* Rules--the mandate of the NQS to be implemented in schools, regulated by school principals.
It is the interplay of these six elements that brings about transformation of the object (implementation of the NQS) into an outcome (continuous improvement).
A qualitative research paradigm was used to describe the perspectives of those implementing the NQS in four public schools.
These were a sample of convenience as they were selected from a raft of schools known to the researchers to be Implementing the NQS. They were selected to be representative of metropolitan, rural and regional schools.
* What are the experiences of the principal and staff implementing the NQS?
The NQS sets out five levels of quality, listed from lowest to highest:
The following discussion focuses on the middle three ratings, which are applied most often during the day-to-day work of state assessors conducting NQS assessments.
The NQS assessments measure quality through a complex, multi-level process, combining fixed procedural rules with professional judgements on the part of the assessor.
If any element Is assessed as 'Not met', a rating of Working Towards NQS Is automatically assigned to the relevant standard, quality area and to the service overall.
In summary, the assessment and rating process Involves two points at which the assessors must exercise professional judgement; In determining whether an element Is 'Met' or 'Not met', and then In determining whether a standard Is Meeting NQS or Exceeding NQS (if all the constituent elements are 'Met').