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IfE - Annual Report 2020

An Overview of what happened at the Institute for Education during 2020

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INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION

ANNUAL

REPORT


Inspiring and

Fostering

Educators’

Passion

for Learning

1


CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM CEO 6

LIST OF ACRONYMS 7

STAFF MEMBERS AS AT 2020 8

OVERVIEW 13

MISSION STATEMENT 13

VALUES 14

QUALITY ASSURANCE 15

Overview.............................................................................................................................................................................................................16

The Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) System............................................................................................................................................16

The IQA Standards........................................................................................................................................................................................... 17

The Internal Departmental Evaluation......................................................................................................................................................... 17

Internal Verification......................................................................................................................................................................................... 17

Policies, Procedures and Forms....................................................................................................................................................................18

Policy for Quality Assurance..........................................................................................................................................................................18

Institutional Probity.........................................................................................................................................................................................19

Design and Approval of Courses...................................................................................................................................................................19

Course Participant-Centred Learning, Teaching and Assessment........................................................................................................ 20

Course Participant Admission, Progression, Recognition and Certification....................................................................................... 22

Teaching Staff.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 24

Learning Resources and Course Participant Support ............................................................................................................................ 25

Information Management ............................................................................................................................................................................. 26

Public Information ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 26

On-going Monitoring and Periodic Review of Courses ........................................................................................................................... 26

Micro-placements in the Industry ...............................................................................................................................................................27

Logos of Contributors......................................................................................................................................................................................27

ADMINISTRATION & HUMAN RESOURCES 29

Overview............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 30

Premises............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 33

Procurement & Tenders.................................................................................................................................................................................. 34

Marketing ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 34

2


Events & Press Launches ............................................................................................................................................................................. 36

Health and Safety............................................................................................................................................................................................ 39

Staff Training.....................................................................................................................................................................................................41

Sponsorships.................................................................................................................................................................................................... 43

Staff Team Building Events........................................................................................................................................................................... 44

Human Resources Overview......................................................................................................................................................................... 48

Recruitment...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 48

Staff Wellness ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 48

Human Resources Initiatives........................................................................................................................................................................ 48

Plans and Projects for 2021 ......................................................................................................................................................................... 48

PROGRAMMES 49

Overview ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 50

Programme Development.............................................................................................................................................................................. 50

Internal Review of Programmes................................................................................................................................................................... 53

Facilities and Equipment .............................................................................................................................................................................. 54

Course Coordination....................................................................................................................................................................................... 54

In-Class Co-Teaching Support ..................................................................................................................................................................... 54

ADMISSIONS 55

Overview ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 56

Delivery of Accredited Programmes............................................................................................................................................................ 56

Qualifications................................................................................................................................................................................................... 56

Short Programmes.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 59

Stand-alone Modules .................................................................................................................................................................................... 60

Further Support and Training Opportunities............................................................................................................................................. 62

Phase Sessions................................................................................................................................................................................................ 62

Community of Professional Educators Sessions...................................................................................................................................... 64

Educator and Parental/Guardian Sessions................................................................................................................................................ 64

Tailored Staff Training Support.................................................................................................................................................................... 68

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

3


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND LIBRARY RESOURCES 69

Overview ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 70

Panopto............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 70

Resources.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 70

Library Resources Overview.......................................................................................................................................................................... 72

The Procurement of More Books................................................................................................................................................................. 72

The Physical Upgrading of the IfE Library.................................................................................................................................................. 72

The Book Lending Process............................................................................................................................................................................ 73

The Cataloguing of Books by Malta Libraries............................................................................................................................................ 73

The Attendance of two Institute for Education Staff Members to the VSmart Malta Libraries System Course....................... 74

The Opening of the Institute for Education Library in 2021................................................................................................................... 74

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 75

Overview ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 76

Dissertations commenced in 2020.............................................................................................................................................................. 76

Development of policies and procedures linked to dissertations.........................................................................................................77

Pool of Dissertation Supervisors and Assessors.......................................................................................................................................77

1 st Annual Symposium of the Institute for Education.............................................................................................................................. 78

2 nd Annual Symposium of the Institute for Education............................................................................................................................ 79

Erasmus+ project My Journey – My Mobility............................................................................................................................................80

FINANCE 81

Overview ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 82

Institute for Education - Statement of Financial Position..................................................................................................................... 83

Institute for Education - Statement of Comprehensive Income.......................................................................................................... 84

Institute for Education - Statement of Cash Flows................................................................................................................................ 84

4


List of Tables

TABLE 1 Organising Entity and Name of Event Attended by IfE Staff Throughout 2020 ............................................................42

TABLE 2

TABLE 3

List of Seminars, Courses and Conferences Attended by Sponsored Participants......................................................43

IfE Sponsorships Towards the Organisation of Seminars, Courses and Conferences.................................................43

TABLE 4 List of Qualifications Accredited in 2020..............................................................................................................................50

TABLE 5 List of Awards Accredited in 2020.......................................................................................................................................... 51

TABLE 6 List of Ongoing Qualifications in Academic Year 2019-2020.............................................................................................57

TABLE 7 List of Short Programmes Delivered in Academic Year 2019-2020..................................................................................59

TABLE 8 List of Stand-alone Modules Delivered in Academic Year 2019-2020............................................................................ 60

TABLE 9 List of Phase Sessions Delivered in Academic Year 2019-2020........................................................................................63

TABLE 10 List of CoPE Sessions Delivered in 2019-2020.....................................................................................................................64

TABLE 11 List of Educator Sessions Delivered in Academic Year 2019-2020..................................................................................65

TABLE 12 List of Asynchronous Educator Sessions Offered in Academic Year 2019-2020...........................................................66

TABLE 13 List of Parental / Guardian Sessions Delivered in Academic Year 2019-2020 ..............................................................66

TABLE 14 List of Asynchronous Parental / Guardian Sessions Offered in Academic Year 2019-2020........................................68

TABLE 15

TABLE 16

Number of Course Participants Per Course Undertaking Their Dissertation During the

Academic Year 2020 – 2021 .....................................................................................................................................................76

Work Volume Within the Finance Department.....................................................................................................................82

List of Figures

FIGURE 1 Number of Graduates 2019-2020............................................................................................................................................57

FIGURE 2 Number of Course Participants Enrolled in a Qualification in Academic Year 2019 -2020.........................................58

FIGURE 3

Number of Course Participants Enrolled in a Qualification During the 2018 and 2019 Intake..................................58

FIGURE 4 Number of Course Participants Attending Short Programmes in Academic Year 2019-2020.....................................59

FIGURE 5 Number of Course Participants that Attended Stand-alone Modules in Academic Year 2019-2020........................62

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

5


MESSAGE

FROM CEO

2020: a year nobody will ever forget. It was a year

full of challenges, developments and continuous

learning experiences. From its inception, the Institute

for Education was also intended to become a virtual

Institute. The aim was to reach more people and

become as accessible as possible. This step was

planned to be forward-looking and to cater for the

needs of those who already had a full-time job, but

wished to pursue their studies and create a career in

the education sector. For this to happen, the Institute

developed a platform through which synchronous

and asynchronous sessions could be delivered and it

also procured licences to have access to a variety of

databases and journals, which were made available

to lecturers and course participants. Lecturers were

continuously trained in the use of the portal and in

the development of synchronous and asynchronous

sessions. Short clips were developed to assist in

the process. As a team, we all moved in the same

direction, creating qualifications and professional

development trainings of high standards that could

be accessed online. And then, COVID-19 struck.

Nobody ever expected anything like the situation

that unfolded and no one could ever believe that the

whole world would come to a halt. But it certainly

did, and people as well as businesses had to adapt or

suffer the consequences. The Institute for Education

formed part of the group that could actually continue

its business and increase it. It was a time when the

lecturers and course participants appreciated the

online system and could proceed with their work and

studies. Operations did not stop. On the contrary,

lecturers who wanted to enhance their online output

were supported, which led to an exponential increase

in productivity. In turn, the lecturers provided an

impeccable service to the course participants.

During such unprecedented circumstances, the

Institute’s team felt that it had to contribute to

society more than ever. Thus, it began offering online,

non-accredited sessions for educators and other

sessions for parents. Such sessions were intended to

provide a platform to share information and engage in

discussions on a number of topics that are of interest

to those involved in children’s education.

In September, the Institute also managed to deliver

the first annual symposium, titled Internationalisation

and Multiculturalism in Maltese Education and Society

and subsequently published the first edition of the

peer reviewed Malta Journal of Education on the

same theme. The symposium was held online with

two internationally renowned speakers: Prof. Khalid

Arar and Dr Yasemin Karakaşoğlu, and also hosted

several Maltese contributions. The symposium was

another one of the Institute’s successes, and will now

become a yearly event.

So while 2020 was truly challenging, looking back, I

must admit it was also a year that brought us a lot of

satisfaction. It exposed our strengths and showcased

our team’s commitment to accomplish the set

goals, no matter what. The Institute for Education

may have been a dream a few years back, but it is

now a reality that will continue to grow and reach

new heights through research, practice, and above

all, collaboration between all those who want to

contribute to the field of education.

Thank you,

JOANNE GRIMA

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

6


LIST OF

ACRONYMS

CEO

CoPE

CPD

ECTS

ECVET

EQA

ESG

HR

IfE

IPS

IQA

IT

LPDE

MAEL

MEDE

MHOS

MHUM

MPHY

MPRI

MQF

NCFHE

OPM

PD

QA

VET

Chief Executive Officer

Community of Professional Educators

Continuing Professional Development

European Credit Transfer and Training

European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education

and Training

External Quality Assurance

European Standards and Guidelines

Human Resources

Institute for Education

Institute for Public Services

Internal Quality Assurance

Information Technology

Learning Programme Development Expert

Master in Applied Educational Leadership

Ministry for Education and Employment

Master of Education Hospitality

Master of Education Humanities

Master of Education Physical Education

Master of Education Primary

Malta Qualification Framework

National Commission for Further and Higher Education

Office of the Prime Minister

Professional Development

Quality Assurance

Vocational Education and Training

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

7


STAFF MEMBERS

AS AT 2020

THE CEO

The CEO is responsible for all major corporate decisions

and actively manages all operations at the Institute. This

includes designing strategic decisions that lead to the

Institute’s continuous, overall growth.

