teaching and those which merely support the process. We are not saying here that the latter are less important but that this differentiation may help a head to prioritise his / her own workload or decide what should be delegated to others.

The attendance book for teachers which clearly shows the extent to which teachers make themselves available to do their job is a valuable record when discussing with a teacher their willingness to be present in the classroom and thus the impact on results. We use these terms advisably knowing that teacher attendance at the time of publication is around 72% and this we are certain is not all about sickness.

Teachers’ notes of lessons show that they have thought about their teaching and have evaluated its impact. To keep these records up to date will encourage teachers to be proactive about the learning process.

School accounts
The head should keep proper accounts of income and expenditure and bills and receipts must be accompanied by vouchers. These are required in the auditing of the school accounts as well as promoting the principles and practice of accountability and evaluation in the school. Auditors will inspect the account books for the school to ensure that the financial resources given to the school are properly spent and accounted for.

Monitoring visits
There may be a number of different kinds of external monitoring visits that the school may experience at different levels:-

A subject specialist may observe lessons and offer advice to individual or groups of teachers and / or the head.

Visits may be made by the District Education Officer (DEO) assigned to the school or the Regional Director of Education (REDO). Observation of the school ethos, lessons, teaching and learning will take place as well as the scrutiny of pupils’ work and teachers’ records.
Formal inspection by the MERD Unit. Currently, it is the region that is inspected and some school visits will be made to validate the judgements of the regional staff. Likewise, the focus will be on teaching and learning and the main process will be the observation of lessons and appropriate feedback.

The head must keep a record of all inspection reports and discuss these with the staff so that recommendations with regard to how the system can be improved and developed may be implemented.

Activity 2.3
1) Make a list of some essential features you would expect to find in an inspection report. (either regional or national from the MERD Unit)Describe how you presently use inspection records to contribute towards improvements in your school and the mechanisms for implementing change.

You will probably have included a range of features in your list including observations of lessons which focus on the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process. The important point, which we wish to highlight here, is that inspection records, together with the data contained in various school records and reports, should provide information for the school head which he or she may use as a means of institutionalising changes in schools. If this is done then evaluation and monitoring become major tools for effective leadership and management.

Let us now look at the functions of evaluation more closely.

Functions of monitoring and evaluation
It is through monitoring and evaluation that we learn to what extent the school is being effective. It enables us to review the process of learning and teaching in all its various forms and to devise new measures for its improvement and development. We have described below four main functions of monitoring and evaluation.

Firstly, remind yourself of what we mean by the terms “monitoring” and “evaluation” by looking again at the definition we provided in Unit One. Draw conclusions about the relationship between the two.

Monitoring is about collecting the information and evaluation is the use of it to identify strengths and weaknesses which will enable future development.

Evaluation is not possible without data, usually from the monitoring process or hard data such as baseline and / or formative and summative assessments.

Collecting of evidence
The first stage in the process of M & E is the collecting of evidence. This is mainly of two types:-

Quantitative – that which is based on solid data that is quantifiable or measurable such as test results over a period of time, final examinations or the number of times certain things happen e.g. teacher punctuality, number of questions asked to boys rather than girls, number of suspensions, regularity of financial virements. These can all be identified and compared with results in a different period of time or with a different group of children.

Qualitative – that which is based purely on observation formed by the experience and skill level of the observer. This is often considered to be more subjective but need not be so. We must accept that trained observers will be capable of making judgements about what they see, hear and experience. An excellent classroom teacher will be able to identify good practice in teaching methodology and that which requires attention. Although, it may not always be purely objective, it will form the basis for discussion about the quality of what has been seen.

Both types of evidence are acceptable and compliment each other. Pure reliance on test results will dehumanise the process and be demotivating for teachers.

The process of M & E can be used to discover or locate strengths and weaknesses in the system, both in terms of the quality of educational provision and also by identifying the individual needs of your pupils. Diagnostic testing will enable you to decide whether some of your pupils, for example, may have special educational needs, perhaps a learning difficulty or disability. (See Unit 9, Module 4) and hence need teachers to cater for their needs.

Pre-tests given at the beginning of a class or series of lessons are good for determining what the pupils already know and what they do not know. For instance, at the start of an English lesson, you may ask for the meanings of some words to find out if your pupils have come across those words. You may then have to explain the meanings of such words even before the passage is read. This is to facilitate the reading exercise. This is a form of diagnostic evaluation – you have got some information by which you have judged the knowledge of the pupils and finally you have taken action to remedy the situation.

