Education Scotland
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Aims and objectives

​Aims and objectives of the validated self-evaluation (VSE) model

The model aims to:

  • build the capacity of EPS to evaluate their services and improve the quality of services they provide
  • support EPS own self evaluation and quality systems
  • support, promote and develop good practice and best value in educational psychology
  • provide information to Scottish Ministers, the national Shared Risk Assessment process and the public on the quality of provision in EPS
  • offer independent evaluation and validation

Key principles

Education Scotland’s mission is ‘to provide the best blend of national support and challenge to inspire and secure continuous improvement in experiences and opportunities for all learners in Scotland’.

Education Scotland is committed to working collaboratively and in partnership with other public bodies and local authorities, promoting and supporting a climate of ambition. Improvement within Education Scotland is set within the broader national context.

Any development in relation to evaluative activity needs to take account of the current scrutiny landscape. Key influences on how Education Scotland takes forward its remit can be found in the Crerar (2007) review which set out a series of recommendations related to streamlining external scrutiny of public bodies. This resulted in the development of a ‘shared risk assessment’, where all of the national scrutiny bodies working in councils determine a joint plan for improvement.

More recently the Christie report has also been published with relevant recommendations on delivering high quality public services in a context of reducing resources. In both reports there is a strong emphasis on partnership working and the value added by collaborating and sharing knowledge and expertise. In addition, in looking at what makes a successful education system, McKinsey (2010) provided robust evidence about the impact of collaborative working in systems which were moving from the ‘good to great’.

The VSE approach moves away from interrogative approaches which ‘do things to services’ to working with people to effect positive change and ownership of that change. Collaborative enquiry and high-quality professional dialogue are central to the success of VSE. 

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