Schools Evaluation Authority launches website
On Wednesday last week, the Western Cape’s Schools Evaluation Authority (SEA) launched its website. Premier Alan Winde and I joined the SEA’s Chief Evaluator, Ms Karen Bydell, in celebrating the milestone.
The vision of the SEA is to support school improvement through strengthening school accountability, as there is strong evidence that accountability leads to improvement. Education quality and practices will be evaluated in all schools (not just underperforming ones) in the following areas: Learner Achievement, Quality of Teaching and Learning, Behaviour and Safety, Leadership and Management, and Governance, Parents and Community. Examples of best practices and innovative approaches will be identified and shared in reports to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
The SEA began its evaluations of schools in February this year, and completed eight of them before Covid-19 and the extended school closure disrupted the work of the evaluators. Ms Bydell and I agreed that there was an important role the SEA could play when schools re-opened in a phased manner, to assess the response of schools to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The evaluators have since completed 54 evaluations of schools’ Covid-19 responses in the following areas:
- 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
Ms Bydell said: “The launch of the SEA website is an important milestone as school evaluation reports will be published on it to inform the public about school performance in the Western Cape. Parents and communities will have access to independent, fair and objective reports of schools in their communities which will enable them to hold schools accountable for performance, including functionality and the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom; not simply compliance with policy.”
Premier Winde said: “The Western Cape Government is committed to providing quality education for learners in all of our schools. The SEA's independent evaluation reports will provide parents and communities with information on the performance of our schools, ensuring that we are held accountable to improve the quality of our services. The Western Cape Government is focused on improving dignity and wellbeing for citizens, and education is a key element of this.”
Visit the SEA website: http://seawc.gov.za/