Part of this process involves collaborating with all the

departments to set a clear vision and to execute strategic

plans to achieve set objectives. The overarching aim of

the Institute is to be proactive and to provide professional

development that is accessible, flexible, relevant and

impactful on the participants’ learning experience.

JOANNE GRIMA

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

OFFICER

THE QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPARTMENT

The Quality Assurance Department plays a crucial role in

monitoring, reporting and taking care of development

across the Institute.

The main functions of the QA department are as follows:

• To ensure that stakeholder expectations and goals

with regards to the courses are reached.

• To ensure high course standards and quality of

learning experiences.

• To identify good practices and establish structures for

continuous, quality improvement.

ANTHONY SATARIANO

SENIOR MANAGER

QUALITY ASSURANCE

ANGELIQUE GRECH

MANAGER INTERNAL

EVALUATION AND

INTERNSHIP

• To provide assistance with regards to all quality

assurance-related procedures within the Institute and

the systematic development, monitoring and revision

of such procedures.

8


THE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT

The Administration Department is responsible for the

smooth, day-to-day conduct of the Institute. It also

acts as the main link between the Institute’s various

departments. In addition, the Administration team handles

all primary contact with external stakeholders, organises

events such as press conferences and award ceremonies,

issues circulars, and answers queries via telephone and

email. The collection of data, compilation of the annual

report, and the drafting of the prospectus also fall under

the department’s remit.

DEBORAH SEYCHELL

SENIOR MANAGER

ADMINISTRATION

MATTHEW BUGEJA

MANAGER

PROCUREMENT

As well as the afore-mentioned tasks, the department is

also responsible for:

• Premises Refurbishment

• Quotes & Tenders

• Staff Training

• Health & Safety

• Events and Marketing

GEORGETTE SPERANDEO

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE

OFFICER

JOSETTE ZARB

ADMINISTRATIVE

OFFICER

ANNA CAMILLERI

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT

The Human Resources Department is primarily responsible

for:

• The preparation of contracts for employees and

contractees

• On-boarding

• Recruitment

• Issuing engagement letters, HR policies and

procedures

• Tracking leave and sick leave records

• Maintaining HR registered files

ANTON CALLUS

MANAGER

HUMAN RESOURCES

ANGIOLINO SCIBERRAS

ADMINISTRATIVE

OFFICER

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9


THE PROGRAMMES DEPARTMENT

The Programmes Department is responsible for the

development and implementation of training programmes

and also offers support to all students. The main functions

of the department include:

• The development, implementation and internal review

of training programmes.

• Providing guidance in relation to programme

accreditation and review processes.

• Communicating with key experts and stakeholders

to ensure that all programmes are current, relevant

and cater towards the training needs of the education

sector.

JOHN SPITERI MAEMPEL

SENIOR MANAGER

PROGRAMME

DEVELOPMENT

JAMES SULTANA

EDUCATION OFFICER

TRAINING &

DEVELOPMENT

• Ensuring that workplace training meets requirements

and is aligned with the intended learning outcomes.

• Identifying technological and academic resources that

support teaching and learning.

• Support lecturers and trainers with regards to the

delivery and assessment of programmes.

CARMEN GRECH

EDUCATION OFFICER

TRAINING &

DEVELOPMENT

ANN MARIE D’AMATO

MANAGER PROGRAMME

DEVELOPMENT, COORDINATION

& IMPLEMENTATION

DOMINIC CAMILLERI

ADMINISTRATIVE

OFFICER

MARISA SCHEMBRI

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

THE ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT

The Institute recently set up an Admissions Department

which is responsible for:

• Ensuring that all course participants are offered the

best possible experience while pursuing their studies.

• The publication of a contemporary prospectus which

caters for the educators’ needs as well as market gaps.

• Assessing the eligibility of all course participants.

• Processing all formal requests submitted by course

participants.

• The drafting of policies, guidelines and procedures.

• Updating and safely storing course participant records.

• Offering emotional and wellbeing support.

• Welcoming new ideas and suggestions that may benefit

the entire IfE community.

CHRISTINE GRECH

HEAD OF ADMISSIONS

10


THE COURSE COORDINATION DEPARTMENT

The Course Coordination Department is responsible for

the timetabling and administration of all accredited and

non-accredited courses delivered at the Institute. The

main functions of the department are:

• Planning the academic year and overseeing the

delivery of all programmes offered by the Institute.

• Assisting course participants and lecturers while

ensuring adherence to the Institute’s policies and

procedures.

FIONA VASSALLO MEDICI

MANAGER CENTRE

ADMINISTRATOR

• Ensuring that lecturers are supported during the

delivery of their sessions. These may take the format

of face-to-face sessions at the IfE premises, or online

live synchronous or asynchronous sessions via the IfE

portal.

• Maintaining records of programmes including the

collection of feedback and the publication of results.

NICHOLAS AGIUS

COURSE COORDINATOR

ANTHONY ATTARD

COURSE COORDINATOR

GRAZIELLA FERRITO

PULLICINO

COURSE COORDINATOR

ROBERT GRECH

COURSE COORDINATOR

SIMON GRECH

COURSE COORDINATOR

NOEL HARMSWORTH

COURSE COORDINATOR

BERNARDO RIOLO

COURSE COORDINATOR

STEPHANIE

ZAMMIT DIMECH

COURSE COORDINATOR

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

11


THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT

The Information Technology Department is responsible for

the maintenance and upkeep of computer architecture,

hardware, software and networks. This department ensures

that employees have full access to the computer systems.

Professionals working in this department also:

• Performs website updates

• Offers technical support to both employees and clients

• Liaises with service providers

• Devises new ways of improving processes

GEOFFREY E. TANTI

SENIOR MANAGER IT

Updates on the Institute’s website are done in a timely

manner in order to provide the latest information to all

concerned, in the least possible time. Technical support is

provided to all users, both physically, and remotely whenever

the need arises for proper job continuity. Clients are also

supported when they have queries on the usage of the LMS.

THE RESEARCH AND

DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

The Research and Development Department aims to support

educators and stakeholders by analysing the challenges

schools are facing to inform teaching, training, policy and

practice. This department is also responsible for research

ethics and the dissertation module of IfE’s qualifications.

Through the organisation of an annual Symposium and the

publication of the Malta Journal of Education, it also seeks

to give young and established researchers an opportunity to

present their findings to inform policy and serve as a resource

for educators. Moreover, the department is responsible for

EU projects to gain insight into international best practices.

CHRISTINE

FENECH

SENIOR MANAGER

RESEARCH AND

DEVELOPMENT

MARIA FELICIA

SGHENDO

ADMINISTRATIVE

OFFICER

To summarise, the department’s key responsibilities include:

• Dissertations

• Research Ethics

Annual Symposium

• Malta Journal of Education

• EU projects

THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT

The Finance Department oversees all the Institute’s

financial matters. The team is responsible for the:

• Maintenance of the Institute’s accounting records

• Confirmation of fund availability prior to issuing

purchase orders

• Payment of suppliers and service providers

• Payroll

• Preparation of financial reporting required by the

Institute’s stakeholders

• Liaison with financial auditors

JOHN TRAPANI

HEAD OF FINANCE

LEEANNE FARRUGIA

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

12


INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION

OVERVIEW

The Institute for Education was originally set up as an Institute in April 2015 by virtue of Legal Notice 140 of 2015,

and as amended in Legal Notice 240 of 2015. The Institute was then reconstituted as an Agency by virtue of Legal

Notice 243 of 2017.

The Institute provides initial teacher training and professional development that cultivates 21st century skills and

competences in educators at all levels of leadership. It also aims to infuse equity and social justice within all its

programmes. The Institute aims to develop accredited programmes which are flexible and which can be delivered

through different methods such as face-to-face lectures as well as online and blended learning.

The Institute for Education is licenced by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) as a

Higher Education Institution in accordance to the Second Schedule of Subsidiary Legislation 327.433.

The Institute for Education is committed to the key principles of equity and social justice and strives to enhance

accessibility for the professional learning for all educators. IfE also invests in life-long learning to cultivate skills

and competences which enable individuals to rise to the challenges posed by an ever-changing society. It fosters

a philosophy whereby course participants are encouraged to explore their own potential, whilst also empowering

them to achieve personal and collective growth.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Institute for Education promotes

high quality education for educators and

learners at all levels. By collaborating with

all of its stakeholders, it fosters learning

communities of the highest standard whilst

also delivering education based on equity

and social justice.

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

13


VALUES

COLLABORATION

As a team, we grow together, promoting a sense of

belonging and providing equal opportunities to ensure all

feel supported whilst working towards common goals.

COMMUNICATION

We practice an honest and open exchange of ideas in an

environment where positive encouragement serves as the

basis of our communication.

ACCOUNTABILITY

We enable our employees and learners to explore their

potential, take initiative, and be accountable for the

benefit of everyone’s educational journey.

ACHIEVEMENT

We encourage, support, and empower the community to

achieve personal and collective growth.

ADAPTABILITY

We work without boundaries and are open to finding

diverse and unexpected solutions to challenges at the

workplace.

EQUITY

We believe in creating an environment where everyone

is valued according to their individual potential for their

holistic development.

14


QUALITY

ASSURANCE

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

15 15


•.Overview

The Institute for Education (IfE) has a Quality Management System which makes an effective contribution to

the attainment of the IfE’s strategic plan and which supports the academic planning process. The ultimate

purpose underpinning this system is the IfE’s objective to produce the best possible course participant

experience.

