CREN also works to develop and deliver webinar series on topics with communities of practice. These online events allow delegates from around the world an opportunity to share their experiences, learnings and approaches with their counterparts in other systems and contexts.

School Inspection Webinars 

The first webinar series of the CREN network is focussed on school inspections, with delegates from inspection agencies in attendance. The aim of this series is to discuss the (potentially) reshaped purpose, priorities and practices of inspectorates in this crisis period. 

The first webinar focused on understanding if inspectorates should ‘inspect’ schools and for what purpose. The outcomes of the webinar indicate a change in inspection purpose where, during the pandemic and school closures, ‘support and improvement’ and ‘liaison’ were at the forefront of the work of Inspectorates of Education. The organisers have produced a paper that details the key points of discussion and issues raised entitled:

COVID-19: do we need to reimagine the purpose of school inspections?

The second webinar focused on priorities for inspection as school systems begin to resume under a variety of operational scenarios in some of the represented countries. The discussion extended the themes explored in the first webinar and added more issues to the fore, including a more detailed discussion of the shift from a ‘control’ to a ‘support’ function for schools in the interim term, assessing quality in blended learning, understanding learning loss (particularly for vulnerable children), and the consideration of other evidence and methods for evaluating school quality beyond ‘traditional’ assessment data. The paper resulting from this webinar is entitled:

COVID-19: do we need to redefine the priorities for school inspections?

The third and final webinar in the series focused on changing practices of school inspections. Delegates shared new practices that had been, or were intended to be, implemented in their jurisdictions with the purpose of: (a) producing evidence to evaluate schools’ quality and pupils’ growth, (b) identifying evidence available in the system that could be used to inform school quality, and (c) meeting the evolving needs of schools as well as of inspectors themselves. Examples of changed practice that were discussed included: virtual and blended inspection practices; judging the quality of online and blended learning; innovative practices to address missing data due to the cancellation of exams and on-site visits; and engaging with parents and students. The paper resulting from this webinar is entitled:

COVID-19: do we need to redefine the practices for school inspections?