The SICI working group on the assessment of Social Outcomes in Education



The social outcomes of education have received more and more attention from national inspectorates of education in the last few years. There is a growing demand to find answers to developments in society and communities. A number of countries have already incorporated the assessment of social outcomes (or some aspects) in their frameworks. Some of these countries within SICI organized meetings to exchange their frameworks and experiences in assessing or evaluating social outcomes. These countries are Norway, Sweden, England, Scotland and The Netherlands.
Read more on this page about the results of the Working Group on the Assessment of Social Outcomes in Education. Share the experience and insight of these countries on the possibilities and limitations of the measurement of educational quality regarding social outcomes. Exchanging and working together may contribute to the further development of the national frameworks and to the definition and evaluation of quality of schools in promoting social outcomes and civic competences.

Social Outcomes

Exploration of the term ‘social outcomes of education’ is part of the knowledge exchange within the Working Group. For now, this term refers to a diverse set of social capacities linked to personal functioning and functioning in social structures such as the labour market, social groups and society (soft skills, life skills, civic knowledge and competences etc) as result of participation in formal education. Differences in the legal systems and differences between the functions of inspection authorities have impact on both content and methods for evaluation. The Working Group chooses to present the methods, instruments and materials used as an overview to find out what can work, based on different conditions.

The Working Group

The aim of such a ‘Working Group on the Assessment of Social Outcomes of Education’ is the exchange of knowledge about the development of methods for the measurement of educational quality regarding social outcomes of education.
The members of this Working Group are countries which have some experience in the measurement of social outcomes of education in addition these countries are working on the revision of their assessment schemes. Each country has some one of representatives of their inspectorate and the collaboration is on a temporary basis.
The Working Group came together ten times between April 2011 and June 2014. The meetings were organised by the participating inspectorates and rotated amongst all members. Meetings were one-day working conferences, from November 2013 the meetings took more or less two days. 


  • Oslo, April 5th 2011
  • Amsterdam (Haarlem), September 26th  2011
  • Stockholm, November 22nd  2011
  • Oslo, February 15th 2012
  • London, June 6th 2012
  • Utrecht, November 8th 2012
  • Edinburgh, June 13th 2013
  • Lund, November 13-14 2013
  • Amsterdam, April 10-11 2014
  • Oslo, June 4 2014

Specific Goals for collaboration

  • Exchange of knowledge about the development of methods for the measurement of educational quality regarding social outcomes of education
  • Describing methods
  • Figuring out why certain approaches can or cannot work
  • Cooperate in the exploration of concepts and differences in interpretations regarding social outcomes in the broadest sense (intra-, inter-social behaviour), to help to formulate and define conceptually
  • Bring all information together and disclose it for the inspectorates in all other countries.


The final results of the working group SICI-SOE have been published by Amsterdam University Press and are presented at the SICI conference on 17-19 September 2014.

Here is the Summary of the report in PDF.
The book "Social Outcomes of Education: the assessment of social outcomes and school improvement through school inspections" (also in PDF) can be downloaded  HERE
According to the authors, the main messages in the report are:
  1. Measuring social quality requires systematic attention in school inspections; 
  2. It is possible to evaluate social quality; important elements are at least social outcomes, curriculum, school climate and quality assurance;
  3. Important aims of judging the social quality are accountability, standard setting and school improvement;
  4. Precize shape of inspecting social quality depends on national requirements and needs for defining social outcomes, as well as the national goals and approaches for inspecting schools.

Overview of the study

Part I:   Social outcomes and school inspections.
Ch.1:    Introduction: Inspecting social quality of schools;
Ch.2:    Social outcomes of education. Concept and measurement;
Ch.3:    Evaluation of social outcomes through school inspections;
Ch.4:    Linking citizenship education policy to students’ citizenship competence
             in the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland and Sweden.

Part II: Assessment of social outcomes through school inspections.
Ch.5:    Evaluation of social outcomes in the Netherlands;
Ch.6:    The Norwegian approach to inspecting the social quality of education;
Ch.7:    Evaluating Social Outcomes. Inspection methods in Scotland;
Ch.8:    Social outcomes. Inspection methods in Sweden.

Part III: Inspecting social outcomes in schools: Models of Assessment.
Ch.9:     Evaluating social outcomes of schools. Models of assessment;
Ch10:    Discussion. School inspections and school improvement on the social
             domain. The assessment of social outcomes of education.