The Quality Assurance (QA) Department is comprised of the Senior Manager Quality Assurance and the Manager

Internal Evaluation and Internship. The QA Department is responsible for ensuring that the standards of the

courses provided and the quality of the learning experience are achieved. The QA Department is also tasked

with ensuring that stakeholder expectations with regard to the courses offered as well as the achievements

and capabilities of participants are adhered to. The Department also identifies good practice and establishes

structures for the continuous improvement in the quality of provision. In particular, it provides assistance

with regards to all quality assurance-related procedures within the IfE and keeps abreast with standards

in line with NCFHE Quality Assurance requirements, the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in

the European Higher Education Area (ESG), National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher

Education (2015), the Referencing Report (2016), and Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements, as well as

the systematic development, monitoring and revision of such procedures.

•.The Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) System

The Internal Quality Assurance System (IQA) of the IfE was first developed in 2017. In 2020, the QA Department

reviewed its internal documentation and updated its policies and procedures. The Department continued

to build upon the Internal Review process which was set up in 2018 and which encompassed a continuous

review of all the IfE’s staff as well as those persons employed on contract for service basis. Other important

QA functions include the Internal Verification System, the creation and review of policies and procedures, and

the updating of forms, particularly the feedback forms which enabled the IfE to collect timely feedback from

course participants and lecturing staff. The IQA system aims to improve the quality of the IfE’s courses. The

quality of a courses lies in its ability to provide appropriate solutions for the expectations of anyone who is

interested in the educational services available: course participants and all stakeholders.

The IfE’s IQA System regularly gathers and analyses important information - such as the number of course

participants who complete the course in line with the regular programme, and based on this, plans are

developed for further enhancement. It is a self-assessment system.

The IfE’s IQA system aims to:

• Guarantee that the quality of the courses is well documented, verifiable and assessable;

• Facilitate access to information, making it clear and understandable for course participants, lecturers and

all stakeholders;

• Promote a process of continuous improvement in all courses.

The IfE promotes a quality culture, where the actions of its staff and course participants are inspired by a

desire to continuously improve their practice, learning experience and outcomes. The IfE’s Quality Assurance

is based on the Quality Cycle, which is the overarching principle of the National Quality Assurance Framework

for Further and Higher Education (2015). The IfE already has an Internal Quality Assurance policy document.

However, it ensures that through the Quality Cycle, it reviews its own internal procedures, thus ensuring a

robust preparation for an External Quality Assurance audit.

16


•.The IQA Standards

For successful quality provision and learning environments, the IfE’s IQA system is underpinned by the eleven

standards for quality assurance. These standards are part of the National Quality Assurance Framework for

Further and Higher Education (2015) which was built upon the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance

in the European Higher Education Area (ESG, 2015). The IfE considers these standards in a broader context,

which also includes the Malta Qualifications Framework and the use of the European Credit Transfer and

Accumulation System (ECTS) as well as the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training

(ECVET) learning credits, as indicated in the Malta Referencing Report (2016).

•.The Internal Departmental Evaluation

An internal review of all the Departments within the IfE was carried out in 2020. The review, conducted by

the Senior Manager Quality Assurance and the Manager Internal Evaluation and Internship, included a selfreflective

exercise during which each department generated ideas/reflections on the strengths, weaknesses,

opportunities and threats of the IfE. The main purpose of the internal review was to investigate the service

provided by the IfE and to use report findings to analyse whether the IfE’s academic standards and quality are

meeting expectations, in line with the Quality Assurance Standards set out in the National Quality Assurance

Framework for Further and Higher Education. A final report which included all the good practices and

recommendations was presented. Furthermore, meetings were held with each department so as to discuss

the main findings and the necessary actions to address the recommendations.

•.Internal Verificiation

Internal Verification is integral to the IfE’s commitment to continuous improvement in the quality of all

the courses that are offered. The NCFHE places an emphasis on providers being able to demonstrate that

adequate Internal Verification arrangements are in place.

In 2020, the IfE continued to implement an Internal Verification System to ensure that all requirements

are met. This system encompasses: The Internal Verification of assignment titles and rubrics, the Internal

Verification of lectures, and the Internal Verification of assignments. Further information can be found in the

Internal Verification Policy.

The Internal Verification of assignment titles and rubrics - All assignment titles were internally verified before

being issued to course participants. If any issues were identified, they were addressed by the lecturer prior to

issue. The rubrics presented by the lecturers, which were also internally verified, include explicit criteria to

help course participants meet the learning outcomes and the scoring strategy to be adopted.

The Internal Verification of lectures – As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the QA Department

shifted its lecture observation procedures online. In view of this, most observations within awards and

qualifications that were carried out were undertaken in a synchronous/asynchronous manner. Some face-toface

lecture observations were still carried out. These observations were carried out by the Senior Manager

Quality Assurance and the Manager Internal Evaluation and Internship, who ensured the competence and

effectiveness of the lecturers as required by the validated course and established feedback procedures.

Lecturers were given oral and written feedback on any observed lectures and they were then required to

implement any recommendations put forward by the QA Department.

The Internal Verification of assignments is based on our principles of assessment, which state that all

assessments must be: valid, reliable, practicable, equitable and fair. All Internal Verifiers were tasked with

reviewing assessments set against the assessment criteria; sampling and reviewing assessments completed

by learners and assessed by lecturers; ensuring that internal standardisation activities took place which

inform parity and consistency as well as quality improvement; keeping accurate and appropriate records of

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

17


the Internal Verification process; giving support and advice to lecturers where necessary to ensure that they

provide adequate support advice and feedback to learners and understand their roles and responsibilities; and

completing report forms and evaluations for internal review as required.

•.Policies, Procedures and Forms

The IfE is responsible for the academic standards of awards, and for ensuring that the quality of learning

experiences is suitable to enable course participants to achieve those standards. Consequently, the IfE has a

range of policies and procedures to ensure the academic standards of awards and to enhance the quality of

its educational provision.

In 2020, the QA Department created and/or updated the following policies and procedures:

• Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy and Procedures;

• Appeals Policy and Procedures;

• Boards and Committees;

• Code of Ethics;

• Course Participant Handbook 2020-2021;

• Extension to Duration of Studies Policy;

• Intellectual Property Rights Policy;

• Micro-Placement Policy;

• Research Ethics Policy and Procedures;

• Records Retention Schedule;

• Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures;

• Tuition Fees Policy 2020-2021.

Furthermore, the following Forms were created and/or updated by the QA Department during 2020:

• Appeals Form;

• Course Participants’ Feedback Form - Practicum;

• Course Participants’ Feedback Form – Feedback Form - End of Module (Qualifications);

• Course Participants’ Feedback Form – Feedback Form - End of Module Assessment (Qualifications);

• Course Participants’ Feedback Form - Overall Feedback on Stand Alone Modules/Short Courses;

• Course Participants’ Feedback Form - Assessment of Stand Alone Modules / Short Courses;

• Lecturers’ Feedback Form.

•.Policy for Quality Assurance

The IfE understands that it is crucial to stay abreast with external developments and best practice in the

field of further and higher education. It sees this as part of being a self-critical academic community which

evaluates and enhances its quality assurance procedures to promote that culture. The maintenance and

enhancement of the academic standards of the IfE primarily depend on the commitment of all staff to

constantly evaluate and reflect on the quality of the educational experiences provided for course participants.

The main principles underpinning the IfE’s quality and standards policy are:

• Quality assurance and enhancement are best achieved by fostering an ethos of critical self-reflection in

partnership with course participants;

18


IfE employees and lecturers should be responsible for enhancing the quality of the learning experience

of their students whilst acknowledging that course participants, as adult learners, will take responsibility

for their own learning;

• Collegiality and rigorous, external peer reviews are a means to identify areas for improvement as well as

to foster collaboration and the exchange of best practice;

• The recurrent evaluation of its academic standards is at the heart of the IfE’s procedures;

• The harmonisation of all its procedures;

• Course participants and other stakeholders are key contributors to the shaping of IfE’s policies and

mechanisms in the area of quality and standards;

• All policies and procedures relating to quality and standards are subject to regular review to ensure their

ongoing fitness for purpose in a rapidly changing internal and external environment.

Throughout 2020, the QA Department also provided support in the creation of the IfE’s governance structure,

which identifies who is responsible and accountable for setting the IfE’s direction and overseeing of its

operations. Further information can be found in the following document: Boards and Committees.

•.Institutional Probity

The IfE is a public agency that falls within the remit of the Ministry for Education. It is fully funded by the

Government of Malta and its yearly budget is detailed within the National Budget. The IfE provides continuous

professional training to all educators and at all levels at subsidised rates which are detailed in the Tuition

Fees Policy.

In 2020, the IfE kept records of all transactions, these being receipts, invoices and payments, within a

designated accounts software package. The IfE’s operations are programmed to adhere to the allotted values.

However, since the IfE is an agency that falls within the remit of the Ministry for Education and Employment,

measures are in place to allow for extraordinary, unexpected shortfalls to be met by Ministry financial reserves.

Additionally, the IfE is audited annually as part of the Ministry for Education. Budget plans are implemented

and reviewed quarterly.

The IfE’s legal representative includes staff occupying headship positions and all other persons are employed

within the IfE according to their competences, qualifications and experience within the education sector.

These persons are exposed to internal as well as external monitoring and regular employment reviews. The

output of all staff is clearly requested and followed up via regular staff meetings. During 2020, all staff were

encouraged to attend continuous professional development sessions. These included sessions delivered by

the IPS (Institute for Public Service) and the Training & Development Department within the Office of the Prime

Minister. Meetings and exchanges were held regularly both at peer level as well as at Ministry levels.

