Schools Evaluation Authority to assess school responses to Covid-19
Earlier this year, I announced that the Chief Evaluator of the Western Cape’s Schools Evaluation Authority (SEA), Ms Karen Bydell, had appointed two lead evaluators and two evaluators so that they could begin their work in our schools.
The purpose of the SEA is to support school improvement in the province by identifying factors that impact on performance in the areas that matter most for quality education delivery – Learner Achievement; Teaching and Learning; Behaviour and Safety; Leadership and Management; and Governance, Parents and Community.
At least 50 schools were to have been evaluated this year, with an impartial report on each to be submitted to the key stakeholders: the Principal, School Governing Body, District Director, Superintendent-General, and myself.
Unfortunately, as it has done with nearly every aspect of our lives, the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted the work of the SEA this year. An extended school closure and the phased return of learners to schools has made their usual evaluations impossible. However, Ms Bydell and I agreed that there is an important role that the SEA can play during this time, specifically in determining how our schools are responding to the challenging new environment created by Covid-19.
Accordingly, I have requested and provided the necessary authorisation in terms of Section 11D (6)(a) of the Western Cape Provincial Schools Education Amendment Act that the SEA conduct evaluations at our schools, with the intention of assessing:
- Compliance with the Covid-19 health and safety protocols
- Implementation of Temporary Revised Education Plans (TREPs) and optimising learning opportunities for all learners
- The psycho-social impact that the pandemic is having on staff and learners
- The leadership of principals and school management teams during the pandemic
I have also asked for recommendations on how the various role-players in the WCED can assist schools where necessary.
I wish Ms Bydell and her team all the best as they embark on these evaluations, and I look forward to receiving their reports and recommendations on how all education role-players can best work together to face the challenge of schooling during the global pandemic.
Please note: we are not able to release the names of schools that will be evaluated this year.