At a higher level, whole groups of children might be tested to discover their reading ages so that progress can be measured at the end of the course and reading intervention.

It is possible to predict future performance of pupils by administering diagnostic tests at an early age. This is useful in that it can be used to predict the potential of individual or groups of children, enabling the teacher to develop appropriate teaching strategies and set challenging targets. Such tests are usually non verbal in that they test intelligence rather than the ability to read and write or specific skills and knowledge. The downside is that such tests are expensive and require great skill to interpret the results.

Optimum use of resources
Through monitoring and evaluation we learn where additional and better resources – human, material and financial – are required. This results in less wastage and better resource management. An analysis of the curriculum will allow us to identify specific skills required of our teachers and hence, their precise training needs. It enables the Teaching Service Commission to identify the exact staffing needs of the school and to appoint the right persons. Likewise, curriculum planning and evaluation will enable us to purchase specific rather than general resources. You will recall also from Module 5 Financial Management, the way in which the budget is constantly monitored to provide greater financial efficiency.

In Guyana, pupils and schools are ranked and graded in order of performance and pupils are matched to schools according to an evaluation of their performance in national tests. This grading between schools in terms of test / exam results and other performance criteria provides parents and the public with a measure of choosing which school to send their children to and also an understanding of the effectiveness of each school.

Target setting
Having identified the ability and potential of individuals and groups of children, schools are increasingly using target setting to challenge their pupils and teachers to achieve better results. When we are not fully aware of the potential of a child, it becomes so easy to have low expectations and thus lower results. Baseline testing enables us to identify current performance and set targets for future performance over a period of time. In target setting, you need to have a specific objective (or target) you want to accomplish, a plan as to how you will achieve that target and then evaluation procedures to indicate whether it has been achieved. Targets work best when they are applied to individual children. Weaknesses are identified and a programme of remediation can be implemented. You might like to look again over Module 4, Unit 6, Assessment and Record Keeping.

Target setting might apply equally to teachers and children. In the case of the former, it may be decided that a teacher does not have the necessary skills to carry out his / her job effectively. This might be through lack of qualifications, experience, aptitude or even motivation. Rather than simply complaining about the teacher’s underperformance, the situation needs to be evaluated and appropriate targets set. These might include an upgrading programme whereby the teacher will be trained at CPCE or, in the case of a senior leader, on this very Education Management Programme.

For example, you may have many unqualified teachers in your school who can adversely affect the quality of education. You may decide that you need to encourage them to obtain training through CPCE, UG or some other accredited programme. You will need to set a time limit for this upgrading programme and also decide what method of upgrading will be most appropriate. After setting the time target, you will need to plan your approach. As teachers already working in the school, their upgrading programme has to be an in-service course. You then need to decide the period of time over which they will be trained as too many teachers training together will affect the quality of education because, for them, it is an onerous task. The final step in the process is to decide on criteria for evaluating whether the objective has been achieved – that is whether the quality of education improved and to ensure that the results of any evaluation are utilised to plan the next development.

In the case of children, it is essential to have some information about their capabilities, potential and performance. Baseline assessment or pre-tests will assess their current capabilities; diagnostic tests will assess their potential; challenging targets and formative assessment will encourage students and teachers to work towards that potential and their performance will be measured by summative assessment techniques such as Grade 6 Tests and CSEC.

Give some thought for a moment about how any particular curriculum programme in your school might be enhanced by monitoring its performance, evaluating the findings and initiating further development.

In fact, there is no programme in your school which would not benefit from some scrutiny by middle or senior leaders. Even if it is totally successful, the evaluation should be used to say so and congratulate those responsible for it.

However, in essence, one might start with those programmes where one feels or one has evidence for underachievement. It is essential, of course, that once the evaluation has been completed, further development takes place.

In this unit you have studied the reasons why monitoring and evaluation are essential characteristics of effective school leadership and management and particularly for establishing standards of accountability. The major functions of M & E have been identified. In particular, you have linked the process of the collection of quantitative and qualitative evidence to the analysis and evaluation of the data which has been collected. This, in turn, is used for further development and is the critical part in the agenda for raising achievement.

The process falls into two main categories:

to assess the extent to which goals are being achieved in order to improve performance;
for accountability purposes in order to justify the school’s performance to others.

