PISA-Based Test for Schools
Your report - using the report for school improvement
Using the report to support inspection or validation
External inspection or validation processes will typically review the quality of your school’s provision, student outcomes, and your school’s leadership. They may also look at your school’s planning for improvement and its capacity to effect change. Your PISA-Based Test for Schools report can support your preparation and ongoing self-evaluation in all of these areas.
Your report will complement other types of evidence you use in your school’s self-evaluation and in preparation for inspection/validation, providing a richer picture of life in your school and a broader/deeper analysis of matters arising and strategies adopted to address them. In showing that you have analysed information from multiple sources, you will be able to demonstrate to inspectors/validators your school’s willingness to engage in evaluation of key areas, and its commitment to improvement. Given that PISA-Based Test for Schools assesses different aspects of learning compared with other assessments, your report may validate and add different detail to some conclusions about breadth and depth of attainment in your school, enabling you to present a strong case for the school’s effectiveness and/or the rationale for any developmental targets adopted. Conversely, any areas of conflicting evidence in your report will provide alternative perspectives based on the different information gathered, and these may provide a supporting rationale for other developmental targets or changes proposed. In either case, your use of your school’s report will indicate that school leaders are committed to improvement and evaluating widely and with care.
The exact nature of the supporting evidence your school may draw upon from your report will vary depending on the specific outcomes for your school. Some examples are given below, but you may find other possible uses of your report in this regard, based on your school’s particular needs and objectives (see Using the report within your school and Using the report in a network or federation).
Your report will demonstrate the quality of your school’s provision not only in terms of academic outcomes but also students’ perceptions of their learning environment and their self-efficacy in learning. It will, therefore, enable you to present independently-gathered data indicating how the students perceive the learning climate in the school. This will usefully supplement any policy-based evidence you provide (e.g. behaviour policies, learning support systems, staff development policies), while complementing the inspectors’/validators’ own observations. Equally, you will have evidence from the report regarding students’ levels of confidence and motivation, and these will support your self-evaluation and underpin any targets or action aimed at improvement in these areas.
Your school’s report will enable you to show that you are pro-actively evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in your school, not only in absolute terms but also in terms of value-added, and in both national and global contexts. The rich data underpinning your report will allow your school to go well beyond simplistic conclusions based on average test scores alone and will allow you to tease out more complex or subtle effects, which can be immensely helpful in school self-evaluation. In addition, targets or other strategies and new approaches that follow from benchmarking your students’ achievement nationally and internationally will indicate your commitment to planning for an improved learning environment and for improved student outcomes (whether overall, or for particular groups of students, or in particular subjects). Ongoing use of the PISA-Based Test for Schools will enable you to evaluate your school’s effectiveness in meeting those targets and either demonstrate progress or provide a rationale for revised targets, as applicable.
Case studies in your school’s report will explore strong and effective leadership and, where these have been helpful in your school’s self-evaluation and target-setting, they can be provided as supporting evidence in your inspection/validation process. Similarly, if your school’s report stimulated professional conversations within or between schools in your area, or with educators in a wider network, this can also be presented as evidence of self-evaluation and the quest for improvement. Effective leadership may also be demonstrated simply through participating in PISA-Based Test for Schools, where participation is part of a clear strategy to review, inform and develop.
The possibilities for using your school’s report to support self-evaluation and inspection/validation processes are many and varied. Any occasion where your school’s PISA-Based Test for Schools report stimulates a professional conversation may be useful evidence of self-evaluation and the desire to improve and can potentially, therefore, be presented as supporting evidence in the self-assessment and inspection/validation processes.