HOW POLISH SCHOOLS USE INFORMATION FROM EXTERNAL EXAMINATIONS SYSTEM FOR DEVELOPMENT – THE RESULTS OF SCHOOL EVALUATION

A. Hesse-Gawęda

Jagiellonian University (POLAND)
Looking at the past two decades of the development of Polish educational system, there are two key elements of educational reforms in Poland in the area of school quality improvement. First, it was the introduction of external examinations system with obligatory exams at the end of each level of education: primary, lower secondary (gymnasium) and upper secondary (lyceum). Such a system was introduced in the late 1990s and after almost twenty years of functioning seems to be a very well developed element of educational system.

Second, it was the transformation of school inspection system and the introduction of school evaluation. What was a crucial element of that new school evaluation system is the formulation of educational requirements for schools. After some modifications there are now twelve requirements of that kind on the list. One of those requirements (requirement 11) says that: “schools use information from external school examination system for development.” It obliges schools to introduce procedures that enable school to use information that is available from external examination system to introduce changes in teaching and learning that can lead to the improvement of students’ results.

The paper presents an analysis of the data coming from the external evaluations of more than 260 schools of different types from all over Poland. The analysis tries to show how schools work with the results of external examinations in order to develop teaching and learning. Special attention is paid to show the differences in those methods between schools that have been evaluated in that area at two different levels of fulfilling the requirement number 11. This comparison is then the basis for recommendations for school leadership and management.