Main menu

Assessment policy: introduction - Hungary

The Quality Assessment System

The elaboration of laws discussing the assessment of education and the accomplishment of developmental acts are the tasks of public education according to paragraph 99.§ (1) of the 1993. LXXIX. As a result during the past years in the practice of public education, three levels of quality assessment can be distinguished.      

  • Its institutional level internal auditing is control of legal function and finances, as accepted by strategic documents. The areas of institutional self-evaluation is the evaluation of the success of educational tasks, pupils achievements, efficiency of institutional function, the use of resources, the level of pupil and parent satisfaction and the work carried out by teachers.
  • Areas of quality assessment on the maintainer’s level are the following: self-evaluation, self-control (legitimacy of function, fulfilment of the set professional requirements and necessary conditions) and the self-evaluation of the institutions (success of educational activities, the functional existence of the institution, the realisation of educational programmes, and the work of the leader of the institution).
  • The two basic functions of quality assurance at branch level are: the branch audit (state control of the institute, audit on the use of public funds, and authority control) and the branch evaluation (systematic national pupils performance assessment, exam system, indicator system of public education and developments of public report, selective indicator system and monitoring of pupils’ rights, and national thematic assessments supporting actual goals of educational policy). 

Dissemination of assessment policy in the teaching practice

Maintainer’s assessment

Evaluation of schools as institutions is the task of the maintainers (the people who run schools) in Hungary. There are no reliable methods and processes formed yet to be able to assure and permanently upkeep the quality of public education under decentralised conditions. This is also valid for the external evaluation of schools: namely, there is no guarantee for carrying out institutional evaluations on acceptable professional levels in the given periods of time in all of the schools resulting in instructions to leaders or maintainers. Systematic maintainers assessment is ordered by the modification in 2003 of the law of education.

The assessment and evaluation activities of the maintainer governing bodies in a great majority of cases is strictly restricted to the economy (funding) and abiding to the law. Assessment and evaluation are applied by the governing bodies often as tools without any background of professional development. The character of assessment and evaluation of this kind is indicated by a study made in 1999: keeping financial regulations was evaluated in 87%, that of legal orders in 78%, but the assessment of professional teaching work was done only in 38% of the cases.   

Institutional self-evaluation

Self-evaluation in schools is a widely applied method among other countries and also in Hungary, being the most common method in the mainstream and secondary schools as well (data of a research in 2001-2002). Development of the system of tools of school evaluation and self-assessment and standardisation of criteria applied in such evaluations became a priority also in educational policy. Development of the standardised institution evaluation system was published in 2003 in the medium range public education strategy of the Ministry of Education and in the relevant Quality Improvement Programme.

Assessment by the maintainer

In Hungary the task of external evaluation of schools as institutions falls on the school maintainers. No such reliable operating methods and procedures have been formed yet, which would be able to ensure and continuously maintain the quality of public education under decentralised conditions for regulation. It also applies to the external assessment of schools as there is no guarantee that institutions are evaluated in set intervals and the evaluation is carried out on acceptable professional level based on the results of which appropriate measures are taken by the management or the maintainer. The amendment to the Act on Public Education in 2003 prescribed regular monitoring by the maintainer.

In the majority of cases the monitoring and evaluating activity of the maintaining local governments is exclusively restricted to economy and complying with legal regulations. The local governments often apply monitoring and evaluation as tools not backed up with the intention for professional development. (According to a survey done in 1999 monitoring and evaluation is characterised by the facts that the maintainer evaluated compliance of examinations with regulations regarding economy in 87%, compliance with legal regulations in 78% and pedagogical work was merely evaluated professionally in 38%.

Self-evaluation of institutions

Among the methods applied during evaluation, self-evaluation of schools is also widespread in Hungary; it is the most frequently applied form in both primary schools and secondary schools (data of survey 2001-2002).

During the last years it has became a priority of the state education policy to develop the tool kit of school evaluation and self-assessment and standardise the criteria to be followed during such evaluations. Developing the standard system of viewpoints for evaluating institutions also appeared in the middle term public education development strategy of the Ministry of Education published in 2003 and in their related Quality Improvement Programme.

Initial and in-service training

The growing interest in quality and effectiveness, and professionalisation of activities targeting the development and assessment of these are indicated by the growing number of active participants and tools, as well as are the training courses serving the preparation to tasks connected to these. The training of educational assessment experts has been carried out in Hungary at university level since 1991. Preparation of tasks of institution evaluation and school development is carried out also in the training of public education leaders. 

In 1999 and 2000 there were eleven accredited teacher training programmes dealing with different kinds of educational assessment (e.g. educational assessment, internal self-evaluation system of the leadership and schools, achievement analysis or external evaluations). The sphere of quality development experts is dealing with the development of the professional field at its annual thematic conferences helping the dissemination of relevant international and national knowledge.

It marks the increasing interest in quality, efficiency and professional character of the activity aimed to develop them, the number of administrative participants involved in this field is increasing, the tools utilised are expanding and the training programmes serving to prepare for the related tasks are getting more frequent.

Since 1991 pedagogical assessment experts have been trained on university level. Preparation for tasks related to institution assessment and quality development has also been done for years in public education management training.

Among the accredited in-service teacher training, eleven appeared in 1999 and 2000, which deal with a form of pedagogical assessment (e.g. pedagogical evaluation, internal evaluation system of school management and school, performance analysis or external evaluation).

The quality improvement experts deal with the development of the field at thematic conferences which have been held annually since the middle of the nineties thereby helping the exploration of the relevant international and domestic knowledge.

  • LinkedIn
  • Google +