•.Design and Approval of Courses

All accredited courses offered by the IfE are recognised and pegged to the Malta Qualifications Framework

(MQF) since all courses are accredited by NCFHE. The workload for each course is in ECTS. The courses

are learning outcome based and each course description includes specific and defined knowledge, skills

and competences that the course participant would gain after the successful completion of the course.

The adoption of this approach focuses on student-centred learning which shifts the activity on the course

participant and away from the lecturer. This means that course participants should be actively involved in

the planning and management of their own learning and take more responsibility for this process as they

progressively develop as independent learners. This produces an automatic focus on the design of effective

learning environments and how learners learn. Thus, there is a cascade effect that links the use of learning

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outcomes, the selection of appropriate teaching strategies, and the development of suitable assessment

techniques.

The Senior Manager Quality Assurance and the Manager Internal Evaluation and Internship ensured that

learning dynamics are appropriate for every course, mainly through lecture observations. They also ensured

that lecturers were fully trained to utilise different and appropriate teaching, learning and assessment

methodologies during courses. The IfE is equipped with physical and online libraries namely; ProQuest, Sage

and EBSCO, which provide a model for inquiry learning and building knowledge and confidence in seeking and

processing information for all course participants and lecturers. Through the online library, course participants

and lecturers accessed a vast range of journals, eBooks and case studies. The IfE’s libraries are a fundamental

resource for supporting the course participants’ learning, and is also a key support for all lecturers. Besides

enhancing reflection and encouraging collaborative learning and the sharing of ideas, the libraries are pivotal

to developing 21st century learners.

The feedback forms, which were updated in 2020, were sent to course participants after each module in order

to improve their learning experience. The IfE also gathered first-hand feedback for long courses during midcourse

feedback sessions, which also proved to be critical in enhancing the course participants’ professional

learning experience. External stakeholders which include the Directorates, Colleges and Schools were also

involved through regular meetings and their feedback on the ongoing courses is highly valued by the IfE.

Consequently, changes to improve the quality of the courses are implemented in a timely manner to make

sure that they are effective.

Schools undergo a yearly internal review through the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education

(DQSE) within the Ministry for Education and Employment to identify key areas. Once identified, action plans

are developed in order to implement a number of strategies that enhance learning. The schools identify the

continuing professional development support required through the questionnaires administered during the

internal review. Subsequently, they inform the IfE about their needs, after which both collaborate together to

create a plan of action. The IfE then provides Professional Development (PD) Experts to address these action

plans by providing support to schools as well as the necessary PD sessions.

•.Course Participant-Centred Learning,

Teaching and Assessment

The IfE’s pledge is to provide high quality teaching, learning and assessment to enable all course participants

to achieve their full potential. This is attained through: high quality teaching and learning opportunities,

rigorous assessment and feedback, as well as the sharing of good practice. The IfE’s ‘Teaching, Learning and

Assessment Policy and Procedures’ provides an effective framework for the delivery of high quality teaching,

learning and assessment. This policy relates to all the IfE staff engaged in facilitating, supporting and managing

learning. It applies to all learning courses offered through the IfE, irrespective of: type of activity, place of

delivery, learning environment, level or the duration of the course.

Throughout 2020, the IfE adopted a set of diverse assessment tools and utilised assessment to understand

and support learning. It also used learner information to improve teaching methods as these are critical in

the enhancement of the course participants’ learning experience. Assessment at the IfE was coherent with

the objectives of what is taught and learnt. Lecturers were encouraged to use a variety of strategies and

tasks to assess and permit a range of different learning outcomes as well as several perspectives of learning

to be facilitated and acknowledged. Lecturers were encouraged to take on board strategies such as self and

peer-assessment to increase learners’ metacognitive abilities so that learners can take control and manage

their own learning. Lecturers were also encouraged to provide formative feedback in the form of comments

on quality and advice on how to improve. The provision of quality feedback is an essential part of effective

learning as it gives clear guidance to course participants on how to improve their learning. When course

participants are provided with quality feedback and are given the opportunity to act upon it, learning is

enhanced, and assessment performance is improved.

In 2020, the IfE continued to implement a rigorous policy against plagiarism and academic fraud: Academic

Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy and Procedures. The IfE uses a sophisticated detection system (Turnitin®)

to scan work for evidence of plagiarism. This system has access to billions of sources worldwide (websites,

20


journals etc.) as well as work previously submitted to the IfE and other institutions and universities. This

system can assist the lecturers in ensuring that course participants do not commit any form of academic

dishonesty. Any cases of plagiarism and academic fraud were investigated by the Disciplinary Committee.

All lecturers and academic staff at the IfE were advised to differentiate assessment strategies as well as tasks

and use them to cater for the course participants’ diverse learning needs. This corroborates with the National

Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE, 2015) and Malta Referencing Report

(2016). Basically, educators at the IfE were always advised to use the information obtained to adapt their

teaching methods to the needs of the course participants, and to change the traditional form of assessment

to a more learner-centred and formative one.

Throughout 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IfE offered all of its courses online. Course participants

were empowered through synchronous/asynchronous learning in a number of ways. They were free to access

materials whenever and wherever they wanted, using a system they were comfortable with. This flexibility

allowed course participants to learn in a way in which they found to be successful. They were empowered

to make choices on how to explore content which is designed to accommodate different learning styles. For

instance, a course participant could watch a video lecture if they prefer visual learning, listen to the same

lecture while they were driving or exercising if they prefer audio, or even read the transcript if text learning is

their preference.

Teaching staff were advised that the pedagogical techniques employed in synchronous/asynchronous learning

ideally should:

• Optimise course participant engagement and success;

• Foster interaction between course participants and content, other course participants, teachers, and

outside experts;

• Facilitate learning by providing intellectual stimulation, salient questions, ethical options, and resources

for further inquiry;

• Offer ways to sort out, recognise, and enhance course participants’ unique qualities, interests and skills;

• Allow for critical and reflective thinking, real-world application of concepts and skills, as well as encourage

additional dialogue and the seeking of assistance.

A constructivist, social, and collaborative learning paradigm was employed with course participants in

synchronous/asynchronous learning by lecturing staff in the application of research-based pedagogical

techniques through the effective incorporation of various online learning tools.

The IfE recognises that course participants may suffer from a sudden illness or other serious and unforeseen

event, or even a set of circumstances which adversely affects their ability to complete an assessment or

which have a negative impact on the results they obtain for an assessment. In such cases, the extenuating

circumstances regulations and procedures (Extenuating Circumstances Policy) were applied. These regulations

are designed to ensure the fair and consistent treatment of all course participants. The IfE also recognises that

situations may arise when a course participant may want to voluntarily interrupt his or her academic studies.

During 2020, the IfE handled reasonable requests for leaves in a responsible manner. The IfE will uphold this

commitment during 2021.

Course participants who had any kind of appeal regarding their assessment/s were first required to discuss

the matter with their lecturer in an endeavour to resolve the matter satisfactorily and amicably as indicated in

the Appeals Policy and Procedures.

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•.Course Participant Admission, Progression,

Recognition and Certification

In order to be eligible for admission to a course at the IfE, a candidate has to satisfy both the General Entrance

Requirements and the requirements for entry to the particular course as indicated in the course outline

available on the IfE’s website. During 2020, the vetting of all applications (stand-alone modules, short courses,

Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) submitted by prospective course participants was carried out by the IfE’s

Admissions Board, which formed a collective judgment on whether or not to approve the application or seek

further information from the applicant. The Admissions Board indicated its recommendations based on the

eligibility criteria listed in the course outline.

During 2020, the IfE recognised and accredited prior learning as per the IfE’s Recognition of Prior Learning

Policy and Procedures. Through this process, credits may be awarded for formal, informal/non-formal learning

undertaken prior to the commencement of a course offered by the IfE or learning completed together with,

but not as part of the IfE’s course which a course participant would have applied or be registered for.

The IfE also applied the maturity clause for the Bachelor of Education degree. This clause permitted applicants

who satisfied the entry requirement together with the conditions set out in the Admissions Regulations

to apply for consideration to participate in a course as a mature student. Applicants who apply under the

maturity clause have to demonstrate academic potential and that they have gained academically relevant

knowledge and workplace experience. Applicants are required to sit for an interview where they need to

present a portfolio including: full details of their career, a document outlining their knowledge development,

employment record, certificates, documents and references. The portfolio also needs to include past academic

assignments or documents/reports written by the applicant during employment. Following the interview, the

Admissions Board may require candidates to undertake additional studies as a condition for their acceptance.

The Board may even recommend an alternative programme where it considers that to be appropriate.

The IfE seeks to provide a learning environment designed to help course participants achieve their fullest

academic potential and to maximise the availability of places for course participants who actively engage with

their studies. The Course Participants’ Progression and Certification Policy highlights the Institute’s commitment

to provide support in order to assist course participants to complete the course in which they would have

enrolled. The IfE has fair, transparent and effective processes to monitor course participant progression, to

identify course participants who may need additional assistance, and to enable the certification of successful

course participants. These processes include, but are not limited to: routine attendance audits and lecturers

monitoring course participant performance during lectures. Moreover, monitoring also takes place at the end

of the teaching period or module to review course participant grade outcomes and to identify any progression

issues for course participants who failed to meet course progression requirements. As previously outlined, it

is the responsibility of each lecturer to monitor the progress of course participants in the relevant module(s)

they are responsible for and it is the responsibility of the Course Co-ordinator to monitor the progress of

course participants in the programmes of study she/he is responsible for. After each relevant period of study

or module, progression is evaluated to ensure that the course participant is in a position to finish the course

within the expected duration. After the publication of results for each period of study, the Lecturer referred

the case of any course participant who had failed to meet the course progress requirements to the Course Coordinator

and the Manager Centre Administrator. The Course Co-ordinators were also responsible to provide

academic advice and guidance to course participants. The IfE believes that academic advising and guidance is

an important opportunity to exchange information designed to help course participants understand options,

determine resources and, when necessary, identify alternatives.

