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[Archive] Education Commission Report No.7 Quality School Education - SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

 

Chapter 8
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

 

Development of quality school education

8.1 The ECR7 seeks to inculcate a quality culture in the school system. Quality reforms in school education should primarily be school-based. On this basis, the major recommendations of the Report are grouped into several categories :

  1. Setting goals and developing indicators;
  2. Putting in place a quality assurance mechanism;
  3. Providing funding flexibility;
  4. Providing incentives to encourage quality school education;
  5. Raising professional standards of principals and teachers; and
  6. Implementing related reforms.


8.2 Sustained efforts are needed to ensure that they are implemented effectively and in a co-ordinated manner, and that the aims of school education are achieved with the collaboration of schools and the community. For this purpose, we feel that we should devote our attention and effort in the next few years to advising SEM on the further development of quality school education.

Strategy and timeframe for implementation
8.3 EC proposes that every school should, at its own pace, develop plans to implement quality reform. The timeframe for implementation should:

  1. allow EMB, ED, schools and the education community to manage the changes with their available resources as far as possible;
  2. minimise the difficulties encountered by schools in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new system;
  3. develop and train key players including ED staff, principals, teachers, school supervisors and school managers to meet the changing needs of education; and
  4. enable the results in some areas to be achieved sooner to provide reference to other schools.


8.4 In view of the complexity of the issues and the large number of schools involved, a phased approach should be adopted to promote and, from time to time, to reappraise quality school education. Having regard to the different characteristics and needs of schools, EC proposes to allow schools the flexibility to undergo a self-paced transition to the full implementation of major recommendations within a reasonable timeframe.

8.5 EC recognises that there are practical difficulties in developing and assessing quality school education and that it may take a relatively long time for the quality culture to permeate through the entire school system. However, the first step must be taken now for everyone to test the feasibility and effectiveness of our major recommendations. EC urges the Government to adopt a pragmatic approach in implementing the Report soon.

8.6 Most of the recommendations should commence in Stage I, i.e. not later than 1998. In Stage II (2000), EMB and EC should evaluate progress of Stage I recommendations, and review the implementation of some of the recommendations.

Summary of recommendations
8.7 A summary of the major recommendations under the various categories is as follows:

Recommendations

To commence
not later than

To be carried out by
(A) Setting goals and developing indicators:    
     
A1: Schools should be encouraged to develop their own ways to achieve quality education. (para 1.7)

1998

ED, schools
     
A2: EMB should revise the Statement of Aims. (para 2.3)

1998

EMB
     
A3: A well-developed framework of quality indicators should consist of school context and profile, process indicators and output indicators. (para 2.6)

1998

ED, schools
     
A4: The concept of value-added achievement should be promoted to encourage continuous improvement and to provide an equitable basis for self-evaluation and comparison among schools. (para 2.13)

1998

ED, schools
     
A5: As a transitional arrangement, before a common set of indicators can be agreed upon, individual schools should develop their own set of indicators to measure value-added performance. (para 2.14)

1998

ED, schools
     
A6: Schools of similar background or under the same sponsoring bodies should be encouraged to form quality circles on a voluntary basis to develop quality indicators. (para 2.15)

1998

ED, schools
     
A7: In the long run, the performance of schools and students in all major educational domains should be measured. (para 2.16)

2000

ED, schools
     
A8: A mechanism should be developed as soon as possible to provide a reference point in the long run to look at the academic attainment of students when they enter S1. (2.18)

2000

ED, schools
     
A9: Meanwhile, schools can make use of the HKAT to initiate longitudinal assessment of their students' performance. (para 2.19)

1998

ED, schools
     
A10: ED should support and assist schools in the development of quality indicators. (para 2.20)

1998

ED, schools
     
(B) Putting in place a quality assurance mechanism:    
     
B1: Internal quality assurance should be achieved through school-based management, co-operation of key players in the school system and self-evaluation. (para 3.2)

1998

ED, schools
     
B2: All schools should have put in place school-based management in the spirit of SMI by the year 2000. (para 3.5)

2000

Schools
     
B3: School-based management should comprise the following key elements, in line with the spirit of the SMI : (para 3.5)

2000

Schools

  1. development of formal procedures for setting school goals and evaluating progress towards these goals;
  2. provision of school development plans, school profiles and school budgets, and means of evaluating progress;
  3. preparation of written constitutions for the SMC;
  4. participation of teachers, parents and alumni in school management, development, planning, evaluation and decision-making; and
  5. development of formal procedures and resources for staff appraisal and staff development according to teachers' needs.
   
