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ECNAIS : European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools

Conferences | Management Committee Meeting

Values and quality of independent schools

Rome, Italy | 13 - 14 November 2009

Program

The program is based entirely on the contributions of the participants themselves.
Thus, we ask you to prepare with short points your answer on the four questions mentioned below – and to prepare yourself to share your knowledge and analysis with the other participants.

Your contribution is to be presented as a poster. A poster is a graphically based approach to a presentation (commonly used for presenting research) as a means for generating active discussion.

Questions – your own preparation

The questions to discus – and for you to prepare:

Please prepare yourself to answer questions from the other participations as to which extent your national legal system for independent schools provides possibilities for the specific school to formulate own values, own curriculum i.e.

The 4 questions:

What is your definition of quality? (As well for the independent sector as for the single school)

Which relation do you see between quality in a school and school-values?

Can you give one example of good practice (that illustrates) how good quality of school affect students / pupils daily life as added values for students/pupils.

How do the national associations support their member-schools in developing quality?

Poster general aim and format

The answers to the questions should fill the poster template attached (ppt to be easy to use) and sent to Sofia Reis prior to the 2nd of November. Please keep the text brief.

Please present numerical data in the form of graphs, rather then tables (graphs make trends in the data much more evident). If data must be presented in table-form, please keep it as simple as possible.

If you don’t succeed in preparing a poster we encourage to send the answers on the four questions as a word document.

Agenda

Friday 13th November 2009
09.30 Seminar: Values and Quality of Independent Schools
Posters’ presentation
Debate
12.30 – 14.00 Lunch
14.30 Seminar: Values and Quality of Independent Schools
Posters’ presentation
Debate
17.00 Final conclusion: Closure of the Seminar
Saturday 14th November 2009
09.00 – 12.30 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
(open for members)
13.00 Lunch

Address

VILLA EUR
Parco dei Pini
Piazzale Marcellino Champagnat, 2
00144 Roma
Italy
Phone:+39.06.54220627 / +39.06.54220659
Fax: +39.06.54220912
www.villaeur.it

Report

Values and quality of independent schools

Performed by Per Kristensen and Diego Bang

Background

The theme for the ECNAIS conference in Sofia April 2009 was “Values and Benchmarks” and the theme for the next conference 2010 in Helsinki will be “Quality and Evaluation”
In order to bridge between the two, the seminar in Rome focused on “Values and Qualities” (in independent schools).
Before the seminar the participants were asked to submit specific information on the subject in a form developed by the Executive Committee. These forms were available at the seminar as handouts as well as posters, and gave answer to four questions:

  • What is your definition of quality? (As well for the independent sector as for the single school)
  • Which relation do you see between quality in a school and school-values?
  • Can you give one example of good practice (that illustrates) how good quality of a school affects students/pupils daily life as added values for students/pupils?
  • How do the national associations support their member-schools in developing quality?

The seminar

During the morning session of the seminar the posters were presented by the national representatives and debated in plenum (see copy of handout attached to this document). Furthermore inputs were given by participants who had not been able to meet the deadline for submission of answers to the above mentioned questions.

After lunch Diego Bang gave a short introduction to the afternoon group work, emphasizing the necessity of taking national legislation as well as internal conventions into account, as both represents limitation to the free choice of values pursued by independent schools.
The group work took its point of departure in the following questions:

  • Define the term “Quality”
  • Define the term “Values”
  • List some important inspiration received from the morning session.
    – At school level
    – At association level
  • Give input to the Helsinki conference 2010 on “Quality and Evaluation”

It was obvious that time constrains would make the task impossible, thus the group were free to prioritize the subject as the wished.

Among others the following inputs were presented:

Auditing

The “Danish-model” e.g. legislation on parental auditing as the basis auditing of quality in school.
The Danish decentralizing of the inspection giving direct influence of parents on the definition of quality challenged the European debate on centralization vs. decentralization. As independent schools we would be in favour of the latter.
Values and qualities relies on the involvement of the teachers; both as a professional
and as a part of the team.

Quality

Leadership is important. Quality of academic performance by student is easier to measure than measuring the quality of the “culture”.
The challenge; How to make several systems work together?
International qualification = one for all!!!
Systems have been developed in The Netherlands (Inis project), which ECNAIS could consider disseminating to its members – on the other hand ECNAIS should avoid promoting the type of standardization that comes with tools like certificates.

Helsinki 2010

Centralized vs. decentralized auditing

Prepare a “manifesto” on Qualities and Values.
A general value for all of our schools could be the value of independent, critical thinking and curiosity.

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