About The Balanced Scorecard for Schools
The Balanced Scorecard for Schools (BSfS) is a survey-based school evaluation and improvement program. It derives its significant analytic power from a comprehensive set of survey questions that is (i) derived from an extensive International Evidence Base and (ii) which explores the 5 key areas of a school’s performance:
1. School Environment
2. School Leadership
3. Teaching and Learning
4. Well-being and Equity
5. Use of Technology
Based on the survey findings, the program delivers an individual school report that includes a rich data set, graphical representations, and an extensive set of Endorsements and Recommendations that are designed to support and inform school improvement strategies. It is a highly informative while also a very accessible report, designed to suit readers from a range of backgrounds.
Drawing on over 300 expertly-developed questions and distributed across 18 different forms, the surveys explore all the important aspects of the school by seeking feedback from its six key stakeholder groups – Teachers, School Leaders, School Governors, Students, Non-teachers and Parents/Carers – that is, those who know the school best. Using performance scores and measurement scales, the program then compares this feedback on the school’s policies, programs and practices against a rich reference-base of international research, literature and best practice to determine how closely they align with each other. In short, we explore how close the school’s current performance is to what international evidence would recommend? By taking such a broad-based and comprehensive view of what the school offers, the BSfS program is able to accurately and fairly identify what the school is doing well and what it is doing less well.
Using a total of 31 survey indicators, the BSfS builds a ‘picture’ of the school’s achievements and areas for improvement, in contrast to many school evaluation approaches that concentrate too narrowly on a limited set of observations and limited data. For example, many of these approaches overemphasise assessment data, without getting to the heart of what is happening in the school. The BSfS program recognises that there are numerous factors that influence what happens in the school - factors which are interrelated and which interact with each other. Only by comprehensively examining all these important factors and their interplay is it possible to accurately and comprehensively evaluate where the strengths of the school lie, and where it can and should improve.
Examples of Survey Items
Each of the following questions or statements requires the respondent to choose the best response from a set of 5 optional answers provided with the question. The majority of responses use a Likert scale
- How important is the role that external test results play in the performance appraisal of teachers?
- What does your school use external assessment data for? (Tick all options that apply.)
- The school's vision establishes core values for the school
- How often do you work with other teachers in preparing lessons?
- Technology plays an important role in curriculum decisions in your school
- How often do you consider the relevance of a student's prior knowledge to what you are teaching?
- Formative assessment is important for student learning
- How often do you use real-life examples and situations to explain the knowledge and skills you want students to learn?