TI-AIE: Perspective on leadership: leading the school’s self-review

What this unit is about

Imagine a coconut-water vendor drumming the coconuts with the flat of his knife to estimate their age and sweetness, or a shopper in the market smelling the ripeness of fruit. We all regularly make judgements about quality based on data and observations.

In school, teachers and leaders also need to evaluate and make judgements so that they can understand how a school is doing, and how to improve it. However, it is important that these judgements are based on robust evidence.

It is only relatively recently that self-review – a school looking critically and systematically at its own practices – is seen as ‘best practice’ and is being brought into national and state evaluative approaches. Its introduction is based on the recognition that if schools themselves identify the things that they need to get better at, they are much more likely to do something about it.

This unit focuses on supporting school leaders in embedding self-review processes and procedures, so that these can drive school improvement. It will help you to think about what aspects of your school’s work you would like to review, how to collect data and how to report on what you find. The unit Perspectives on leadership: school development plan will focus on using the evidence collected to make a development plan.

Learning Diary

During your work on this unit you will be asked to make notes in your Learning Diary, a book or folder where you collect together your thoughts and plans in one place. Perhaps you have already started one.

You may be working through this unit alone, but you will learn much more if you are able to discuss your learning with another school leader. This could be a colleague with whom you already collaborate, or someone with whom you can build a new relationship. It could be done in an organised way or on a more informal basis. The notes you make in your Learning Diary will be useful for these kinds of meetings, while also mapping your longer-term learning and development.

What school leaders will learn in this unit