The Manager Centre Administrator was responsible for ensuring the publication of official timetables, the

authorisation of, and the release of official results. Each course participant receives the assignment grade

with feedback. Results in individual assessments and grades awarded in a module/study unit published on the

IfE’s portal. No course participant’s grade or mark was lowered after it had been released, except in the case

of proven academic misconduct by the course participant or an administrative error. Upon successful course

completion, course participants received written confirmation of the level, amount of credit, and the status

of qualifications with reference to achieved learning outcomes in line with NCFHE regulations. This was done

through the provision of a certificate together with a Europass Diploma Supplement.

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23


•.Teaching Staff

The recruitment of the IfE’s teaching staff/lecturers on a contract for service involved a transparent process.

Lecturers were selected by a Selection Board and they were required to satisfy the requirements indicated

in the specific expression of interest. Teaching staff/lecturers who were initially recruited as Learning

Programme Development Experts (LPDEs) first developed separate individual modules as indicated in the

Course Framework in the format required by the NCFHE Application Form for the Accreditation of Education

Programmes, under the supervision of the IfE. This work was carried out for every module within the course.

The LPDEs ensured that the work being developed was relevant to the Maltese educational context in line with

Government policy. The separate modules were then presented to NCFHE for validation and accreditation.

The LPDEs then performed the necessary amendments as indicated in the feedback sent by NCFHE validators

within the timeframe indicated. The LPDEs, who then became the teaching staff/lecturers, delivered the

number of contact hours of professional learning per module as outlined in the Course Framework while

providing guidance throughout the self-study hours through e-mails.

The courses that were delivered during 2020 were monitored in order to assess and improve their quality.

This monitoring was carried out by the Senior Manager Quality Assurance and Manager Internal Evaluation

and Internship who ensured the competence and effectiveness of the IfE’s teaching staff by monitoring

that the teaching staff/lecturers had the competences as required by the validated course and established

feedback procedures during and after every course. Teaching staff/lecturers were given written feedback

about any observed lecture. The monitoring and evaluation of the lecturers’ quality of delivery at the IfE

is intended to ensure that the interests of the course participants come first. Additionally, lecturers are

assessed on whether the module objectives and outcomes are being met, whether the learning outcomes,

teaching and assessment are aligned, and whether the performance of course participants in assessment is

up to the required standards. Other indicators of the lecturer’s performance include the ownership of the

learning process by course participants, the achievement indicators of course participants with formalised

mechanisms for record keeping and follow-up interventions, and the regular course participant feedback on

teaching effectiveness. Lecturers are well informed on the fact that strong module content is also a critical

component in the teaching and learning process. Strong module content encompasses comprehensive and

relevant course material, augmented by the thoughtful deployment of case studies, examples and classroom

discussions and workshops.

The IfE greatly encouraged teaching staff/lecturers to be aware of up-to-date teaching and learning

methodologies as well as of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities. In the context of

an educational institution, CPD is increasingly seen as a requirement rather than an option. While lecturers

do need to keep abreast with updates and development in their own specific fields of expertise, they are

simultaneously expected to enhance their knowledge and skills in teaching and learning approaches, as well

as managerial and leadership skills in an academic setting. The IfE firmly believes that CPD in its broadest

sense encompasses all those activities that help teaching staff/lecturers to improve their capacity to become

more effective instructors, as well as perform other parts of their multifaceted tasks. The IfE is therefore

committed to provide teaching staff/lecturers with regular CPD opportunities such as in-house workshops,

discussions with other professionals in their field, attending and presenting in seminars and conferences

(local and abroad), participating in accredited and non-accredited courses (local and abroad), phase sessions,

CoPE Sessions organised by the IfE etc. Teaching staff/lecturers were strongly encouraged to make use of the

physical and online libraries (ProQuest, Sage, EBSCO, Alexander Street) through which a vast range of journals,

eBooks and case studies can be accessed. All teaching staff/lecturers should be committed to continuous

improvement.

The IfE believes that research and education go hand-in-hand. Thus, it provides opportunities for its teaching

staff to research and publish their own works. In 2020, the Research Department launched the Malta Journal

of Education, which is an annual refereed journal published by the IfE highlighting recent research in the field

of education and teacher training and its relevance for policy and implementation.

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•.Learning Resources and Course Participant Support

The IfE manages its resources in an ethical manner and ensures effective structures of enterprise risk

management, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and contingency management. The IfE is equipped

with all the required learning facilities and resources. The IfE boasts of a Learning Management System

(LMS) which facilitates data gathering from an administrative point of view whilst it also provides tools and

resources to course participants. Within its interface, the LMS has an integrated video conferencing tool;

Blackboard Collaborate, and a virtual library through which a vast range of journals, eBooks and case studies

can be accessed. The LMS also provides an opportunity for lecturing staff to make asynchronous resources

available for course participants per module.

The IfE is also equipped with a physical library, where new books are added regularly according to the suggested

reading list provided by the LPDEs; wireless internet access; and interactive whiteboards which are available in

each lecture room. The IfE’s facilities are constructed and maintained in accordance with legal requirements to

ensure access, safety, security, and a healthy environment with consideration for environmental and ecological

concerns.

Throughout 2020, course participants had access to academic tutors via email, a service intended to provide

an effective means to providing support whenever required. Support and guidance to course participants was

also provided by the Course Co-ordinators and the Manager Centre Administrator.

Flexible learning has implications for the IfE’s allocation and use of resources. In particular, attention was

paid to support staff and course participants and to ensure the provision of appropriate technical support. To

adequately resource flexible learning initiatives, the IfE:

• Ensured the availability of appropriate learning support services, as mentioned above, to make appropriate

resource materials available;

• Considered, in the process of developing flexible courses, issues of workload and the implications of

programme participation for academic staff;

• Considered the ways in which services provided by different units within the IfE can support flexible

learning initiatives and support the course participants;

• Ensured appropriate structures and processes are in place to support the development of flexible learning

initiatives.

The IfE’s Employee Grievance Policy and Procedures provides for the fair redress of grievances. Terms of

employment are clear and compensation is adequate to ensure that the institution can attract and retain

qualified administrators, employees, and staff. The IfE employs effective procedures for the regular evaluation

of all personnel. The IfE ensures sufficient opportunities for continuous professional development for

administrators, employees, and staff.

The IfE is an academic community committed to fostering intellectual inquiry in a climate of academic

freedom and integrity. Its academic staff are expected to uphold these principles and to exhibit tolerance and

respect for others. Accordingly, as outlined in the Course Participants’ Conduct Policy and Procedures, the IfE

condemns all forms of misconduct and works incessantly to ensure that its course participants are accorded

tolerance, dignity and respect. In case of serious matters, such as when the course participant feels that there

has been a breach of protocol, acts of discrimination or unfair treatment by academic and/or administrative

staff, cases are brought to the IfE’s Disciplinary Committee which assesses the case and decides on a plan of

action. The course participant may be called to appear before the Board at some stage during the investigation.

The IfE is continuously updating its policies to take into consideration all course participants’ needs in

order to ensure that every course participant is academically successful and personally fulfilled and that no

discrimination and/or difficulties are encountered, especially by vulnerable groups such as course participants

with disabilities (Equal Opportunities Policy).

The IfE demonstrates the effectiveness of its policies and procedures by ensuring the reliability of its

technology systems, the integrity and security of data, and the privacy of individuals. The IfE establishes and

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

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applies clear policies and procedures as well as monitors and responds to illegal or inappropriate uses of its

technology systems and resources. This is emphasised in the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

The IfE regularly updates planning and recovery policies and procedures.

•.Information Management

As a responsible institution, the IfE believes it has a duty to follow-up promptly on matters of non-attendance

so that course participants can be supported and given every opportunity to succeed. The IfE, for its part, will

continue to build excellence in academic practice and course participant engagement across the institution

in order to provide a friendly and welcoming learning community.

Course participation, retention and success rates were monitored through the portal by the Course Coordinators

and the Manager Centre Administrator together with the IfE’s Admissions Department. As indicated

in the Attendance Policy and Procedures, course participants were obliged to attend at least 80% of a course

to be eligible for the final assessment.

•.Public Information

The Public Information Policy highlights the IfE’s commitment to publishing information that is accurate

and fair. The IfE’s aims to enable both internal and external audiences to gain an accurate impression of the

organisation in order to make informed decisions and embrace the equality of opportunity for all.

The IfE’s website provides readily available information on selection criteria, main objectives, learning outcomes,

MQF level, total hours of learning, number of ECTSs, teaching methodologies, assessment procedures and

suggested readings, all of which are included in every study unit/module description available on the IfE’s

website and Portal. Letter Circulars are also sent to all educators to inform them about all the IfE’s courses.

Throughout 2020, the IfE also advertised its courses through; the IfE’s page on Facebook; media adverts and

through the Prospectus 2020-2021.

All courses were accredited in ECTS and were in full accordance with the Malta Qualifications Framework and

the European Qualifications Framework. Mid-course feedback sessions and course participant questionnaires

as aforementioned were used to verify that the actual workload is in accordance with the one indicated in the

description in order to ensure that the courses were fully NCFHE compliant.

•.On-going Monitoring and Periodic Review of Courses

As stipulated in the Policy for Quality Assurance and Enhancement, the IfE adopts the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’

Quality Cycle approach, which ensures the effective implementation of its quality management system. This

is primarily done by: planning the required changes through the setting of strategic and quality objectives,

designing and developing accredited courses and developing course participant support services (Plan); making

the changes (Do); analysing the results of strategic objectives, internal and external feedback, internal and

external auditing, and conducting a management review that determines whether the implemented changes

had the desired effect (Check or study); as well as institutionalising the changes (Act).

