|EPS||Other SR tools|
|Focus||Whole school review and development – focus on the organisation as a whole.||Usually focusing on a particular issue – eg ICT integration, leadership skills, curriculum implementation etc.|
|View of school||As an ecology/organism||As a system|
|View of improvement||Ecological
Changing something changes everything
Change made in isolation to discrete aspects of the system.
|Involvement||Opportunity for whole school community involvement –school leaders, teachers, parents, students. All voices can be collected.||School leaders and teachers|
|Approach to development||Macro – landscape/map metaphor – concern for the health of the whole, aware of the interconnectedness of things||Micro – deficit modelling, focus on what needs to me improved.|
|Personalised||Personalised to meet the needs of individual school context||Standardised, one size fits all|
|Focus of use/Purpose||To assist with visioning and improvement
To reveal the 'health' of the organization – non-judgemental
|Compliance, measurement, ranking, benchmarking
Judgements made based on performance against external standards.
|Data sources||Perceptions of stakeholders||Test scores, statistics, performance measures|
|Primary data type||Qualitative and quantitative||Quantitative|
|Theoretical perspectives||- action research
- appreciative inquiry
- reflection on action
- ladder of inference
|- 'school improvement' literature
- compliance frameworks
|Role of stakeholders||Personal: Participants and 'owners'
Done by us
|Impersonal: Objects of the study
Done to us
|Analysis||"Holding a mirror" to practice||Measurement against or with standards|
|Time to analysis||Immediate – under control of the school||Generally takes time for external processing (often by third party)|
|Ownership of data||School||Third party|
|Key beneficiary||School||Compliance or credentialing agency|
|Motivation for completion||Internal – from a desire to grow, to improve, to develop etc||External – for compliance, to meet standards, to measure performance|
|Consequence||Ownership of results, determination to pursue change, collaborate to make a difference etc||Focus on changing the things that will change the result (eg manipulating exam questions to ensure higher scores)|
Another key differentiation is that fact that the EPS is empowering of the school and its community, able to be used by those who have the greatest stake in and ownership of the outcome, rather than something that imposes comparison with measures that are external to the school, and judgements that are often made by a third party.