The development and implementation of a structured model for the conduct of program evaluations in the New South Wales Department of School Education

Year: 1994

Author: Willis, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The administration and management of the New South Wales Department of School Education is divided into 10 regions. Each region serves a diverse community and has different contingencies impinging upon its delivery of education services. Although the New South Wales Department of School Education has a single strategic plan and common annual priorities, each region is confronted by different issues which determine its ability to respond to the provision of education. Small, highly focused program evaluations will assist senior personnel in regions to better determine priorities. Quality Assurance Directorate plays a key role in the provision of quality data to inform the planning and accountability operation of the Department of School Education. The Directorate conducts reviews of schools and program evaluations. As such, the Quality Assurance Directorate has developed a model of program evaluation which will provide data to inform the strategic decision-making processes of the Department of School Education.

This paper explores the processes and methodologies developed to conduct program evaluations within a quality assurance framework in the New South Wales Department of School Education.

The critical processes which have occurred in the project include: the identification of the focus areas for the evaluations; development of a program evaluation model which will be based on Quality Assurance methodology for the collection of data from schools; development of guidelines for the conduct of the evaluations; identification of skills which personnel require to conduct the evaluations; and provision of training and ongoing support to personnel conducting the evaluations. Aspects of data collection and analysis used in the project will be outlined.