We have stressed that the principle function of a school is about learning and teaching and, therefore, it is essential to monitor every aspect of curriculum provision and delivery in the classroom to identify strengths in order to build upon them and give credit where it is due and also to recognise weaknesses so that a programme of development can be implemented.

Your attention has been drawn to the potential of target setting both to improve the performance of teachers and to give children realistic goals to work towards which are within their capabilities.

M & E is about asking appropriate questions, observations, analysing data and gathering information. Attention has been drawn to both the quantity and quality of information which the school head needs in order to help improve school effectiveness.

Unit 3 Monitoring and Evaluation Techniques

In this unit we will discuss the different techniques which the head can use in assessing the performance of different components in the school. Monitoring involves collecting qualitative and quantitative information and evidence at regular intervals about ongoing programmes within the school. This evidence is then analysed and evaluated and, where there are shortcomings, leads to a programme of improvement.

The collection of evidence can be in the form of the observation of pupils and classroom teaching, the scrutiny of pupils’ work, analysing data and test results, seeking views through discussion groups, peer evaluation and interviews, etc. This unit examines these techniques and also considers the role of external agencies such as the Department of Education and the MERD Unit in the evaluation of the school.

We will continue to remind you of the principle function of a school – the provision of effective learning and teaching; and, therefore, the importance of ensuring that it is of the highest quality. This will be affected both directly and indirectly by systems within the school. The head will ensure that, in the first instance, he / she will monitor and evaluate those factors which influence learning and teaching directly. Amongst these are the ability and skill levels of the teachers, the methodologies used, the appropriateness of resources and response of the children to the teaching given.

Individual study time: 4 hours

Learning outcomes
By the end of this unit you should be able to:

describe different monitoring techniques and their appropriateness to different situations
apply appropriate evaluation techniques to meet different situations
understand the importance of self evaluation
outline the different activities and techniques adopted by external agencies such as the Department of Education or the MERD Unit in the evaluation of your school.

The various techniques of monitoring and evaluation
Evaluation involves making judgements about achievement in terms of set goals but, before you can pass judgement, you must pin-point an area of activity which you seek to evaluate and then seek information about it. Based on the information you have collected, you are then in a position to pass judgement on the quality of the activity or the particular situation in relation to the criteria set.

Any or all of the following techniques may be used to gather information:

Observation of lessons: this is perhaps the most important of the monitoring techniques in that it gets right to the hearts of teacher and pupil performance and the interaction between the two. It evaluates, principally, the effectiveness of teachers, the appropriateness of methodologies, the response of the pupils, the overall learning and teaching environment, the teacher’s classroom control, the use of learning resources and physical facilities.

Scrutiny of pupils’ work: the work of the pupils, both in terms of what they write, record or draw as well as their interaction with others and their teachers during lessons, is evidence of their learning or the process of their learning. Scrutiny of this work, and making judgements about its quality in relation to the age and ability of the children, is one of the prime methods of evaluating success.

Analysis of data and test / examination results: Assessment needs to have a purpose. One of its functions is to use the data to improve the quality of teaching and hence, the learning of pupils. The evaluation of this information can identify where teaching has been successful and where it needs to be improved. It can identify individual children who will need additional help or a specific programme to meet their needs.

Questionnaires or checklists: These can be used by the head to obtain from pupils or teachers an assessment of various aspects of school life, for example, the success of certain innovations introduced to the school. It is particularly important not to try to evaluate too much at one time; instead focus on a relatively discrete and manageable topic.

Systematic record keeping: The collection of evidence about areas of school life and performance is enhanced by records which later can be analysed and evaluated. Schools may keep records, amongst many others on the following:-

§ Teacher and pupil punctuality and attendance
§ Pupil suspensions
§ Acts of indiscipline
§ The attendance at extra curricular activities
§ The attendance at PTA meetings
§ The number of certificates, merit certificates or merit marks awarded
§ The completion of homework activities

Interviews: This is a technique whereby data and information is collected from pupils or staff through a face-to-face interview focusing on a specific issue.

Peer Evaluation: Evaluation often seems to imply someone more senior evaluating the work of someone junior. Peer evaluation involves co-workers (heads, teachers or pupils) using the techniques described above to help each other.

Discussion groups: This technique recognises the views of different groups, such as teachers in different departments, school prefects, the various clubs and societies, in their evaluation of different aspects of school life. Their purpose is to evaluate their work situation and then make suggestions for improvement. The Guyana Teachers’ Union, Headteachers’ Meetings and Cluster Groups are really discussion groups on a large scale.