The IfE reviewed courses and individual study units/modules continuously to be in line with the Directorates,

Colleges and Schools’ educational needs. The course participants’ feedback was taken into consideration

as part of the review process. Feedback was analysed by the IfE’s Academic Board. Training Needs Analysis

and School Development Plans as well as collaboration with the Quality Assurance Department within the

Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education within the Ministry for Education and Employment is

highly valued and is also taken into consideration when designing and reviewing the courses, modules/study

units. The IfE ensured that the courses are of quality in terms of content, progression and delivery, that

the assessment system was fair and was operated equitably, and that the awards were of an appropriate

standard, nationally and internationally. Through these reviews, the IfE’s courses will continue to offer course

participants learning experiences that are transformational, inspiring and intellectually challenging.

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•.Micro-placements in the Industry

Throughout 2020, the Institute established a set of procedures to cater for the micro-placement modules

within the Bachelor of Education and Master of Education. The work focused on setting up the structures for

the micro-placement modules to run in July 2021. The main purpose of the micro-placement modules is to

create a bridge between the world of work and the education sector. Therefore, the main purpose is to provide

future educators with a hands-on experience within the industry. With this project in mind, the Institute

moved away from the traditional concept of viewing the industry as a stakeholder, instead perceiving the

industry as a shareholder within the educational sphere, and therefore a ‘contributor’.

The work undertaken included the development of a section on the Institute’s website to provide readily

available information for course participants and to contributors wishing to host course participants for

placements. This section provides information for course participants who would like to apply for a placement,

as well as information for stakeholders to become contributors, who will then host our course participants for

placements. The documentation guiding the micro-placement procedures include:

• The Micro-Placement Policy;

• The Micro-Placement: Couse Participants’ Handbook;

• The Micro-Placement: Contributors’ Handbook;

• The Contributor’s Form;

• The Course Participants Interest Form.

The process for course participants and contributors to apply for a micro-placement is completely online.

In 2020, the IfE attracted thirty (33) contributors who committed to have our course participants on

placements. This will facilitate the process for our course participants to select their micro-placement from

our Contributor’s List:

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28


ADMINISTRATION

& HUMAN

RESOURCES

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29


•.Overview

The year that just went by was a year like no other. Amidst the challenges and uncertainty created by the

COVID-19 pandemic, IfE’s administration department had to remain committed to protect both the staff and

the course participants while ensuring that operations continued. To do this, we first had to ensure that all the

Health and Safety measures were in place and adhered too. Then came the most challenging decision we had

to take: to cancel all our events. Some of these events had been planned months before, including the Award

Ceremony that was scheduled to take place in March, April’s team building event, May’s open day, and June’s

symposium. Within the pandemic context, we had to experiment by shifting these events from physical to

online format. Was this the right move? That’s a definite yes, as with the help of all the staff and our marketing

agency, all online events were a huge success.

While we were shifting all events online, we also had to make plans to continue our operations from

home. Throughout 2020, our department recruited three new employees, two administrative officers and a

procurement manager. Two of these recruits started their employment while working remotely, so even their

training had to be done via online meetings and this was quite challenging.

Working from home during COVID-19 - IfE’s online weekly staff meetings

IfE’s Health & Safety

Guidelines for COVID-19,

which can be accessed

from our website

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Notwithstanding all these difficulties, 2020 was also a huge year for the Institute. We finalised the refurbishment

of our offices by adding new furniture and paintings in each room. Each employee was encouraged to design

his/her own office according to their likings, including acquiring paintings from different local artists. We

also added outdoor furniture that can be used by our staff as a recreational area and as a working space for

those who wish to work in an open space. We are also in the process of finalising two major refurbishment

projects: the conference rooms for which the furniture is already available, and the embellishment of all our

classrooms. The latter project will include adding feature walls, photos featuring Maltese landscapes and

installing new interactive panels.

Offices and premises embellished by paintings and pictures by different local artists

Classes embellished with photos taken from the Pembroke Area

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Two other new projects that were managed by our department during 2020 were the library and the archives

room. The latter will serve the purpose of storing and retrieving registered files that require lifetime storage

and other documents that need to be stored until their destruction date is due. The room was set up to store

loads of materials while ensuring efficiency and security. The second project is the library. At the moment, we

already have above 1,000 books which can be rented. Each book is carefully selected by our lectures and these

are all accessible to our course participants and lecturing staff.

The Archives Room

The Library

All of our lives changed once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, plans changed or were completely cancelled but

our goals were never put aside. Many changes had to occur, especially in the way we work, live and interact

with each other. Yet somehow, we managed to come out stronger than before. This crisis has brought out

the best qualities in our team as it has taught us that if we work together, we can overcome any obstacle.

Unfortunately, the situation is far from over and for now, all we can do is continue doing the best we can, learn

new ways of doing things and work around the drastic changes as they come up. In the past, we used to have

everything planned months in advance, but now, we need to live day by day and try to minimise the negative

impacts as much as possible. Our main goal remains: to ensure that we give the best experience to our course

participants while keeping everyone safe.

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• Premises

For 2020, the Administration Department

had planned to refurbish and embellish

the Institute’s main areas including all

classrooms. Following the restrictions and

tight schedule we had, we still took advantage

of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus, it was time to revamp our offices!

Every office took the initiative to look for

local artists and choose paintings for their

own office. New furniture was also brought in as previously, the majority of the offices had furniture that had

been brought in from the IfE’s prior premises. Now that the IfE was increasing its workforce, it needed more

furniture. This also included outdoor area furniture, which was placed in the newly refurbished back terrace,

as well as furniture for the conference rooms.

Offices with New Furniture

Outdoor Area, Back Terrace

The main entrance and the conference room C1 are another two main areas that were refurbished. Now, there

are two conference rooms which can be interconnected as one. However, we kept and refurbished the old

doors of these two conference rooms so that we can still use them as two separate conference rooms.

Refurbishment process of Conference Room C1 and Main Entrance

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In 2020, all lectures were held online

due to COVID-19 pandemic, and

thus, we were able to paint all six

classrooms. We fully refurbished three

other rooms and converted them into

classrooms. We also converted the

chapel into a multi-faith room. In

addition to this, we installed a ramp to

make our premises more accessible

and installed a bicycle parking rack to

encourage our staff and students to

use their bikes instead of their cars.

In 2021, we will do further embellishment within the premises whilst

also keeping in mind that the aims of such projects is improve the

Institute’s operations.

Chapel Room Refurbishment

•.Procurement & Tenders

Throughout 2020, the Institute strengthened its Procurement Department with the addition of a new

Procurement Manager. Throughout the year, we launched a number of new procurement cycles and prepared

for the ones scheduled in 2021.

Among the procurement cycles awarded in 2020, the Institute concluded a public service contract for

marketing services, architect services, and procured new IT equipment. As a result of the latter, the Institute

is now equipped with educational robotics and virtual reality devices to be used in our courses. Moreover,

our classrooms are now fitted with new interactive flat panels incorporating the latest technologies. Our

conference rooms have also been equipped with a brand-new audio system, conference tables and chairs.

We are also in the final stages of concluding a public service contract for the provision of security and

receptionist services.

Looking ahead, work has already started on new procurement cycles aimed to further invest in our main

premises, making them safer and improving energy performance in line with our environmental commitments.

•.Marketing

In 2020, the IfE began working with a marketing company, Vsquared, to create a marketing strategy and to

further define the brand. The collaboration started in March, with the main campaign taking place during

the launch of the IfE prospectus 2020-2021. The key campaigns that were carried from the start of this

collaboration include:

• Launching the IfE Prospectus 2020-2021;

• Promoting accredited and non-accredited courses offered by the IfE;

• Promoting expression of interests available at IfE;

• Launching applications for scholastic year 2020-2021;

• Online live open day session done via the Institute’s portal;

• Creating awareness via online Q&A session on Facebook;

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• Videos about the IfE;

• Testimonials from our course participants;

• The first annual online symposium titled: Internationalisation and Multiculturalism in Maltese Education

and Society;

• The launch of micro-placements in collaboration with business owners who are willing to host our course

participants within their workplace;

• LinkedIn campaign about micro-placements;

• Video message from the CEO about the IfE and what the Institute stands for;

• Promoting teaching as a profession.

The afore-mentioned campaigns included various artworks, videos and adverts on both online and television

platforms. The collaboration between the IfE and Vsquared will continue throughout 2021.

The following are some of the artworks used to promote the campaigns:

Various artworks created by VSquared to promote our courses & the IfE

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•.Events & Press Launches

The year 2020 was extremely challenging for event organisation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many events

which are usually held at the IfE had to be postponed or cancelled. The events that could be organised

virtually took place just the same, but the events that could not be virtually organised had to be cancelled for

everyone’s safety.

For example, the 2020 award ceremonies scheduled for 27th March and 23rd October were both cancelled.

Meanwhile, the events that were held virtually were: Parents and Educators Sessions, Prospectus Launch, FAQ

for the Open Day, the Open Day, Online Symposium and the Strategic Plan for IfE covering 10 years 2020-2030.

EDUCATOR AND PARENTAL/GUARDIAN SESSIONS

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which struck the

Maltese Islands in March 2020, all courses at the

IfE shifted to online delivery since the IfE was

already prepared with the appropriate software to

be able to provide the courses online. The online

courses resulted in a huge success throughout the

year and the amount of courses delivered at the

IfE increased extensively. Due to the pandemic

and with more people remaining in their homes,

people had more free time available and there

was a general eagerness from the general public

for online courses. Thus, the IfE began providing

both educators and parents/guardians with

different synchronous/asynchronous sessions.

These courses are 2-hour sessions and initially,

were intended to take place till the end of June

2020. However, more sessions were created,

covering the period till September 2020 and they

are now ongoing and scheduled until June 2021.

These sessions turned out to be very popular

and in April, the IfE received more than 1,300

applications. Educators benefitted from the

synchronous sessions provided to them since

these sessions can form part of the Accelerated

Progression Scheme. Certificates of attendance

were issued for educators who fully followed

the sessions provided. More information can be

accessed on the IfE website for all courses as

well as parental/guardian and educator sessions.

