Evaluation is not a description or list of the things you do. It is a judgement or assessment of how effectively the things you do are at making a difference. In this case, evaluation focuses on how well leadership and management impacts on the quality of food in schools in Scotland. It helps to measure the difference this makes to improving experiences and outcomes for children and young people.
Following analysis and discussion of your evidence you should now know what you are doing well and what needs to be improved. This will help prioritise your next steps. A simple table such as the one below can help you keep track of progress. Add additional columns as you require eg goals, responsibilities, timescales and measures of success. Alternatively, you may already have action planning approaches in place that work well for you. Regularly review your action plan and share updates of progress with partners. Remember to include success toward achieving your goals and any difficulties encountered. Goals change, whether achieved or altered, and the cyclical process of evaluation will identify other areas for improvement or a change of direction/approach. Some may be resolved instantly while others may take years depending on the complexity of the improvement required.
What is working well?
How do we know?
Areas for improvement and next steps
The following questions may help you with you with planning:
- What outcomes do you want to achieve and what will success look like?
- How clear are the associations between approaches and actions?
- What examples can you give regarding consideration of potential barriers and necessary support to overcome these?
- Who will be responsible for delivering specific actions?
- How will you plan the timeframe in which actions will be undertaken to be achievable?
- How do you plan to monitor progress?
- Is your agreed review date realistic?
- What does evidence gathered along the way tell you?
- What aspect(s) does the evidence highlight for further improvement?
Illustration of effective practice
For each Quality Indicator there is an illustration of what an evaluation of very good practice might look like. These are broad and generic. They provide a benchmark or expectation in relation to a national standard. The illustration and the six-point scale are intended to support discussion and reflection as part of self-evaluation. Very good equates to level 5 on a six-point scale. Further information is available in the Tools and Resources section.
Illustration of highly effective leadership and management – level 5
- Our whole school/service strategic approach to food in school is informed by local and national policy. It is underpinned by a clear understanding of the social, cultural and economic characteristics of our context.
- All catering and education staff have a shared understanding of the local context. They use socio-economic information effectively as part of the decision making process to ensure there is no negative impact for children or young people .
- All staff participate in high quality training and professional learning opportunities. These are tailored to their specific roles and responsibilities. Our practices around food in school are of a consistently high standard.
- Staff at all levels reflect on practice in relation to food in school and take responsibility to continually improve. Meaningful opportunities to learn from each other within and across schools and organisations are facilitated regularly. All staff are motivated and confident in making decisions and actively contribute to service improvement.
- All staff focus on improving outcomes for children and young people. High emphasis is placed on the quality of food provision and importance of food as a context for learning.
- Highly effective monitoring and evaluation of new and existing initiatives are in place to measure impact. All staff are clear about the school’s/service’s strategic approach to ensure improvements in food in school, and how to evidence this.
- Robust evidence of what works well and what needs to improve drives our improvement priorities. Evidence of impact is shared widely and reported on. Effective sharing of outcomes ensures we learn from the knowledge and experiences of others.
- We provide opportunities and support for children and young people to take responsibility and to lead developments and improvements around food throughout the school.
You can now complete the CHART which gives a visual picture of your current position, which are areas of strength and where further work is required.