The Handler Nándor Vocational school has been involved in regular quality improvement activity since 2000. These activities include a definition of a quality policy, and the identification and regulation of the school’s processes. It conducts self-assessment on an annual basis and introduces new developments based on the outcomes of these assessments. An indicator system is included in the self-assessment process. This system is based on a set of links between TARGETS – TRAITS – RESULTS. This logical approach forms the foundation of the school’s quality assurance activity and ‘targets’ are connected to ‘results’ through the school’s self-assessment model.
By using the TARGETS – TRAITS – RESULTS model, the school is able to explore areas for improvement during their collection and analysis of indicators. Consequently, the RESULTS of the analysis help to focus the school’s developments on either the TRAITS (the processes and operational elements used by the school) or the TARGETS. Measures are used to gauge the satisfaction and needs of partner organisations, and the outcomes are used to define the objectives of work-based learning and produce an action plan. Good practice is defined in the action plan in order for these new developments to be incorporated into the school’s operational arrangements. The institutional practices and processes described in the TRAITS section of the quality assurance model are adjusted to take account of any new arrangements arising from the assessment of the views of partner organisations.
The Handler Nándor Vocational school has been involved in regular quality improvement activity since 2000. These activities include a definition of a quality policy, and the identification and regulation of the school’s processes. It conducts self-assessment on an annual basis and introduces new developments based on the outcomes of these assessments. The school has produced its own quality control manual which provides a framework for its quality improvement activities. Hungary has adopted the CQAF (the Common Quality Assurance Framework) and EQAVET frameworks and the school has complied with the expectations of these frameworks by transforming its system. The school applies a national VET model for self- assessment, which was developed during the Hungarian adoption of EQAVET. This model is called “ESZÖM: Common VET Self-assessment Model”.
The school has integrated its quality assurance system into its operational arrangements. In the last month of the academic year, the quality assurance group collects a broad range of indicators based on the TRAITS and RESULTS criteria of the ESZÖM model. The group makes recommendations for improvements on the basis of analysing problems and identifying the reasons for the problems. On the basis of these recommendations, the school’s education board decides on improvement priorities at the year-end staff meeting. Development groups are established by the management team – and these groups define objectives and prepare action plans for improvements in the designated areas. These objectives and action plans become the school’s objectives for the next academic year and form the basis for the quality assurance group’s subsequent evaluation. The indicators which are used to evaluate the action plans and the feedback from partner organisations are included in the school’s evaluation of its performance.
Handler Nándor Vocational School uses the ESZÖM self-assessment model which was developed during the adoption of the EQAVET framework in Hungary. The model includes the EQAVET indicative descriptors and all ten indicators. In this model each quality requirement is broken down and described in more detail by indicative characteristics which identify additional elements and areas for quality improvement. The indicators used by the school are linked to the three core policy priorities defined at the European level (increase employability; improve the balance between labour market demand and training supply, and improve access). They provide the school with reliable, objective and factual data on the extent to which the objectives of the policy priorities have been implemented.
The school’s regular self-assessment uses the TARGETS – TRAITS – RESULTS model. The model provides a clear connection between TARGETS and the school’s associated practice which is measured through applying indicators during a self-assessment. Based on the results of the self-assessment, areas for improvement are highlighted and their connection to the school’s objectives identified. This leads to a clear set of professional developments which the school will adopt. Partner organisations (VET-providers, schools, chambers, business associations, practical training providers, company owners) are involved in defining the school’s objectives, and the school’s processes (TRAITS) set out how key partner organisations are involved in the launch of new developments and their evaluation.
In 2006, in recognition of its quality improvement activity, Handler Nándor Vocational Training School received the national quality award of public education - the “Award for the Quality of Public Education”.
For the last 13 years, the school’s effectiveness has been regularly evaluated by using indicators and partnership measures. Since most of the questions used to inform the indicators and partner measures are permanent, data comparability is ensured and trend analyses can be performed. Each new development is assigned indicators which are given target values – this makes it possible to evaluate the results of each development. Evaluation is also supported by comparing the school’s indicators with those at a national or sectoral level. This includes, for example, comparisons with the national assessment results (national assessment of basic competences, PISA survey etc.); the results from examinations for national qualifications and national professional competitions; employment indicators; the teacher to student ratio; utilisation of skills obtained at the workplace. Indicators for the school’s assessment of its performance are also provided by partner organisations that participate in work-based learning and supervise learners during their practical training.
For the Handler Nándor Vocational Training School, the most important aspect of this quality assurance system is the definition of objectives and the fact that all the school’s developments need to consider these objectives. New process needs to integrate the school’s organisational and working arrangements. Quality improvement should be seen as a tool that supports professional and pedagogic developments as well as the effectiveness of the institution. The school’s entire staff, and its key partners and partner organisations are involved in the quality improvement process. The school has found that the basis for quality improvement is a clear system of targets with pre-defined indicators and an implementation plan. This requires each of the following to be effective: the internal operational processes described in the TRAITS criteria; the action plans linked to new developments; the measurements and evaluations which are performed on an annual basis; evaluation to be informed by the implementation of new developments; and evaluation should be planned by internal and external partners.
Each year 820 students are covered by this quality assurance arrangement.
For more information on this case study, contact:
Employer/VET provider/contact person:
Name: Handler Nándor Szakképző Iskola (Handler Nándor Vocational School)
Address: 9400 Sopron, Halász u. 9-15.
E-mail: [email protected]
Sopron, Győr-Moson-Sopron, Hungary