TEIP- Programme for Priority Intervention Educational Areas
The main aim of the Portuguese TEIP Programme is to promote educational inclusion in schools located in disadvantaged areas which include children 'at risk' of social exclusion. Specific improvement plans are developed and promote an improvement cycle in each cluster of schools.
The Programme for Priority Intervention Educational Areas was launched in 1996, with the main purpose of promoting educational inclusion in schools located in disadvantaged areas which included children ‘at risk of social exclusion’. A second version of the programme was implemented from 2006, with the aims of reducing the Early School Leaving (ESL) and promoting educational success. In 2012, a third version started, reinforcing the second version objectives and highlighting the quality of the learning outcomes.
At the moment, the programme includes 137 school clusters which represent 17% of all Portuguese school clusters. These schools are all invited to develop specific improvement plans, based on an agreement, between the school and school authorities, on measures, targets, evaluation and additional resources.
The specific improvement plan covers four different areas which are: 1) support to the improvement of learning; 2) management and organisation of the cluster’s measures; 3) prevention of ESL, absenteeism and indiscipline and 4) the school/families/community relations.
Although the schools may develop strategic measures in the four indicated areas, it does not mean that they ar required to include all of them in the specific improvement plan. The methodology of the programme is to promote an improvement cycle in each cluster. The improvement cycle should include the collection of relevant data which allows the school to identify problems and critical issues, in order to draw strategies according to the targets. The strategical action implies a process of establishment of different moments as setting out objectives, indicators and targets, monitoring and self-evaluation. Then, based on a reflexion on the process and the results, clusters decide whether they should make changes in the strategical action.
Most of the difficulties which were experienced by the clusters regarded the process of planning is related to the prioritization issues. Despite being easy to identify the critical issues, it is hard to draw a strategic plan if there is no common vision in the cluster. The selection and continued professional development of leaders is therefore essential. The leaders are responsible for promoting a common vision and shared goals across the school community. To encourage a common vision in schools is crucial in order for teachers to develop relational expertise and capacity to work in teams with other professionals and with wider community stakeholders.
The clusters included in the TEIP programme each year send a first semester report and a final report to General-Directorate of Education. The first semester report contains a collection of the first term relevant data, the monitoring of the results achieved until that point and possible changes of the actions according to the needs. The final report is an important tool for the analysis and decision making at the cluster level, but also essential to the evaluation of the programme as a whole, at the national level. This tool includes a deep analysis of results on several programme domains, evaluation of targets achieved, results and processes involved and an evaluation of the failures and improvement measures.
The implementation of the programme is supported by national meetings, meetings between General-Directorate of Education (DGE) and clusters, micro-network and educational experts networks.