Reflect for a while on whether you have used any of the above monitoring and evaluation techniques and to what extent they have been successful in improving school effectiveness.

We will deal with each technique in turn to enable you to reflect further on its development and application. But it is important to remember that whatever technique is used, you have to ensure that the information is recorded simply and accurately in a form that will enable you to analyse it quickly. This is most likely to involve written data (for example, questionnaires, assessment data and diaries) but could include audio / visual material, for example when carrying out observations.

Before we go into detail about some of these techniques, we feel it is important to emphasise that the procedures used in monitoring teachers’ work should not be a threatening exercise for them. Few people like to be watched and particularly to receive criticism but it is part of the process of professional development. The head must ensure that observations are taking place not to find fault but to develop the skills of the teachers and ultimately to make them more effective and improve learning. It is a partnership between the observer and the observed which will identify areas for development and also give credit for those aspects of the teachers’ work which are going well.

Now let us look a little more closely at some of the examples already cited:-

Observation of lessons
Perhaps the most useful form of M & E in schools is that which gets to the heart of the learning process. Observation of lessons is a method of evaluating the teaching and learning process, assessing the classroom performance of teachers and providing a regular check on the state and use of resources and classroom facilities.

Heads should organise routine observations of classes at different times of the day in the school by different teachers, including his or her own lessons. This can be done on a formal and informal basis, either with or without warning to the teacher. As the senior professional in the school, it is perfectly reasonable for a headteacher (and indeed the senior staff) to observe the learning process anywhere and at anytime unannounced.

Formal observation: the head, other senior staff member, HOD or Level Head observes a full lesson, either announced or unannounced using previously agreed criteria and makes judgements on what he or she sees. In all cases, a verbal feedback will be given to the teacher as soon as possible after the lesson. This feedback will contain positive aspects of the lesson, areas for improvement and how the observer will support the teacher to make the necessary improvements. Usually, when a teacher is given prior warning, it will be useful to provide written feedback and this will be kept as a record in the teacher’s file.

Informal observation: this is always without warning and is usually carried out by the teacher’s line manager or senior staff. It will usually involve the observer entering the classroom for a shorter period of time or passing through to ensure work is being carried out appropriately. Even with such observations, a short word of praise for something well done in the lesson will always be motivating and well received. Where a problem arises, unless it is a health and safety issue, ask to see the teacher later to discuss it.

In Guyana, such a monitoring programme can be a challenge because of the current shortage of trained teachers. However, this should not stand in the way of developing a programme as the benefits will outweigh any difficulties heads may find in its organisation. Teachers learn from each other, both how to do things and how not to do them – learning from each others’ mistakes.

Activity 3.1
Make a list of five or more items you would want to make judgements on when monitoring a teacher’s effectiveness in delivering a lesson.
E.g. Use of effective questioning techniques

As we noted in the previous section, observation will focus on aspects of the learning process such as the way that a teacher will communicate with his / pupils. In addition your list probably includes materials which were prepared for the lesson, evidence of a lesson plan, indications that the teacher has clear learning objectives and is sticking to them as well as a range of items concerning pupil / staff interactions.

Indeed, in order to evaluate the extent to which effective learning has taken place in the classroom, attention has to be focused on pupils as well as the teacher. Therefore, observation will include, for example, responses of pupils to the questions of the teacher, the time given to, and quality of written work, and the use and availability of text books and other learning resources. You might also want to evaluate contributions made by a teacher to a subject outside the classroom, for example, in a departmental meeting.

Activity 3.2
Draw up a programme of classroom observation which enables you and your staff to have an effective and regular coverage of classes in your school for three months. It should cover:

a broad spectrum of teachers;
all subjects on the curriculum;
all classes in the school.

Remember that you will have to make provision to ensure that all classes are being taught whilst observations are taking place.

We think you will agree that it is useful to have some form of policy and programme for carrying out regular classroom observations. This should be done in such a routine way that teachers and students become familiar with observations in the classrooms. Such regular monitoring should enable any deficiencies by teachers to be rectified. As may be expected, you will find teachers making mistakes during their lessons, but you should not correct there and then in the classroom in the presence of the pupils, as this will inevitably undermine the teacher and destroy the confidence the pupils have in their teacher. However, where a teacher’s mistake is likely to put the pupils or the teacher in an obvious danger such as an experiment or the use of tools in a workshop, the intervention of the head is defensible.