     
B4: All schools should produce documents which outline the long-term goals and priority areas, set out specific targets for implementation, evaluate progress of work during the year, and set improvement or development targets for the coming year. The documents should be disclosed for parents' and students' information. (para 3.15)

1998

Schools
     
B5: The role and duties of the SSB in the administration of the school and the provision of quality education, and accountability of SMC to SSB should be clearly set out. (paras 3.9 and 3.10)

1998

ED, schools
     
B6: School managers should be given appropriate training, in particular in administration and resource management. (para 3.11)

1998

ED
     
B7: In the long run, BoE should review the role and operations of the SMC, and the duties of school managers. (para 3.12)

1998

BoE
     
B8: Schools may consider to establish a SEC under the SMC, to decide on school matters and be answerable to the SMC. (para 3.13)

1998

Schools
     
B9: Schools within the same quality circles should share experience in quality assurance and development. (para 3.16)

1998

Schools
     
B10: EMB should commission a study on the way forward for a quality assurance mechanism, as part of a wider review on the education-related executive and advisory structure. (para 3.19)

1998

EMB
     
B11: EC welcomes ED’s plans to adopt a whole-school approach to quality assurance inspection in the pursuit of quality education, and to set up a quality assurance resource corner which is open to ED staff and the public for access to information on quality education. (paras 3.20 and 7.5)

1998

ED
     
(C) Providing funding flexibility:    
     
C1: All schools which have put in place school-based management should enjoy the management and funding flexibility under the SMI. (para 4.3)

1998

ED, schools
     
C2: A Block Grant comprising the School & Class Grant, the Administration Grant, the recurrent F&E Grant and the STG should be provided to all schools which have put in place school-based management. (para 4.4)

1998

ED
     
C3: As a transitional measure, all aided primary and special schools should pay the actual salary of their clerical staff through the Salaries Grant. They should pay the salary of janitors through a revised Administration Grant, covering the maximum point of their salary scales. (para 4.6)

1998

ED
     
C4: The amount of the recurrent F&E Grant should be increased, taking into account the needs of schools. (para 4.10)

1998

ED
     
C5: ED should review the arrangements for major repairs to provide further flexibility to schools as more schools put in place satisfactorily school-based management. (para 4.11)

1998

EMB, ED, FB
     
C6: Schools should be permitted to leave vacant not more than 10% of teaching establishment. The qualifying period for schools to claim the STG should be shortened from 14 to three days. (para 4.14)

1998

ED
     
C7: A block allocation for all subjects should be given to all schools to allow them greater flexibility. (para 4.16)

1998

ED
     
C8: All aided schools should be allowed to retain savings of not more than 12 months' provision in the Block Grant. (para 4.19)

1998

ED
     
C9: All schools should be allowed to collect fees from students for specific school-related purposes, subject to the existing conditions for SMI schools. The approved limits should be adjusted annually to take into account the inflation factor. (para 4.21)

1998

ED
     
C10: ED should review the present funding and management arrangement for government schools, so that they can eventually be on par with aided schools. (para 4.23)

1998

EMB, ED, FB, CSB
     
C11: Consideration should be given to providing schools which are more advanced in school management or school performance greater flexibility in management and funding arrangement. (para 4.24)

2000

EMB, ED, FB
     
C12: ED should examine ways to make the Direct Subsidy Scheme more attractive to aided schools (including primary schools). (para 4.25)

1998

EMB, ED, FB
     
(D) Providing incentives to encourage quality school education:    
     
D1: Government should set aside a substantial amount of money to establish a QEDF to fund one-off projects for the improvement of education quality on a competitive basis. (paras 5.3 and 5.5)

1998

EMB, FB
     
D2: The QEDF should fund : (para 5.3)

1998

EMB

  1. school-based innovative projects and experiments;
  2. awards for outstanding performance of schools and teachers;
  3. promotion of a wide range of extra-curricular activities;
  4. educational researches and consultancies;
  5. school-based training courses for key players; and
  6. institutional reviews to monitor the quality of schools and non-UGC funded institutions.
   
     
D3: The QEDF should be allowed to seek and accept sponsorship from the community. (para 5.6)

1998

EMB
     
D4: Government should examine the interface between the QEDF and other education-related funds, such as the Language Fund. (para 5.7)

1998

EMB
     
D5: A support unit should be set up in EMB to serve and manage the QEDF. (para 5.8)

1998

EMB
     
D6: Government should examine in due course the interface of the support unit with the future quality assurance mechanism, in the context of the overall review of the education structure. (para 5.10)

1998

EMB
     
(E) Raising professional standards of principals and teachers:    
     
E1: Government should devise a coherent pre-service and in-service training strategy for teachers in different educational sectors. (para 6.4)

1998

EMB, ED
     
E2: Government should examine how to optimise the teacher education expertise and resources. (para 6.6)

1998

EMB, ED, teacher education institutions, tertiary institutions
     
E3: Continual improvement of clerical and administrative support to teachers should be made to relieve their non-teaching duties. (para 6.8)

1998

ED
     
E4: ED should consider with the education profession the proposal to increase support to school principals. (para 6.9)

