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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the impact of the implementation of the 2nd cycle of the School Development and Accountability (SDA) framework?
Ans : The 2nd cycle of the SDA framework has come to an end in the 2014/15 school year. According to “The Impact Study on the Implementation of the 2nd Cycle of the School Development and Accountability Framework on Enhancing School Development in Hong Kong” commissioned by the Education Bureau (EDB) and conducted by Professor John MacBeath of the Cambridge University, local schools generally understand the spirit of self-evaluation and can systematically have self-evaluation implemented to promote school continuous development.
2. Are there any drastic changes in the implementation of the current phase of the SDA framework?
Ans : Starting from the 2015/16 school year onward, EDB will carry out refined measures in the implementation of the new phase of the SDA framework, which include further fine-tuning the External School Review (ESR) arrangements, continuing to assist school to embed School self-evaluation (SSE) in day-to-day practice and enhancing the communication and collaboration with the education sectors. In fact, there will not be drastic changes in its implementation strategies. SSE, complemented by ESR, is still a core element of school for its continuous self-improvement. For details, please refer to the EDB Circular 11/2015 which was distributed to school on 19 June 2015.
3. What criteria will be adopted by EDB to select schools for ESR?
Ans : Starting from the 2015/16 school year onward, ESR in the next phase of the SDA framework will not be bound by a fixed cycle. In principle, EDB will select schools for conducting ESR at random, with adjustments to be made to address operational issues. EDB will notify schools of the ESR period and confirm the dates of the ESR 12 weeks in advance.

In addition, to enhance the participation of the stakeholders and further cater for schools’ development needs, EDB will flexibly allocate a small quota of ESR to the school sponsoring bodies for their nomination of schools under their purview for undergoing ESR.

The above arrangements do not apply to DSS schools.
4. How will the ESR be conducted in schools not having ESR in the second phase of the SDA framework?
Ans : Starting from the 2015/16 school year, all schools, including those not having ESR in the second phase of the SDA framework will have their ESR conducted by the newly refined mode.
5. If the school is not having ESR in the last year of its development cycle, does it need to submit the Key Performance Measures (KPM) and Stakeholder Survey (SHS) data?
Ans : To facilitate school reviewers of the External School Review (ESR) to have a better understanding of the self-evaluation work of schools, the submission of the latest KPM data and SHS data through school’s ESDA prior to ESR is required..
6. As there is ESR, why EDB increases the number of Focus Inspections (FI)?
Ans : The SDA framework includes different modes of inspections. ESR adopts a whole-school approach to validate school work on self-evaluation while FI is to understand the schools’ performance in a particular areas, such as KLA/subject, and provide them with suggestions for improvement. Complementary to each other, ESR and FI foster school’s sustainable development through provision of various feedback.
7. Could the school sponsoring bodies nominate schools for FI in respect of a specific theme or KLA?
Ans : EDB will allocate a small quota for the school sponsoring bodies to nominate schools with specific needs to have ESR in advance. However, this is not applicable to FI.
8. How different is the content of the ESR report in the current phase of the SDA framework from those before?
Ans : The presentation of the ESR report aligns with the flexible approach to ESR in the current phase of the SDA framework. The unique contexts of the schools and their key strengths and areas for further improvement in relation to their priority tasks or other areas are reported in a concise and focused manner to facilitate improvement and follow-up.
9. Are schools joining the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) required to undergo ESR?
Ans : All schools joining the DSS from the 2000/01 school year onwards are required to enter into a service agreement (SA) with the Government, under which a Comprehensive Review (CR) will be conducted within the period of the first SA. Schools with their SA renewed are required to undergo ESR. The DSS schools not bound by SA with the Government are also required to undergo ESR. The procedures and requirements of the ESR for DSS schools will be the same as those for public sector schools.
10. Why are schools encouraged by the EDB to upload the ESR reports onto their website and/or intranet?
Ans : To uphold accountability, schools have to submit the ESR reports to the Incorporated Management Committees/ School Management Committees, and to make their ESR reports available in the school premises for stakeholders’ easy reference. Schools are encouraged by the EDB to upload the ESR reports onto their website and/or intranet to enhance greater transparency, and to seek views of the key stakeholders (including parents) for necessary follow-up, so as to sustain schools’ continuous self-improvement and to uphold accountability.


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Last revision date: 16 October 2017
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