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Computers track target achievement

A SOFTWARE package which links school self-evaluation to attainment targets, examination results and development planning is being trialled in West Dunbartonshire. Two secondary schools and their associated primaries are testing the electronic management system.

The initiative is part of the council's quality assurance drive. All performance indicators in the self-evaluation programme How good is our school? will be reviewed over five years. There will be annual updates for core indicators.

The software system has been developed with the help of Philip Drake, a consultant and formerly head of the quality assurance unit in Strathclyde Region.

Neil McKechnie, West Dunbartonshire education manager, said: "We intend to try to overcome some of the problems caused by the volume of information through offering a means of integrating all the various aspects. The authority will collect detailed information from all schools and collate, and then analyse this and prepare reports for the authority-wide monitoring system."

The quality assurance system connects with a database containing 5-14 attainment targets, allowing headteachers to track issues in the curriculum.

Information and analysis at school level can then be transmitted down the line to council headquarters.

Danny McCafferty, education convener, revealed a further pound;60,000 of the Government's New Deal money would go towards training and resources for the council's strategy on information and communication technology.

West Dunbartonshire's blueprint to raise standards includes a revised quality assurance system, the introduction of staff development and review, target setting and an overall education plan based on the Scottish Office document How good is our school?

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