Using all four stages of the quality cycle
Quality assurance practice
In order to improve quality, the Commercial Secondary School in Brno created its first self-evaluation report using the Common Assessment Framework in June 2005. The report revealed several strengths and weaknesses – this provided the inspiration for improvement. After successfully implementing an improvement plan (e.g. introducing performance indicators for the school and for individual employees, developing an evidence-based system for responding to complaints and suggestions, introducing an appraisal system for teachers and trainers etc.) the School decided to continue its self-evaluation activities and completed an analysis of its main activities.
Using results from the internal evaluation and the recommendation of the School’s independent auditor, the Common Assessment Framework model was adopted. In 2008, new action plans for improvement was created (e.g. develop an internet presence; establish new systems for all key areas of the School’s work etc.) In 2010, the school received “The National Quality Award of the Czech Republic – public sector”.
The VET provider’s approach to quality assurance
To identify the quality of course and the outcomes of education, the School uses:
- internal evaluations for key activities such as school leaving exams, assessment, activities linked with realisation of students’ personal development, continuous professional development of staff, the costs of course provision etc.
- class observations performed by the school management
- close cooperation with social partners.
The quality assurance model helps to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. An independent external evaluator also uses of questionnaire surveys, statistical comparisons and internal evaluations to help the School review performance
What improvements have brought made?
Using this quality assurance approach has helped the School to:
- manage project activities more successfully
- introduce development plans for individual staff
- employ training specialists to support the continuous professional development of teachers and trainers
- improve its mutually beneficial cooperation with social partners
- actively involve staff and students in partner events
- benchmark performance – s
- support school staff to be involved as advisors, coordinators, instructors and a implementers of innovating initiatives
- establish a School Parliament and School Board
- introduce an information system in all sections and levels
- fostered high-quality relationships at work with fair and equal treatment for all
- improved public relations
What challenges have been overcome?
- finding new ways to manage the effective recruitment of new students
- better information management via use of the internet
- introduction of electronic communication in all sections and levels of the organisation
What were the lessons learnt
This is clear – any form of self-evaluation is beneficial. And quality assurance is an effective way for shaping continuous improvement.