Alberta’s Assurance Framework describes the approach to build public trust and confidence that the education system meets the needs of students and enables their success. This new process (ormindset) will affect school council activities.
The new approach changes the focus of the work of School Boards and schools from being accountable to the Ministry - to that of demonstrating to (local and provincial) Albertans that the system is meeting the needs of students, and that students are successful.
The concept is about continuous improvement – not a reaction to yearly results, but ongoing reviews of actions being taken, and sharing these reviews.
It is about conferring with stakeholders, including parents, about what is expected – in the LOCAL context as well as Provincial – creating and initiating plans that correspond to those expectations, following up those plans on a constant basis, to find out if there is success or a need to change direction, and checking in with stakeholders to demonstrate the results, and asking “Did we get it right?”.
School Boards are also expected to include evidence of stakeholder engagement in their planning documents. This approach relies on creating strong relationships between education partners and stakeholders, and a commitment to transparency.
One of the key ways that school authorities demonstrate accountability and provide assurance is through the development and publication of their education plans and annual education results reports (AERRs).
In their education plan and AERR, school authorities also describe the actions they have taken to meet their obligations under Section 12 of the School Councils Regulation, to provide the opportunity for school councils to be involved in developing school education plans/AERRs and to share results from provincial assessments and information from its reporting and accountability system with school councils.
The new framework is an excellent opportunity for school councils to be engaged. Alberta Education sees the involvement of school councils contributing to assurance in valuable ways, including the following:
Become familiar with the Assurance Framework and the related school authority planning and reporting requirements
Review the School Board’s education plan and annual education report (posted annually on Board’s website by November 30 and May 31, respectively) and those of the school (posted annually on either the school or School Board website)
Participate in engagement opportunities surrounding the development of school and School Board education plan priorities
Participate in engagement opportunities respecting results and progress towards meeting the School Board’s priorities
Participate in the development of school education plans, annual education results reports, and budget
Educate Grade 4, 7 and 10 parents about the Alberta Education Assurance Parent Survey and encourage their input
Assurance in the education system happens when community members, system stakeholders and education partners engage across five domains:
• Student Growth and Achievement; • Teaching and Leading; • Learning Supports; • Governance; and • Local and Societal Context
"Myth Busting the Assurance Model" recording from the 2021 School Councils Conference session presentation from Alberta Education.
The Funding Manual contains both the Funding and Assurance Framework for School Authorities for the school year.
The Funding Manual provides details of the funding formula and allocation approach for the school year, including:
In 2020, Alberta Education updated the K to 12 education funding model for the first time in 15 years to improve funding and accountability processes and help Albertans feel confident that the education system is meeting the needs of students.