An investigation of educators' perceptions of the Integrated Quality Management System in South African schools
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Educational institutions are pursuing quality improvement for various reasons. A great deal of literature on staff evaluation covering a wide spectrum of fields such as industry and commerce, including schools, has been produced and it generally identifies three main purposes of quality evaluation. Firstly, evaluation is conducted to review performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, it provides information about the service in order to improve the quality of the service and to demonstrate accountability. Thirdly, evaluation is aimed at encouraging personal and professional development. This study analyses the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS), an evaluation system which was implemented in South African public schools in 2005. The IQMS is a clear reaction to the autocratic mode of evaluation that operated during the apartheid era and is a major shift from the old paradigm of external evaluators. The new paradigm calls for a joint collaboration between schools, districts and supervisory units with the overall aim of enhancing the quality of education in South Africa, in addition to addressing the inequities and injustices of the past. Since its introduction, very little empirical research has been carried out to establish whether the IQMS model addresses that which it was intended to. This thesis evaluates the extent to which the IQMS is perceived to have enhanced individual development and ensured improvements in teaching and learning.