Queensland schools go under the microscope
MORE than 350 Queensland public schools are set to come under departmental scrutiny this year with NAPLAN results, teacher performance and attendance rates put under the microscope.
State schools undergo an extensive review every four years, and in the coming weeks will include Fortitude Valley State Secondary College, which welcomed its first students last year, Indooroopilly State High School and Kedron State High School.
About a quarter of all Queensland public schools will be visited by reviewers - many of whom are former and current school principals - of the Department of Education's Education Improvement Branch in 2021.
Along with an intensive analysis of the school's performance data including NAPLAN results, attendance rates and A-E grading, reviewers will also solicit feedback from students, staff, parents and members of the school community.
School culture, teaching approaches, use of resources, community partnerships and professional development will also be intensely reviewed.
Queensland Teachers' Union president Cresta Richardson said the union backed the review process as it currently stood, and said the reviews were helpful in identifying areas where schools could do better.
"School reviews can really highlight the great things schools are doing," she said.
"Like any organization, we also need to be able to identify areas of improvement."
Though more than 300 schools underwent reviews last year, 58 schools had theirs postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"School reviews have played a critical role since 2015 in supporting Queensland states schools to continuously improve their teaching and learning strategies," a spokeswoman for the Department of Education said.
She added there was a "a laser sharp focus on quality teaching and learning".
Following the review a comprehensive report is released to the school, with the findings later made available online.
"Follow-up support is also provided by a school principal's supervisor who works closely with the school to plan and respond to the review's findings," the spokeswoman said.
Ms Richardson said the four-year timeline was crucial to the effectiveness of the reviews, while also ensuring the process didn't overburden already hardworking teachers and principals.
"The timeframe gives the school enough time to undergo the review itself, receive and digest the report, and then use it to create and implement a strategy," she said.
Originally published as Queensland schools go under the microscope