Sustainability in the Inspect & Improve Programme, Uganda

Geeta Gambhir and Katarzyna Kubacka

13 March 2024

In March 2021, Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) commissioned NFER to act as the Learning Partner for the second phase of the Inspect and Improve programme (I&I). This Learning Partnership aimed to produce evidence to support ongoing programme improvements and generate learning to support further roll-out.

PEAS and the Directorate of Education Standards (DES) of Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) co-designed I&I, building on evidence that the quality of learning and teaching could be improved by bettering school leadership and management through supported school inspections. 

We interviewed school leaders, teachers, and Board of Governors representatives to explore the sustained benefits of the I&I model and whether changes to school management had impacted on the quality of teaching and learning, student well-being and gender equity in I&I schools.

Key Findings

  • Teachers’ improved preparation of lessons and use of learner-centred activities helped to increase teacher-student engagement
  • Alternative discipline methods and an increase in psychosocial support helped to improve cooperation between teachers and students; these approaches are central to improved student wellbeing
  • Gender-sensitive teaching and wellbeing practices positively impacted girls’ enrolment, attendance and self confidence in school.

Amidst challenges largely related to school funding, study participants provided insight into key factors for consideration if observed changes are to be sustained:

  • A mindset which is open to fostering new practices that benefit learners
  • Head teachers' awareness of the importance of motivating staff, and the need for ongoing support
  • Peer collaboration and support
  • Parental and community engagement.

In conclusion, the sustainability of the changes relies on their institutionalisation, both within schools and at the system-level.

You can learn more about NFER’s findings on the I&I programme in the 2021 Evaluation of the pilot and the 2022 Learning Partnership final report.