EPS Points of Difference

 EPSOther SR tools
Focus Whole school review and development – focus on the organisation as a whole. Usually focusing on a particular issue – eg ICT integration, leadership skills, curriculum implementation etc.
View of school As an ecology/organism As a system
View of improvement Ecological
Changing something changes everything
Process driven
Change made in isolation to discrete aspects of the system.
Involvement Opportunity for whole school community involvement –school leaders, teachers, parents, students. All voices can be collected. School leaders and teachers
Approach to development Macro – landscape/map metaphor – concern for the health of the whole, aware of the interconnectedness of things Micro – deficit modelling, focus on what needs to me improved.
Personalised Personalised to meet the needs of individual school context Standardised, one size fits all
Focus of use/Purpose To assist with visioning and
To reveal the 'health' of the organization – non-judgemental
Compliance, measurement, ranking, benchmarking
Judgements made based on performance against external standards.
Data sources Perceptions of stakeholders Test scores, statistics, performance measures
Primary data type Qualitative and quantitative Quantitative
Theoretical perspectives - action research
- appreciative inquiry
- reflection on action
- ladder of inference
- 'school improvement' literature
- performance-based
- compliance frameworks
Role of stakeholders Personal: Participants and 'owners'
Done by us
Impersonal: Objects of the study
Done to us
Analysis "Holding a mirror" to practice Measurement against or with standards
Time to analysis Immediate – under control of the school Generally takes time for external processing (often by third party)
Ownership of data School Third party
Key beneficiary School Compliance or credentialing agency
Motivation for completion Internal – from a desire to grow, to improve, to develop etc External – for compliance, to meet standards, to measure performance
Consequence Ownership of results, determination to pursue change, collaborate to make a difference etc Focus on changing the things that will change the result (eg manipulating exam questions to ensure higher scores)

Another key differentiation is that fact that the EPS is empowering of the school and its community, able to be used by those who have the greatest stake in and ownership of the outcome, rather than something that imposes comparison with measures that are external to the school, and judgements that are often made by a third party.