When observing lessons it is good practice to be very clear about what you are observing and what you will be making judgements about. This information should be shared with the staff well in advance so that they know your expectations and will feel less threatened by the process.

You may wish to limit yourself to overall impressions in the first instance. In this case it would be helpful to have a few headings to focus your opinions. (See Proforma 1). You may, however, wish to be more specific in order to analyse strengths and weaknesses. More detail will be required. (See Proforma 2). These are only suggestions and you will no doubt wish to develop your own.

Lesson Observation Proforma One

Lesson Observation Proforma

Subject ______________ Class __________ Teacher_______________________

Date_______________ Period ___________ Observed by __________________

Number of pupils at start of lesson _________________ Latecomers ____________

Action taken with latecomers ___________________________________________

Subject material, context and learning objectives____________________________


Register taken __________________ Homework followed up _________________

Aims of lesson made explicit ____________________________________________

Learning environment / Display __________________________________________

Make comments on the following areas:





Homework Set ________________________________________________________

Lesson summing up ____________________________________________________

Use grades 1 - 7
2 = very good / well above average 4 = satisfactory / about average 6 = poor

The following form is an example of a specific focus. In this case it is the language use of the teacher and language development of the children.

Lesson Observation Proforma Two

Teacher ____________________ Subject ______________ Class ____________

Age group of class

Ability range of class - mixed ability, setting etc.

Language environment

Appropriateness of materials and strategies

Actual materials and strategies used for this lesson

Appropriateness for this particular group.

Engagement of whole class and different groups and individuals in each part of the lesson

Appropriateness of language used by teacher

in lesson delivery
to individual children
in the written materials

Use of subject specific language by teacher

Teaching of subject specific language

Opportunities for use of spoken language by pupils

in front of whole class
in groups
in pairs
with teacher individually

Opportunities for reading

in front of whole class
in groups
in pairs
with teacher individually

Opportunities for listening

Pupil response

Difficulties in language experienced by pupils


Ways in which teacher overcame difficulties of individual or groups of children

Specific teaching and learning strategies used in the development of language

General comments

Scrutiny of work
As with observations, looking at pupils’ work can be done in both a formal and informal way.

Formal: Ask teachers to provide for you, by a certain time and date, selected exercise books of individual, groups or whole classes of children. They should provide a range of varying age groups, ability levels and subjects. You can either allow the teachers to select the books or you can do it yourself. One way of doing it at random is to tell teachers to provide you with the exercise book of a particular number on the register for a particular subject. E.g. Number 7 for Social Studies in all classes. It is important, of course that you provide feedback to the teachers about what you have seen. Likewise a comment in the child’s book will also be appreciated.

Informal: This is when you look casually at books whilst observing lessons or passing through a classroom. Feedback is not normally given, although any issues must be raised with the teacher at a later time.

When looking at written work, one would look at the quantity, the quality and the presentation of the work, evidence of the concepts and skills taught as well as the appropriateness of the work for the age and ability of the children. Verbal pupil response in the classroom is perhaps more difficult to evaluate. However, speaking and listening skills might be identified along with creativity and dramatic performance.

It is important not to try to look at too many things at once when looking at children’s work. You can focus on the child or on the teacher. You might ask yourself some of the following questions:-
Teacher focus
Is the work appropriate for the age and ability of the child?
When was the last time the books were marked?
Has the teacher written encouraging comments in the marking?
Has the teacher shown how a pupil can improve in the marking?
Is the marking accurate?
Has the teacher commented where the child has not met expectations e.g. wasting paper, underlining, titles, dates etc.?

Pupil focus
Has he / she followed the instructions of the teacher?
Has he / she produced best work?
Is the presentation as good as it can be?
Is the content good?
Has the child taken note of the comments of the teacher?
Have the corrections of previous work been done?

If you want to change your qualitative judgements into quantitative data, it is possible to grade the work you have seen according to the agreed criteria and use this to show improvement overall by the teacher and the pupil.

E.g. Each of the above focus points is graded on the following scale:-

5 = Excellent, 4 = Good, 3 = Satisfactory, 2 = Poor, 1 = very poor

Or perhaps the following:

5 = Fully, 4 = Mainly, 3 = Partly, 2 = Rarely, 1 = Never

When looking at a whole department, the data can be divided up so that it is focused on a particular issue e.g. the quality of marking. This can be done for individual or groups of children or whole classes. An average grade can be created or a percentage depending on your needs. If, for example, a teacher scores an average of 3.2 (a little better than satisfactory), he / she can be set the target of an average of 4 (good) by the next time the books are looked at. You will, of course, need to coach him / her as to how this can be achieved and how improvements can be made.