These sessions were launched during a press

event which was held on 17th April 2020 at

MEDE, Floriana.

Press launch for the educator and parental/guardian sessions

PROSPECTUS LAUNCH

The prospectus launch took place on 8th May 2020 during a press release for which both the former Minister

for Education, Hon. Dr Owen Bonnici M.P and Dr Frank Fabri, Permanent Secretary were in attendance. The

new courses offered as from October 2020 were: M. Ed. Ethics, B. Ed Physical Education, B. Ed Biology, PGCE

in Fashion and Textiles, Hospitality and Agribusiness. The much awaited Master’s Degree in Mathematics and

Engineering Technology were also launched this year.

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Press launch for the prospectus

FAQ SESSIONS AND VIRTUAL OPEN DAY

The FAQ session was held on 11th May 2020 and was organised in preparation for the opening of applications,

which occurred on 20th May 2020. For 2020, the FAQ sessions were held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Open Day, which was also held virtually on 15th May 2020, four (4) question and answer sessions were

organised concerning Master’s/PGCE, Bachelor’s, MAEL and general queries. Prospective course participants

were invited to forward their questions regarding IfE qualification courses. All queries were answered by the

IfE programmes staff accordingly.

FAQ sessions held online

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THE 1 ST ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM – INTERNATIONALISATION AND MULTICULTURALISM

IN MALTESE EDUCATION SOCIETY

Journal for the 1 st Annual Symposium

The first Annual Symposium was held virtually on the 16

and 17th September 2020. The Symposium served as an

opportunity for Master and Doctoral graduates as well

as Doctoral candidates and researchers to present their

recent work on the theme and to create synergies between

educators and policy makers. Maltese and foreign researchers

presented their research findings to contribute to the

further development of the Maltese Education sector. The

journal: Internationalisation and Multiculturalism in Maltese

Education Society was published for this event. This journal

can also be accessed as a soft copy on the IfE’s website. The

Symposium was initially going to take place on the 26th June

2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The

Symposium was a great success and preparations immediately

began after the first symposium for the second symposium,

which will be held in 2021.

STRATEGIC PLAN 2020-2030

The Strategic Plan for IfE covering the years 2020-2030 was organised virtually amongst IfE staff in two (2)

sessions. The first session took place on Wednesday 14th October and the second session took place on

Tuesday 27th October 2020. During the sessions, objectives, priorities and key performance indicators were

discussed in relation to the four (4) topics of the strategic plan:

• Teaching, Learning and Assessment;

• Research and Innovation;

• Infrastructure and Environment/Sustainable Environment;

• Technology.

During the sessions, the IfE Mission Statement was also analysed and revised together with the Core Values.

Screenshot during the Strategic Plan 2020-2030

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•.Health and Safety

The Institute for Education is committed to maintaining

a safe environment with strict adherence to health and

safety regulations and guidelines. To achieve this, the

Institute has been responsible for preparing, implementing

and staying abreast with the Institute’s coordination of the

health and safety project which ranges from the upkeep

of the premises, to the personal health and wellbeing of

the team, third party workers and external stakeholders. In

order to create a clearly-defined organisational structure, a

Health and Safety Committee (as published on the Institute

for Education’s website in Boards and Committees’ section)

was established with a newly-nominated Chairperson, 4

(four) Board Members and a Secretary (non-voting). The

respective Committee is vested with the responsibility

of identifying and discussing any potential risk hazards,

introducing new policies and updating standards for

staff training. The scope of setting up this organisational

modality is to ultimately create a joint committee that

encourages active discussions with all members of staff. The adoption of such a work approach is better

suited to find effective solutions. It instils a sense of engagement and motivation for all members of staff.

Moreover, members of staff were internally appointed to conduct health and safety checks and controls within

the premises, and to act as a communication point with the Institute’s team, third party workers and external

stakeholders. To ensure that all employees feel confident and that they are equipped with a good working

knowledge related to Health and Safety, all members of staff are encouraged to avail themselves of training

opportunities for their own education and for continuous professional development.

Throughout 2020, the Institute as a whole strove to maintain open communication channels by inspiring

cooperation, excellence, respect and teamwork as part of its culture of safety. Dissemination of important

instructions in a timely manner to all members of staff, sub-contracted workers, as well as external

stakeholders was prioritised to implement a more effective communication strategy, especially amidst the

COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak. Despite the circumstances, this was successfully achieved thanks to a

collective brainstorming effort that anticipated what would need to be done to guarantee and operate in a

safe workplace. Following the team collaboration, the necessary procurement of items, equipment or delivery

of service was co-ordinated by the Administration Department to safeguard every individual’s health and

personal wellbeing.

The preventive measures implemented against the transmission of COVID-19

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Below is an overview of all the work conducted throughout 2020 and the key tasks currently in the pipeline

for 2021.

The Preventive Measures implemented against the transmission of COVID-19 were the following:

• Information posters and instructions;

• Health and Safety Guidelines for COVID-19 – Third party workers and visitors;

• Standard Operating Procedure for members of staff when returning to workplace;

• COVID-19 Risk Assessment of premises;

• X1 Supply of face-shields to each member of staff;

• X1 Supply of Hand Sanitiser to each member of staff;

• X1 Provision of anti-bacterial wipes to each member of staff and around common areas;

• X8 Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispensers around common and most prominent areas within premises;

• X2 three-layered fabric face masks to each member of staff;

• Installation of acrylic sneeze screen dividers (perspex) on the reception and library desks;

• Fumigation and Decontamination Service – (on emergency call in case their services would be required).

The upkeep of premises as per the Institute’s Risk Assessment as well as the actions and measures taken

were the following:

• Policies and Procedures;

• Accident Reporting Procedure;

• Drawing up of a written emergency evacuation procedure;

• Inspection testing and maintenance of equipment and/or items including fire extinguishers, A/C units,

intruder alarm system, water tank, legionella and microbiological/chemical analysis;

• Continual installation, maintenance and/or upgrading of necessary equipment and items asl well as signs

related to emergency evacuation, first aid boxes, water supply, water tank and pest control;

• Procurement of items for the emergency evacuation procedure;

• Ramp for inclusion of accessibility inside the premises.

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Upkeep of premises as per the Institute’s risk assessment, actions and measures

For training, development and provision of check-ups to

Members of Staff, this the plan for the upcoming year.

These had to be postponed for the time-being in view of

the COVID-19 situation:

• Health and Safety Representative Course;

• Health and Safety Officer Course;

• First Aid Course;

• Fire Warden Course;

• Health and Safety Awareness Course;

• Fire Evacuation Officer Course;

• Fire Drill Trial Training;

• VDU Eye Test;

• Computer Desk Assessment.

•.Staff Training

As part of Continuous Professional Development, the IfE encourages its employees to attend courses,

conferences and seminars that are relevant to their roles. This will help the team stay abreast with the ongoing

developments within the education sector. Attending such events offers a brilliant opportunity to enhance

knowledge, skills and experience, gain new friendships, and bring helpful and valuable information back to the

Institute. Table 1 displays the titles of all local and international forums, courses, seminars and conferences

attended by the IfE staff throughout 2020.

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ORGANISATION

NAME OF EVENT

Institute for Education

Masters in Applied Educational Leadership

Institute for Public Services

Strategic Change Management

Public Administration Act

Government Policies - The Making and Evaluation Process

Management Tool Kit

ICT & Business

Data Protection

Disciplinary Procedures

Interpersonal Skills

Emotional Intelligence at Work

Managing a Diverse Workforce: Wellbeing Issues

Industrial Relations

PSMC - An Overview

ECDL - Power Point

Corporate Values

Entry to Senior Management Programme: Module 2 - Data

Protection

Entry to Senior Management Programme: Module 4 - National

Programme Procedures

Entry to Senior Management Programme: Interpersonal Skills

Procurement by Contracting Authorities

Travel Regulations and Procedures

Decision Making in the EU

Employee Support Programme

National Commission for Further

and Highter Education

Malta Libraries

Shireburn

Business Leaders Malta

ConServ

Street HR

Ice Malta

(Institute for Computer Education)

Self-Care and Well-Being in Time of Change

Digital Education and Recognition of Prior Learning

Launching the MQF Impact Assessment Study

Circulation Course New Libraries - Vsmart

Indigo Payroll

Basic Accounting

Workers' Health and Safety Representative Course

HR GIG 5: Empowerment - Set No Limits

Programming Basics with Python Workshop

for Female Leaders

Richmond Foundation

Mental Health First Aid

Table 1: Organising entity and name of event attended by IfE staff throughout 2020

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•.Sponsorships

The IfE gives the opportunity to employees within the education sector to attend or organise seminars,

conferences and courses locally or abroad. This is done to enhance their personal and professional development.

Through these courses, conferences and seminars funded by the Institute, all educators have the opportunity

to reflect on learning, set goals, provide evidence of learning, give and receive feedback, analyse performances

and improve practice through self-assessment.

This year was different from others. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many funding applications were cancelled

or postponed to a later date by the applicants, especially those who had to attend conferences abroad and

for events were a large number of participants would be in attendance. Some of these seminars, courses and

conferences were shifted online and therefore, participants were still able to attend.

During 2020, a total of fourteen (14) participants attended an event that was hosted locally. The list of seminars,

courses and conferences attended by the sponsored participants is illustrated in Table 2. These participants

were chosen from various sectors within the education department.

