ARCHIVED - Formative Evaluation of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Special Education Program - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 25, 2008

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PROJECT TITLE
FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF INAC'S SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (200515)
ACTION PLAN APPROVAL DATE: 19/12/2007
PROGRAM
SOCIO-ECONOMIC POLICY AND REGIONAL OPERATIONS - EDUCATION
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
1. Simplify reporting requirements and focus them around five major questions:
  • Is the program reaching the students who need to be reached?
  • Is the program providing the services needed by those students?
  • Is the program making a difference in the well-being and educational outcomes of those students?
  • Is the program building the infrastructure that is needed to meet the needs of teachers who work with those students?
  • Is the program raising awareness in communities of the need to prevent those disabilities that can be prevented?
STATUS: Pending Implementation
ACTION PLAN EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE RESPONSE
INAC HQ will work with Regions and First Nations to revise the reporting requirements included in a new performance measurement strategy for education programs and services.

The principles of the Department's SMART reporting initiative will be applied to this exercise.

Implementation date – December 31, 2008
31/12/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

INAC HQ has engaged with INAC Regional offices and First Nations and has significantly simplified the Special Education Program reporting requirements for 2009/10, including:
  • SEP will be able to collect valid data on the first four major questions recommended;
  • SEP reporting will track educational outcomes such as retention and grade progression; and,
  • SEP reporting will provide more accurate data on the students the program is reaching and the provision of services required.
This exercise is a working example of the principles of the Department's SMART reporting initiative:
  • SEP Annual School Report has been integrated into the Nominal Roll, resulting in an 80% reduction of reporting requirements; and,
  • Sep Annual First Nations Regional Management Organizations Report has been reduced by 85%.
Discussions are underway with First Nations to identify effective ways of measuring awareness in communities of prevention strategies.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
2. Ensure all data required of all funding recipients is consistent and adequate for performance measurement requirements.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
INAC will work with First Nations, Regions and Provinces on collecting consistent and accurate data to support the performance measurement requirements.

INAC (HQ) will participate in SMART Reporting.
31/01/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

INAC HQ has consulted internally, with the regions, and the AFN on strengthening data collection to support performance measurement requirements. SEP data will be integrated into the Nominal Roll, resulting in:

  • Accurate SEP data capable of being verified;
  • The elimination of an ineffective and redundant data system; and,
  • Improved tracking of high cost special education students.
Nominal Roll questions and data definitions will be completed by September 30, 2008 for inclusion in the 2009/10 Recipient Reporting Guide. Work to complete the integration of the new datafields into the Nominal Roll database will be completed in the Fall 2008.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
3. Ensure funding is used only for HCSE services and establish mechanisms to better understand the extent of demand and costs.
STATUS: No Action
INAC will review mechanisms with Regions to ensure clearer link between funding to regions and schools and the number of HCSE students receiving services. Tracking mechanisms to better understand the extent of demand and costs will be established. 31/12/2008 Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2008:


INAC is working on strengthening the linkage between funding to regions and schools and the number of HCSE students receiving services. The revised indicators integrated into the Nominal Roll will allow INAC to accurately capture the extent of demand and costs for SEP services, including the number of HCSE students and the type of services required.

A meeting to better track the extent of demand and costs with First Nation Regional Management Organizations is planned for Fall 2008.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
4. Strengthen training and capacity-building for First Nation school personnel.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
HQ will work with Regions and FNRMOs to strengthen training, accreditation, and capacity building of First Nation teachers and school personnel. 01/04/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

Discussions are currently underway with First Nations to develop options to strengthen training, accreditation and capacity building of First nation teacher and school personnel.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
5. Continue supporting mechanisms which will encourage economies of scale, innovation, and the sharing of services.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
INAC will work with Regions, First Nations and other partners cooperatively to strengthen support for economies of scale, innovation and shared services 12/12/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

HQ has engaged with Regions and First Nations to examine how to better support existing and emerging First Nation organizations that provide economies of scale, innovation and shared services. In July 2008, HQ completed an initial scan of SEP service delivery, best practices and challenges with First Nation Regional Management Organizations. Work is underway with First Nations to examine the program's current architecture to better support these objectives.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
6. Support prevention and early intervention activities within schools as well as other longer term multi-sectoral efforts to reduce and prevent disabilities on-reserve over time.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
INAC will work with Regions, First Nations and other partners cooperatively to better support prevention and early intervention activities. 01/04/2009 As of 30/09/2008:

INAC is currently reviewing prevention and early intervention activities within the full range of INAC's elementary and secondary education programs and initiatives. The new Budget 2008 accountability initiatives will provide First Nation schools with resources to support school success plans and standardized testing, including early screening tests and intervention strategies to strengthen literacy and numeracy in the early grades.
 
 
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