Monitoring must always be followed by support and development.

Analysis of data and test / examination results
We need to offer a word of warning here. The use of data must always be for a specific purpose and you must be very clear about how its analysis will help to raise achievement. It can be an expensive process both in time and resources; and testing inevitably uses up teaching time. Decisions need to be made about whether the focus will be on individual or groups of children or on the performance of the teacher.

Information can be very powerful and can provide a valuable insight into the current performance of children, their progress over time as well as making predictions about their future performance. Progress is normally measured through pre and post testing and analysing the difference. Where a specific remedial intervention has taken place, one would expect progress beyond the level expected without the intervention.

Comparisons can be made about the performance of individuals and groups of children with different teachers and patterns can be identified and conclusions drawn. However, be very wary about using such evidence to discipline a teacher before you have done everything you can to support them to improve.

Many teachers use a form of continuous assessment of their pupils’ work which involves a range of techniques by which a head ensures that pupils’ work in the various subjects is regularly and comprehensively evaluated. This could include the use of regular assignments, class tests, projects, practical work as well as observation and oral tests.

Activity 3.3
Compile a list of forms of continuous assessment used in lessons in your school over a period of a week (or more) in selected subjects. Assess the adequacy or otherwise of the test or assignments or other techniques used by teachers and the quality of reporting.

You will have observed many different forms of assessment from formal assignments to impromptu class tests. Some will be marked by the teacher and others by the pupils themselves. Some teachers will record results and others not. When evaluating what you have seen, try to make a decision about which forms of continuous assessment you consider to be the most effective in raising achievement.

The following is the process in summary:-

Baseline Assessment / pre tests
Setting targets
Monitoring / post tests
Evaluation of results

The use of a questionnaire is an important technique where concrete information can be collected from the staff and the pupils on the issue to be evaluated. A checklist may also be suitable in which simple and uncomplicated answers are required such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, ‘Supported’ or ‘Not supported’, or simple ticks are required on a graded scale or against a predetermined range of answers. In order to get some objective responses there may be the need for anonymity. However, this could be supplemented by more subjective data from interviews, for example.

In any event, a questionnaire should be simple, with short and close ended questions. After designing the questionnaire, you will need to ensure that it is distributed to the whole group or a representative group if the target population is too large. After administering the questionnaire, you will have to analyse the information and use the results to allow you to make informed decisions about future development and strategies for improvement.

Interviews may be structured (following a set list of questions) or unstructured (a discussion following no set plan) or semi-structured (partly set questions and partly free discussion). The last is the most common approach. You probably have used informal interviews many times to collect information from members of staff and will be aware of some of the problems surrounding this face-to-face technique of asking questions and taking note of the answers

You might like to spend a few moments jotting down some of the advantages and disadvantages of interviews.

You will no doubt agree that a major advantage of interviewing is its adaptability. A good interviewer will be able to follow up leads: ‘You mentioned that…’, ‘Could you explain…’; probe responses: ‘Why do you think that?’ and generally get closer to an interviewee’s true feelings, motives or attitudes. This is something which a questionnaire can never do.
The problems are, of course, that a good interview can be very time-consuming and there are many opportunities for bias. This can be as a result of the way in which the questions are asked and also as a result of respondents giving an ‘acceptable’ but inaccurate answer. Preparing for and undertaking interviews and analysing the information collected requires considerable care and attention.

In sum, as with many of the other techniques discussed here, the choice should be determined by the sorts of information you wish to collect, why and from whom. For example, if you want to obtain information form younger pupils, you would probably obtain better results from talking with them rather than asking them to write responses in a questionnaire.

Systematic record keeping
It is a useful exercise for the head to draw up a checklist of important school records which should be in place at regular times in the school and then to evaluate the purpose which such records are expected to serve in the school and their quality, especially in relation to whether they directly or indirectly have an effect on the quality of learning and teaching. In the process, the head will not only have a useful set of records but will also have a list of staff who are responsible for keeping such records

Below is an example of a checklist of equipment, records and facilities which should be in place for the effective management of the school laboratory (excluding a list of specific science equipment).

