Education Officers (EOs) are responsible for the monitoring of the quality of education in the Maltese primary and secondary education cycles in Malta. EOs may have one of two roles: either ensuring quality of educational provision and having a placement within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (DLAP) who are subject specialists, or giving a service within the Quality Assurance Department (QAD) which carries out school reviews. The primary objective of both types of EOs is to ensure that each student receives his/her curricular entitlement and develops holistically to his/her full potential as stipulated in Chapter 605 of the Laws of Malta - the Education Act.
The Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (DLAP) has among others the responsibilities to provide, develop and implement fair and valid assessment practices for all learners through its Educational Assessment Unit which also guides and support schools in all their requirements regarding assessment procedures. It also ensures implementation of the the National Curriculum in educational instutitutions.
The role of the subject specialist EOs is to monitor, evaluate, advise, adapt and develop the curriculum within his/her area of specialisation, according to the needs of students and the National Curriculum Framework. . Moreover, the responsibilities of subject EOs incorporate the following:
• Visiting schools in order to evaluate and report on the work of teachers and subject teaching in schools;
• Collating relevant data and statistics regarding his/her subject area;
• Holding continuous professional development (CPD) sessions for teachers;
• Advising on the timely provision of up-to-date teaching materials and equipment within his/her area of specialisation;
• Organising curricular meetings with Heads of Departments to produce suitable teaching materials for teachers and discussing queries/challenges in the subject area;
• Ensuring that the policies and provisions laid down in the Education Act, as well as other policies and provisions of the MEYR are adhered to in both the State and non-State schools;
• Working on related projects with other EOs;
• Carrying out administrative duties related to the post.
• Provide Early Years support in curricular needs and professional development session upon invitation
The Quality Assurance Department (QAD) is tasked with monitoring the quality of education in Maltese educational institutions. The main objective of this department is to monitor, evaluate and promote the quality of holistic educational provision vis a vis the Framework for Education strategy for Malta 2014-2024 and the National Curriculum Framework for all. Education Officers, Quality Assurance, carry out External Reviews in all pre-compulsory (ISCED 0 and compulsory school age (ISCED 1-3) educational institutions within the State, Church and Independent/private sectors.
Through the external review structure, the QAD is committed to promote within educational institutions a culture of continuous professional growth and institutional improvement. The way to achieve these aims could be different for each educational institution guaranteeing individual holistic development whilst providing opportunities to celebrate diverse good practices.
The role of the Education Officer within the QAD is:
• to ensure that all learners receive equitable entitlement to high quality education;
• to establish high quality educational standards that reflect national priorities, policies and strategies;
• to monitor the institution’s practices in achieving high quality standards and assure accountability;
• to provide institutions with clear feedback regarding the effectiveness of their educational provision and identify priorities for future action that inform the institution’s development planning for improvement;
• to keep key stakeholders informed about the performance and progress of educational provision in general education institutions;
• to establish and communicate standards for effective and ongoing internal review processes;
• to evaluate the institution’s capability to perform an effective and ongoing internal review;
• to evaluate the impact of the institution’s internal review process on the achievement of high quality standards;
• to collaborate with other stakeholders as required to sustain the achievement of the above objectives.
External reviews carried out in childcare centres (0-3) follow the National Standards for Early Childhood Education and Care Services while external reviews carried out from (3-16) follow the Standards for use in School External Reviews established by the QAD in 2016. The latter are closely linked to national strategies and policies. Review guidelines for schools are disseminated so that all educators, including the school leadership, have a clear understanding of the review parameters. The QAD, through different review models, looks for each school’s potential for growth. This is done through reviewing the planning, the implementation processes and the self-evaluation exercises occurring within schools.
Requirements for appointment
The filling of vacancies in the grade of Education Officer is made by selection following a public call for applications, which clearly indicates the subject or area in which the vacancy or vacancies exist. Applications are open to Assistant Heads of School, Heads of Department, Inclusion Coordinators (INCOs) and School Counsellors performing duties in a licensed school. Applicants applying for the post of an EO must:
• Be in possession of a Permanent Teacher’s Warrant issued by the Council for the Teaching Profession (CTP) and have not less than ten school years teaching experience in addition to four school years’ service in the grades mentioned above;
• At least four school years teaching experience in the area advertised in the call for applications.
Conditions of service
The grade of Education Officer is considered a management position and, as such, it is conditioned to general public service hours that is a forty-hour week. The basic annual grosss salary of an Education Officer (EO) starts at first step of Salary Scale 5 which in 2022 is €29961.98. An EO gradually reaches the maximum salary of scale 5 through annual increments. The maximum salary of an EO in 2002 is €33,806. Besides the basic salary, Education Officers receive:
a. an annual class allowance which in 2022 is €5,750
b. a Works Resources allowance which in 2022 is €750.
Education Officers Quality Assurance go through induction and training upon appointment and shadow a number of external reviews. They also undergo continuous professional development to keep abreast with innovation and change and participate in internal upskilling and team meetings once a month.
Newly-appointed Subject Specialist Educational Officers have a two-week induction programme in September. This covers both professional responsibility issues and logistics of how the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation (MEYR) operates. Education Officers attend monthly meetings where (i) new educational initiatives are presented; (ii) direction in educational matters is given, and (iii) discussions and sharing of ideas take place. This meeting takes places regularly, once a month, and is usually four hours long. Other professional development sessions occur when Education Officers attend seminars, both locally and abroad, which are related to their subject area. The Director Learning and Assessment Programmes and Assistant Directors are partly responsible for this Continuous Professional Development. However, the Education Officers themselves are also responsible to seek their own professional development through attending seminars and conferences.