Chile

Chile’s Better Schools programme

Objective

To improve school effectiveness and the quality of learning by providing support to schools and local administrations. 

The Better Schools model works in four intervention areas:

  • direct support to teachers and school management;

  • training teachers, directors, technical co-ordinators, and consultants; 

  • coaching local administrations; and 

  • providing educational materials.

The programme takes four years to complete, and involves five steps:

  1. Negotiation: funders and local administrators discuss the selection of school

  2. Diagnosis: a baseline profile is constructed, and indicators are identified for ongoing monitoring and evaluation. A four-year improvement plan is developed by the local administration, teachers, and the Better Schools team. 

  3. Mastery: Staff demonstrate the acquisition and use of competencies and tools. 

  4. Ownership: Schools incorporate all the new functions as part of their regular activities. 

  5. Autonomy: Visits are phased out, and results and lessons learned are reviewed. Specialists provide limited support online, and schools are evaluated twice a year. 

Cost per school averages US$34 000 a year, and cost per student about US$50 a year. Costs per school range from US$26 000 to US$37 000 depending on the size of the school, and include consultants’ and specialists’ fees, external school assessments, travel and school visits, training workshops, and educational material. Schools want to make use of this support because they need to achieve the performance targets, and teachers and schools are therefore generally willing to work with the support teams. 

Impact

The model was introduced about four years ago in its current form. Therefore, no schools have yet ‘graduated’, although improvements are already evident in the results of some schools, and a steady decline has been averted in others. The model is regarded as having potential, and could go to scale across the country. However, the number of NGOs that can provide assistance is not large, particularly in the rural areas. The government is trying to provide incentives and support to NGOs interested in providing assistance, but the accreditation and capacity development is time-intensive and costly. Fundacion Chile is now organising a network of private sector participants who will meet monthly to discuss achievements and strategies for further improvements.

Research by CoLab; Packaged by CoLab; Used for Punjab education reform

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