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Quality indicators herald a shift for school targets

THE third edition of the inspectorate's self-evaluation bible, How Good Is Our School?, was launched by HMI yesterday (Thursday).

It has been updated to take account of developments such as the national educational priorities and race and equality legislation. But the total of 33 performance indicators remains the same cover ing the key areas of school life - the curriculum, attainment, learning and teaching, support for pupils, ethos, resources and management, leadership and quality assurance.

HMI has, however, made a subtle point by changing performance indicators to "quality" indicators. This reflects, according to Douglas Osler, senior chief inspector, "the qualitative nature of the judgments to be made and to distinguish them from straightforward quantitative or statistical measures".

The inspectorate is at pains to stress that the indicators represent the best practice it has seen on the ground in the past five years and examples drawn from 11 schools across Scotland. The indicators are exactly the same as HMI uses in external inspections.

The 72-page document states: "A good school knows what it is aiming to do, whether it is meeting its aims successfully, what needs to be maintained or improved."

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