Inspections and improvements in Ugandan secondary schools – an analysis of policies and practices

Gustavo Henndel Lopes, Katarzyna Kubacka, Jessica Chu, Geeta Gambhir - With contributions from María A. Galvis and Juliet Kyoshabire Kotonya

05 July 2023

 Executive Summary

The report presents findings and recommendations from a political economy analysis (PEA) of education in Uganda.

Our study explored the political economy of secondary school inspections and improvements in Uganda. It also looked at the Inspect and Improve (I&I) programme, an important initiative in this area. I&I has been co-designed by Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), an education charity headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK) and operating in Uganda, and the Directorate of Education Standards (DES) of Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES).

Analysing information that is often overlooked in technical, policy-oriented works, the research examines how socio-economic and overarching political factors affect practices and policies related to secondary school inspections and improvements in Uganda. It offers insights into further improvements in secondary education quality in the country and demonstrates NFER’s expertise in conducting applied political economy analyses in international education and development.

Key Findings

  • Secondary school inspections are a core school improvement mechanism whose outcomes depend on very context-specific factors.
  • The needs, facilitators and barriers faced by the different types of Ugandan secondary schools influence the ability of inspections to drive improvements.
  • For a school to improve, there often needs to be extensive coordination between stakeholders at different levels of the education system, including school leaders, school staff, school communities, district officials, school inspectors, MOES divisions and policymakers.
  • Improving secondary school quality at scale requires consideration of the ability of the secondary education sector as a whole to facilitate improvements.
  • The I&I programme has set a benchmark for secondary education quality and accountability in Uganda.
  • I&I’s ability to scale up, influence education policy and practice and effect widespread system-level change will depend on resource levels and the programme’s ability to work with and through the Ugandan education sector’s governance system.

Related Titles

Learning Partnership for the Inspect and Improve Programme - Research report

Evaluation of the PEAS-DES Inspect and Improve project endline report - Research report