1998

ED
     
E5: All schools should be required to put in place a fair and open performance appraisal system for principals and teachers. (para 6.10)

1998

ED, schools
     
E6: ED should, in consultation with the teaching profession, review the existing arrangements whereby administrative duties are tied to the promotion ranks of teachers. (para 6.12)

1998

ED, schools
     
E7: A GTC should be set up to enhance the standards of teaching and professional development of teachers, to maintain the integrity of the profession and to raise the professional esteem of teachers. GTC should have : (para 6.16)

1999

EMB

  1. a key role in the policy formulation about teacher registration;
  2. substantial influence in ensuring the quality and professional relevance of teacher education programmes;
  3. a duty to encourage teachers to undertake continuous professional education and to promote their professional development; and
  4. power of internal discipline and power to consider complaints, settle disputes, make investigations and conduct disciplinary hearings where necessary.
   
     
E8: GTC should have a substantial representation of other “stake holders' at the decision-making level, such as school managers, government officials, parents and lay members. (para 6.17)

1999

EMB
     
(F) Implementing related reforms:    
     
F1: EMB should commission a study on an effective executive and advisory structure on education matters. (para 7.9)

1998

EMB
     
F2: ED (in particular CDI) and CDC should examine in collaboration with front-line education workers the overall development of curriculum; and how school-based curriculum can be developed by schools. (para 7.11)

1998

ED, CDC, schools
     
F3: The role of CDI and CDC, and their relationship with HKEA and other education-related bodies should be considered in the overall review of the education-related executive and advisory structure. (para 7.12)

1998

EMB, ED, CDC, HKEA
     
F4: Government and the education community should foster among the general public a proper appreciation of the aims of all-round education and the importance of comprehensive quality education. (para 7.15)

1998

EMB, ED, schools
     
F5: Government should, together with education bodies such as the HKEA, examine the feasibility of and encourage public acceptance of considering students' school-based assessment alongside their public examination results. (para 7.16)

1998

EMB, ED, HKEA
     
F6: Tertiary institutions should consider adjusting their admission criteria to take account of non-academic performance of students. (para 7.16)

1998

Tertiary institutions
     
F7: EMB should consider in collaboration with ED (in particular CDI), CDC, HKEA and tertiary institutions the interface of school curriculum, examinations and tertiary admission criteria. (para 7.17)

1998

EMB, ED, CDC, HKEA, tertiary institutions
     
F8: Government should re-examine the role of and the administrative support to the private schools, and their interaction with the aided sector. (para 7.19)

1998

EMB, ED
     
F9: The next major task for EC should be to review, together with relevant bodies, the academic system, including length of study, curricula and interface of different education sectors, from pre-primary to tertiary sectors, and the optimal structure for the whole education system. (para 7.20).

2000

EC and other education-related bodies


Financial and staffing implications
8.8 One of the objectives of this Report is to achieve quality school education in a more effective and efficient manner. Many of our recommendations can be implemented by a more efficient deployment of resources and therefore do not involve significant financial implications.

8.9 However, new resources will be needed to implement certain recommendations. Specifically, substantial resources should be set aside for the establishment of the QEDF. Adequate resources should be allocated for the support unit for the QEDF; the study on the way forward for the quality assurance mechanism, as part of the review of the education-related executive and advisory structure; the enlarged recurrent F&E Grant; training for key players in the school system; and the setting up of the quality assurance resource corner. We urge the Government to make available necessary resources to implement the recommendations, in particular those recommendations which should commence in 1998.

Conclusion
8.10 EC's study of quality school education has taken about four years to complete, starting with the setting up of the Working Group on Educational Standards and the Working Group on School Funding in October 1993. The relative length of the study reflects the complexity of the issues involved. Recognising the far-reaching implications that the ECR7 might have for our school education, EC has decided to conduct a two-round consultation exercise : the first round on broad principles in June 1996 and the second round on detailed proposals in November 1996.

8.11 In the light of the public views on the consultation document, EC revised and refined some of its initial proposals and set out in this Report its final recommendations. Where necessary, amendments to the Education Ordinance, the Education Regulations and the Code of Aid for schools should be made to facilitate implementation of the recommendations in the ECR7.

8.12 At the same time, we concur with the views of many education professionals that the future role and functions of EC have to be reviewed, in particular the monitoring of implementation of our recommendations in EC reports including the ECR7. We look forward to the results of the study to be commissioned by EMB on the overall review of the education-related executive and advisory structure mentioned in paragraph 7.9 above. Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor the implementation of various recommendations through the progress report submitted regularly by various executive agencies, including EMB and ED.

8.13 We will continue to advise the Government on the provision of quality education. Our next major task will be to review, together with relevant bodies, the academic system, including length of study, curricula and interface of different education sectors, from pre-primary to tertiary sectors, and the optimal structure for the whole education system.

Last revision date: 20 January 2010
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