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External Reviews

External Reviews in Educational Institutions

There are different objectives behind the external reviews carried out by the Education Review Section (ERS) and Regulatory and Compliance Section (RCS). One of the most important characteristics brought about by the role of external evaluator is the consistent presence in schools through the different external review models. The use of a variety of review models is a valuable opportunity to develop a link with schools where national policies and strategies can be discussed among professionals. Determining evidence can be gathered through these visits which can spur further development both at school and national level.

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Whole-School External Review Model (Duration – One Week)

The first review model adopted by the ERS  was the whole school external review model which looks in depth at the QAD Standards. The aim of the Whole School External Review is to contribute to quality enhancement of the educational provision in the visited school by thoroughly considering all the QAD Standards and giving feedback on the three areas, namely Educational Leadership and Management, Learning and Teaching, and School Ethos. The Whole School External Review is carried out by Education Officers within the ERS, one of whom is the review leader. Following a Whole School External Review, the ERS issues a report to the school management including Head of College Network and/or College Director, educators and parents  with the aim of giving feedback about the school, in a formative and developmental way..

Follow-Up Visit

The main purpose of the Follow-Up External Review is to evaluate the progress made in the areas identified for improvement by a previous external review. It informs the decision about when and through which model the next external review for the school will take place. It also validates the outcomes of the previous external review by confirming that what had been observed then was a true picture of the school.

One-Day External Review

The purpose behind the One Day External Review is to evaluate the school’s internal quality assurance mechanisms and how well these promote improvement in learning and teaching for the benefit of all learners. This external review model focuses on specific quality standards, namely internal review and school development planning, learning and teaching, and formative assessment which is integrated in the learning and teaching process. The evaluation emanating from the One Day External Review aims to provide the Head of School and relevant authorities with focused and formative feedback on the aforementioned quality standards as well as guide the school in its quest for excellence. Following its evaluation, the team briefs the SMT about the main conclusions of the One Day External Review and a record of outcomes is forwarded to the HoS and respective authorities.


Thematic External Review Model

The main aim of the Thematic External Review is to inform policy makers on the situation in educational institutions in relation to areas of national priority, including but not limited to Early Years, Sustainable Development Targets, Inclusive Education etc.  It may also inform policy makers of the outcomes of the implementation of policies of national priority and indicate possible ways forward. 


Focused External Review Model

The purpose of the Focused External Review is to evaluate the school’s progress in the quality standard/s identified as areas for development in its previous external review report, record of outcomes or frequent complaints received about a particular area. The evaluation emanating from this model aims to provide the Head of School, the school community and relevant authorities, including the DQSE, with a thorough and realistic picture of the school’s progress in the identified quality standard/s.  The duration of the model is determined by DQSE management on a case by case basis.  Following its evaluation, the team briefs the SMT about the main conclusions of the Focused External Review. A report is drafted whose aim is to affirm the school’s efforts to bring about the necessary positive changes in the area of focus and where necessary, to help the school community reflect on its practices and subsequently develop an action plan that leads to school improvement.


Full Compliance Review Model

The Compliance exercise focuses on the regulatory and compliance aspects of educational institutions. The process looks at licensing, school registers, class populations, approvals, timesheets, School Statistic Reports (SSR), Learning and Assessment Time, Health and Safety matter and Protection of Minors Act (POMA).  The exercise involves both a desk-based evaluation as well as an announced onsite visit.  Following the visit the Review Leader will issue a report to the school management including Head of College Network and/or College Director, with the aim of providing guidance to the school on issues which are hindering it from becoming fully compliant.​ 

We hope that the documentation you will find in this section is an eloquent expression of the transparency with which external reviews are conducted.