Activity 3.4
Draw up a checklist similar to the one below of the records and equipment which should be available for the general operation of the Art Department of your school. You might like to consider how often in a school term you would actually use the list and how you might use it to evaluate the general effectiveness of the administration of that department.

One of the important points to remember about such systematic records is that for them to be useful for monitoring the effectiveness of leadership and management, they must be maintained and regularly updated. They can provide a criterion against which evaluation can be made. For example, taking Item 5 below, a quick assessment can be made as to whether the information in the stock book is up-to-date.

To see a fully formatted version of this chart, see original printed document or downloadable PDF version from this website

Equipment and facilities record

Stock Number

1. Sand bucket
2. Fire extinguisher
3. Fire blanket
4. First Aid box
5. Stock book
6. Breakage book
7. Fume box
8. Gas/electricity supply
9. Rules and regulations on use of laboratory
10. Subject syllabus
11. Schemes of work
12. Mark books
13. Departmental library


1. Science teacher
2. Head
3. Head
4. School secretary
5. Science teacher
6. Science teacher
7. Head
8. Head/Science teacher
9. Science teacher
10.Department head / Science teacher
11. Department head / Science teacher

12. Science Teacher

13. Science Teacher


1. Available at all times
2. Functioning always
3. Available
4. Should contain essential items of first aid
5.To be kept up-to-date
6. To be kept up-to-date
7. Available
8. Available
9. To be displayed conspicuously
10.Current syllabus
11. Break down on weekly basis for each year
12. Available at all times
13. Available

Discussion groups
There are sometimes specific situations in a school where an evaluation would be best made by using the views of a range of appropriate groups in the school. This method must be used with care especially when seeking the views of pupils in the school. We must be careful not to undermine teachers in the presence of their students. It is often used, therefore, when evaluating situations which do not involve the process of learning and teaching; perhaps the general welfare of the children in the school. It is often better conducted in separate groups of children and adults.

Let us consider an example where there have been repeated complaints by pupils and parents about the general quality of food available in a school dining hall or snackette. It would be difficult for the head to obtain an accurate evaluation of the catering services in the school without seeking the views and opinions of all involved: the catering officers, cooks, house parents in a boarding school, and those who supervise the pupils during meals and the pupils themselves. Thus, one obvious approach to the evaluation of the catering system would be to call a series of meetings of this group of people to address the issue.

The views and advice of these people would no doubt go a long way towards an accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of the catering services in the school. Can you suggest other sources or methods of obtaining information? You will probably have thought that a questionnaire might usefully be administered or individual interviews undertaken. Frequently, a combination of evaluation techniques is most likely to provide the range of information which is needed in order to draw conclusions.

Evaluation and external agencies
In Guyana, schools are externally supervised by the officers of the Regional Departments of Education – DEOs and REDO. A set format is used for these supervisory visits. They are scheduled with and without warning. If you do not already have a copy, you would be well advised to obtain information about the latest regulations on such visits from the Department of Education.

Monitoring of education delivery in the eleven Education Districts is done by the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Development Unit (MERD), headed by the Deputy Chief Education Officer (MERD). The MERD Unit is located at the Central Ministry. It has now absorbed all of the Inspectorate Unit as regards quality assurance.

Currently, the MERD Unit conducts a monitoring visit to each Education Department twice per year. A new monitoring instrument has been devised for use in the monitoring visits to regions to gather information on the management and supervisory practices of officers and school leaders. The emphasis is on self evaluation at every level from the Departments of Education through to the schools and the individual teachers. A sample of schools is also visited to validate the data presented on them by the officers.

An outcome of the visit to the Department of Education and selected schools is the Report of Findings which is submitted to the:-

Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Education)
Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Local Government)
Chief Education Officer
Regional Executive Officer
Deputy Chief Education Officers (Administration and Technical)
Chairman of the Regional Education Committee
Regional Education Officer.

A copy of the Report of Findings is sent to the national print media for publishing

The Permanent Secretary (MOE) convenes a meeting with senior officers of the Ministries of Education and Local Government to analyse the Report of Findings and to determine the necessary follow-up actions to be taken, one of which is the scheduling of a Feedback Meeting with stakeholders in the particular Education District.

