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Descriptions of the legal system for assessment - Belgium (Flemish speaking community)

The Flemish legislation does not describe vast assessment procedures, nor state regulated assessment, for pupils at primary education at all. School administrators provide themselves with concrete assessment procedures for their school based upon the school’s pedagogical project. This implicates that the school administrators and the team of teachers autonomously decide how teachers work with and assess the contents of the education. The school work plan of each school explains the way in which the pupils will be assessed and how the school will report the results. 

The government provides the content of the primary education in the form of attainment targets (for mainstream education) and developmental objectives (for special education). The government defines in these documents uniform minimum goals for all schools providing primary education. This legislation, since 1st September 1998, clarifies the expectations to the schools and guarantees a basic quality. Class teachers have a clear overview about what their pupils have to reach and the school administrators have criteria to decide whether a pupil can receive his certificate for mainstream primary education. Pupils in special education can receive a certificate if the inspector approves the goals for this particular pupil to be equivalent to the attainment goals to be reached in mainstream education.

The developmental objectives and attainment targets are used as criteria for the assessment of the quality of the primary school by the governmental inspection. The inspector assesses the effort that schools make to ensure that their pupils reach the attainment targets and developmental goals. The inspection is based on the CIPO-model en therefore detects, especially, the ‘output’ of each school by evaluating the methods of assessment that schools use based on the following definition: ‘Evaluation is a whole process of collecting, analysing and interpreting information about every possible aspect of instructional activities to formulate a verdict about the effectiveness, efficiency and/or other impact.’ (Thorpe, 1998).


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