Juliet Kotonya, Geeta Gambhir, Madhuri Agarwal and Katarzyna Kubacka
26 May 2023
In March 2021, Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) as the Learning Partner for the second phase of the Inspect and Improve programme (I&I), which extended the programme to 50 schools, from 10 schools in the 2019 pilot. PEAS and the Directorate of Education Standards (DES) co-designed I&I. The programme is based on evidence which suggests that learning and teaching quality can be bettered by improving school leadership and management through supported school inspections.
We used a mixed methods and analysis research approach. As with our evaluation of the I&I pilot we used an adapted World Management Survey (WMS) to measure improvements in school management and leadership. We also carried out two qualitative case studies.
In our research with school leaders, teachers, Board of Governors representatives, and PEAS and DES staff, we examined:
- changes in management practices, using the WMS at baseline and endline
- the sustained benefits of the I&I model; changes to the quality of teaching and learning, student well-being and gender equity; the piloting of the digital inspection tools strand of I&I; programme delivery adaptation to Covid-19 restrictions; and the uptake and perceived comparative benefits of using digital tools, using qualitative interviews.
- Teachers’ improved lesson preparation and use of learner-centred activities helps to increase teacher and student engagement, while behaviour management which does not involve corporal punishment, and an increase in psychosocial support, is central to improved student well-being.
- Gender-sensitive teaching and well-being practices positively impact girls’ enrolment, attendance, and self confidence in school.
- Through the use of digital tools, school inspectors are able to improve the timeliness, quality of reporting processes and compliance to standard operating procedures, however, negative attitudes towards technology, low levels of digital skills and low internet connectivity are the main barriers to engagement with digital tools and platforms.
- PEAS and DES’ collaborative approach to implementing the I&I model is vital for school improvement through inspections in government schools.