WESTERN CAPE SCHOOL NEWS - The Western Cape Schools Evaluation Authority (SEA) will begin its evaluation of schools on 10 February, said minister Debbie Schäfer in a press release on Monday.
Desmond Maarman has been appointed as lead evaluator.
"He has 37 years' experience in education and joins from the Eden and Central Karoo education district, where he served as the district director since 2016," reads the statement. "He has a keen understanding of the on-the-ground experiences of schools, having previously served as a circuit manager and circuit team manager."
Maarman is one of two lead evaluators chosen by SEA's chief evaluator, Karen Bydell. The other lead evaluator is Barbara Houghton. She was a headmistress of Springfield Convent of the Holy Rosary and deputy principal at St Cyprian's and Harold Cressy high schools. "She has 40 years' experience in education, and a vast knowledge and understanding of curriculum development and changes." Bydell, who is chief evaluator, began her term last October.
Schäfer said at least 50 schools will be evaluated this year, and an impartial report on each will be submitted to the key stakeholders: the school principal, school governing body, district director, Superintendent-General, and herself. The reports will identify the areas in which the schools can improve and, where necessary, be supported to improve the quality of education they deliver. To improve transparency and accountability in the system, the SEA will release the reports to the public in batches. No individuals will be named.
Supporting school improvement
The SEA was established according to the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill and its associated regulations in November 2018.
It is an independent entity that aims to support school improvement in the province by identifying factors that impact on performance in the areas that matter most for quality education delivery - learner achievement; teaching and learning; behaviour and safety; leadership and management; and governance, parents and community.
Mervyn Wardle, who has almost 30 years' experience in education after holding positions as a deputy principal and school evaluator, has been appointed as an evaluator. He has dedicated his career to school improvement.
George Williams has joined as an evaluator after 38 years in education. He has served the Cape Winelands education district as a principal and circuit manager. He has extensive experience in school management and a proven track record in school improvement.
"I wish Bydell and her team the very best as they undertake this important task, which will greatly assist the WCED to fulfil its vision of quality education for every child, in every classroom, in every school in the province, and enhance our theme for this year of functional schools," said Schäfer.
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