The Feedback Meeting in the Education District is chaired by the Chief Education Officer. Those in attendance are:-

Senior Officers from the Ministries of Education and Local Government
Regional Executive Officer
Chairman, Regional Education Committee
Head of Department of Education
District Education Officers
School Welfare Officers
Regional Information Technology Officer
Regional Assessment Officer

One of the expected outcomes of the Feedback Meeting is the identification of leadership, managerial, evaluative and pedagogical needs of officers and school staff, for which training packages aimed at addressing those needs are subsequently prepared. Another outcome is the highlighting of issues to be reflected in an Action Plan to be prepared by the Head of Department of Education and staff, copies of which are subsequently sent to the Permanent Secretaries (Ministry of Education and Ministry of Local Government) through the Regional Executive Officer A Monthly Status Report on the implementation of the Action Plan is also sent to them.

The Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Education) convenes monthly meetings with the Chief Education Officer, members of the Education Systems Committee and the staff of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Development Unit to analyse those Monthly Status Reports and to determine the need for other interventions deemed necessary for capacity building in the Education District.

It is important for the head to be familiar with the work and methods of operation of external agencies who are involved in evaluation, such as the Department of Education and the MERD Unit. It likely that some of the techniques used by these bodies for the evaluation of schools can be adapted for use in schools and exposure to new ideas and innovative practices in the evaluation of schools will be useful. In this respect, the head could obtain copies of reports of inspections carried out by the MERD Unit as well as guidelines used by subject specialists for the development of subject areas in schools.

Others are also involved in education in all of the regions. The Chair of the Regional Education Committee, The Regional Executive Officer and the Regional Chairperson may all play an important role in the quality assurance of education in the region and its schools. In Georgetown, this function is currently carried out by the Ministry of Education.

Activity 3.5
1) Obtain copies of the MERD guidelines and reports on various areas of inspection including individual subjects. Then examine them with respect to the techniques used to evaluate:

§ different subjects of the school curriculum;
§ school leadership, including management, administration and organisation;
§ extra-curricular activities;
§ school ethos.

2) Extract from these documents approaches which are applicable to the self-evaluation of your school, for use by the Senior Leadership Team, Senior Teachers, heads of departments and level heads.

School inspectors adopt a range of evaluation techniques in order to gather information, draw conclusions concerning all aspects of the school and make recommendations for improving school effectiveness. It is very likely that some of the practices adopted by inspectors can be used by you and your staff in order to undertake the self-evaluation of your programmes and teaching.

However, you will do well to remember that monitoring and evaluation should principally involve the core function of the school – learning and teaching and this cannot be evaluated by solely looking at paperwork, although scrutiny of notes of lessons etc. would be desirable. The only way to evaluate the quality of the learning process is to observe samples of lessons and scrutinize children’s work. This would be done using pre-determined criteria so that teachers and pupils would be clear about your expectations.

A critical examination of the reports of external agencies such as the inspectorate should provide you with some useful insights into how to plan and execute a programme of evaluation. Many of these are available on the internet, especially from the USA and the UK in the form of inspection reports for education departments and individual schools. You will find some good examples at with thousands of inspection reports for schools in Great Britain. This is the Office for Standards in Education in the UK (OFSTED) We will focus on planning a programme of evaluation the next unit.

Before completing this unit, consider the main areas of school life, including the curriculum, staff and students, discipline, pastoral care, environment, finance and resources, etc., and the evaluation techniques which you have been introduced to in this unit. Think about the techniques you might develop and apply in each area in order to help contribute towards improving school effectiveness.

In this unit you have been introduced to some important techniques of monitoring and evaluation, including: observation of lessons, scrutiny of pupils’ work, questionnaires, interviews, discussion groups, continuous assessment and the systematic keeping of records. You have also learnt that whichever techniques you use, you first have to record the information gathered carefully in order to be able to analyse it and make judgements concerning the questions being asked and issues addressed.

Developing evaluation instruments and analysing information may be a little technical and you may therefore need to set up a committee in your school to design lesson observation and scrutiny of work proforma, effective school assessment instruments like questionnaires, interview questions, observations, record keeping methods and to devise ways of analysing the data and information collected. Such a committee can also help guide the planning and execution of an ongoing programme of school evaluation, as explained in the next unit. Your Department of Education should also be able to give you considerable help in this.

We have considered the way in which external agencies such as the MERD Unit will tackle the inspection of your region and some of the schools within it as well as the attendant reporting procedures.

However, first and foremost you must remember the reasons why you are monitoring the provision of education in your school and evaluating the results. It is to improve school effectiveness and increase the learning capacity of the children.