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VALUE ADDED MEASURES OF SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS

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Scottish education minister Brian Wilson today announced that agreement had been reached with COSLA to set up a joi...
Scottish education minister Brian Wilson today announced that agreement had been reached with COSLA to set up a joint Scottish Office/COSLA steering committee to develop 'value added' measures of school effectiveness to inform his action group on school standards.

The development of value added measures will greatly assist the

setting of appropriate targets for individual schools. The ready

acceptance of the principle of targets for all schools by the action

group on standards and by the education service generally has

stemmed largely from the government's wish to see targets

increasingly based on value added assessments.

Mr Wilson said:

'While our progress in developing value added measures matches -

and, in some cases, exceeds - achievements in most countries, a firm

commitment by all the key partners will be needed to standardise the

value added criteria for assessment of performance by schools in

Scotland. The development of value added measures will be of

significant importance for refining the national framework which is

being introduced for setting targets for individual schools. It is equally important to the improvement of information for parents.

'I am delighted that, in partnership with local authorities, and

following discussions with COSLA, a new steering committee will be

convened by Douglas Osler, senior chief inspector of schools, drawing on membership from COSLA and within The Scottish Office education department.

'The steering committee's views will inform the discussions and

thinking of my action group on standards and targets and I look

forward to their interim report later this year. The establishment of

this steering committee reflects my determination to raise expectations about the levels of attainment which can be reached in our schools based on reliable and comprehensive information.'

NOTES

1. The 'value added' by a school is the contribution the school

makes to the development of its pupils. For an individual pupil the

determination of the 'value added' involves measuring the progress

he/she has made during a phase of schooling which could be a single

year, several school years, or the whole of a pupil's primary or

secondary education experience. 'Value added' approaches may

provide a means whereby schools can assess whether the performance

being made by individual pupils at any stage is as good as it should be.

2. In November 1992 COSLA offered to work with SOED to

consider how the 'value added' concept might be developed as a

reliable measure of school performance. This stemmed from a

concern that information provided to parents should be of sufficient

quality to allow them to make valid judgements about the education of

their children. SOED responded positively to the suggestion that a

joint COSLA/SOED working group should be established under the

chairmanship of HM Senior Chief Inspector of Schools. The group

reported to COSLA and ministers in September 1994 and in

March 1996.

3. The new steering committee, havingregard to the minister's

initiative on standards and targets and developments in the

measurement of school effectiveness in other countries, will:

a. launch a full pilot of the value added model developed by its

predecessor group;

b. consider the role of baseline assessment at Primary 1 within the

concept of `value added';

c. extend the value added model to S1/S2 and consider

articulation with value added measures based on SCE

examination results;

d. report on the feasibility of using the value added model, once

refined and tested, as the benchmark/index against which to set

school targets; and

e. consider the cost implications of implementing the value added

model on a national basis

4. The steering committee will meet for the first time on

January 23.

5. Membership of the group has been agreed with COSLA as

follows:

SOEID

Douglas Osler HMSCI (Convenor)

Bob Irvine Head of Schools Provision and Organisation

Division

Colin MacLean Head of Statistics Division

Chris McIlroy HMI

Sheila Tait Teachers, Curriculum and Community

Education Division

Wray Bodys HMI (Organising Secretary)

COSLA

Ken Arthur South Lanarkshire Council

John Christie Scottish Borders Council

Alistair Noble South Ayrshire Council

Ronnie O'Connor Glasgow City Council

Graham Short East Ayrshire Council

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