Effective Strategic Coaching

Brief solution - Focused and Strategic Therapy with Families and Children Essentials

Bootcamp for Managers

Indigo Payroll

HR GIG 5

Table 2: List of seminars, courses and conferences attended by sponsored participants

The Institute also provides the opportunity to Directorates, Colleges and Schools to organise seminars,

courses and conferences. During 2020, the IfE sponsored five (5) events with a total of three hundred and

one (311) attendees. Three (3) out of the five (5) events included foreign speakers, who were invited to deliver

several training sessions. Table 3 illustrates the seminars, courses and conferences that were organised and

sponsored by IfE.

tikka Matematika 2020

Maths Learning Difficulties & Dyscalculia: Assessment & Intervention using the Dynamo Maths Programme

Managing challenging behavior during a challenging moment

Maths Mastery

1st Annual Symposium of the Institute for Education

Table 3: IfE sponsorships towards the organisation of seminars, courses and conferences

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•.Staff Team Building Events 1

PINK DAY FOR ACTION FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS FOUNDATION

On Tuesday 27 th October 2020, the Institute for Education had a dress-down day to commemorate Pink

October 2020. All members of staff were asked to wear a pink shirt or jersey and to contribute towards the

Pink October Awareness initiative. The fund-raising activity involved the sale of cupcakes. Donations were also

accepted.

Throughout the event, photos were taken by strictly adhering to the social and physical distancing measures

which were implemented by the relevant local and health authorities, and which were in effect during that

specific period. The first image shows the team’s support to Pink October’s annual, meaningful cause. The

second picture is a collage of screenshots while the third image is taken from a virtual event attended by the

Course Coordinators.

Pink October event held on 27 th October 2020

CHRISTMAS TEAM BUILDING EVENTS

The Institute believes in the importance of

organising staff team building events since

they serve as a good opportunity to build

new work relationships, as well as increase

trust and morale between colleagues. These

events highlight the concept that team

success (and eventually the Institute’s) should

be championed, especially when a group

of individuals are motivated to reach the

objectives together, rather than individually.

1

All internal staff team building events mentioned below were held by exercising continuous and rigorous physical and social distancing

measures in line with the national and international health authorities during the respective time.

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Christmas decorations being set up at IfE

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Most of the staff team building events which were planned for 2020, such as the one-day trip to Gozo, were

cancelled in light of the enforced lockdown period to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 virus. The first

event involved a staff team challenge in which everyone had to decorate their office for Christmas. The

challenge consisted of a secret judge who was internally selected to choose the best decorated office. It is

important to note that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, constant vigilance was maintained. The nature of

the organised activities were designed in a way that ensured rigorous physical and social distancing, including

the mandatory wearing of facemasks.

Best decorated office – Team building event

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The second event featured different activities in which physical and social distancing measures could be

practiced. These included quizzes, crosswords and even a treasure hunt to put the team’s general knowledge

to test. For the latter activity, the staff were split into groups of three (3) and each group then proceeded to

complete the treasure hunt outdoors, making the most out of the green areas surrounding the Institute.

Games organised during the Christmas event

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•.Human Resources Overview

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Human Resources Department focused its attention on fully utilising

the new portal functionality and to further the possibilities of transforming its processes via IT.

The IfE portal, although in its infancy, has provided HR with a multitude of automated functionalities which

helped the Institute and its clients to become more disciplined. This helped everyone cut down on the

unnecessary duplication of work, lessen paperwork and to refine HR processes.

Processes such as contracts management and letters of engagement are continuously being revised and

updated so that the system becomes more fine-tuned and reflects the IfE’s needs. This whole new shift has

given HR the added responsibility of managing and maintaining HR related registered files, which are open

for long periods of time. In this process, there are details need to be recorded and maintained, not only for

internal purposes, but also for the sake of external audit reviews.

•.Recruitment

To maximise the benefits of the portal, all available positions are uploaded on the portal and interested parties

may apply and upload all relevant documents in just a few minutes.

Selection is done swiftly and in accordance with the published criteria. Then, successful applicants receive

their contract, already approved from the Institute’s end via the portal. From here, applicants sign the contract

and re-upload it once again in the system. In this way, the process is leaner and paper usage is kept to a

minimum.

With respect to supporting the Programmes Unit, the HR Department issued hundreds of contracts and letters

of engagement to tutors on time, ensuring the smooth running and delivery of lectures.

The HR Department is also responsible and involved in developing and administering programmes that are

designed to increase the effectiveness of the Institute. This includes the entire spectrum of creating, managing,

and cultivating the employer-employee relationship.

•.Staff Wellness

As a small HR department, we take personal interest in addressing employee concerns/problems. The concerns

include a multitude of issues such as benefits, pay, employee private problems and so on.

We also assist in the recruitment of potential employees, oversee the engagement process, and provide new

employee orientation.

•.Human Resources Initiatives

On an organisational level, the HR Department was key in supporting and organising team functions, which led

to the establishment of new corporate values and an update to the IfE’s mission statement.

•.Plans and Projects for 2021

2021 will offer many challenges, including the shift towards a new payroll system, the delivery of well-being

courses and the publication of new policies, all of which will lead to better Institute function and the welfare

of our employees and collaborators.

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PROGRAMMES

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•.Overview

The Programmes Department is responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of

qualifications and awards offered by the Institute for Education. This department collaborates closely with

key experts and stakeholders within the education sector to ensure that programmes are current, relevant

and cater towards the professional training needs of the education sector. 2020 was marked by the ambitious

achievement of shifting all programmes and sessions online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the

support of the Coordination team, the commitment of its lecturers and the Institute’s tools that made it ready

to shift online, course participants’ studies remained uninterrupted with the exception of practicums, which

were naturally postponed. Throughout the year, the Programmes Department also worked to develop further

qualifications and awards delivered partially or fully online. These include undergraduate and postgraduate

initial teacher training qualifications as well as short programmes and stand-alone modules which educators

may follow as part of their professional development. In addition, the Programmes Department streamlined its

internal programme review process to formally allow for the inclusion of lecturers, students and stakeholders

to form part of programme review panels. With these initiatives, the Institute aims to continue supporting

educators’ accessibility to learning and to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to be responsive to their

as well as society’s needs.

•.Programme Development

In 2020, additional full qualifications and awards were developed by the IfE. A total of eight (8) qualifications

with exit-routes (Table 4) and seventy-four (74) awards (Table 5) at MQF Levels 5 to 7 were accredited by

the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE). Their development was the outcome

of several meetings with education stakeholders and the Institute’s commitment to offering more flexible

learning opportunities to current and prospective learners. Further qualifications and awards are currently in

development or are already undergoing the accreditation process.

TITLE OF QUALIFICATION MQF ECTS

Bachelor of Education (Hons) Hairdressing and Beauty 6 180

Bachelor of Education (Hons) Health and Social Care 6 180

Master of Education Business Education and Retail 7 90

Master of Education Ethics 7 90

Master of Education Maltese 7 90

Master of Education Mathematics 7 90

Master of Education Personal, Social and Career Development 7 90

Postgraduate Certificate in Education Hospitality (Conversion) 7 30

Table 4: List of qualifications accredited in 2020

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Online posters for qualifications offered in 2020


TITLE OF QUALIFICATION MQF ECTS

Anatomy and Physiology 5 4

Body and Facial Electrical Treatments 5 6

Consulting, Shampooing, Conditioning and Styling Hair 5 6

Cutting Hair 5 6

Depilatory Treatments 5 2

Diet and Nutrition 5 2

Facial and Eye Care Treatments 5 6

Hair Color and Design 5 6

Hair Salon Management 5 3

Health and Safety in the Hair Salon 5 3

Holistic Massage and Alternative Therapies 5 4

Make-Up 5 2

Manicure and Pedicure 5 2

Permanent Waving the Hair 5 6

Professional Ethics and Safety in Beauty Therapy 5 2

Supporting Learners Online through Digital Tools 5 2

Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Social Care 6 7

Caring for babies and Children 6 6

Caring for Individuals with additional needs. 6 6

Creative Therapies 6 5

Entrepreneurship in Education 6 5

Ethics in Health and Social Care 6 5

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Pedagogy 6 10

Health and Safety 6 5

Health and Social Care Pedagogy and Assessment 6 10

Health and Social Care Profession 6 4

Managing Relationships in Health and Social Care 6 5

Sociology of Health 6 5

Supporting Adults and Elderly 6 6

Teaching Ethics in the Primary Classroom 6 2

Teaching Writing Skills in Primary and Secondary Schools 6 6

The National Literacy Strategy 6 1

The Reading - Writing Connection 6 1

Working with Adolescents 6 6

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Writing Across the Curriculum 6 1

Writing Process Methodology 6 3

Accounting and Administration for Hospitality 7 4

Addressing Maths Learning Difficulties 7 3

Assessing Ethics through the Learning Outcomes Framework 7 5

Business Education and Retail: Pedagogy and Curriculum 7 9

Communications and Customer Relations Management in Hospitality 7 4

Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurships in Hospitality 7 4

Democratic Citizenship Education 7 3

Developing Applied Mathematical Tasks 7 4

Emotional Literacy and Conflict Resolution in PSCD 7 3

Entrepreneurial Education 7 2

Entrepreneurship and the Development of an Entrepreneurial Mindset 7 9

Food, Beverage and Kitchen Management 7 4

Hotel Operations 7 4

Integrating Digital Technology in the Mathematics Classroom 7 2

It-Tagħlim tal-Kitba: Pedagoġija u Assessjar 7 2

It-tagħlim tal-Letteratura: Pedagoġija u Assessjar 7 2

It-tagħlim tal-Malti bħala lingwa barranija 7 3

It-Tagħlim tal-Metalingwa: Pedagoġija u Assessjar 7 1

It-Tagħlim tal-Qari bil-Malti: Pedagoġija u Assessjar 7 2

It-Tagħlim tat-Taħdit u s-Smigħ fil-Malti: Pedagoġija u Assessjar 7 2

It-Teknoloġija u t-Tagħlim tal-Malti 7 2

L-ippjanar skont il-kisbiet mit-tagħlim tal-ħiliet tal-Malti 7 1

Language Development: use and function in a bilingual class 7 1

Mathematics: Pedagogy and Assessment 7 6

Pedagogies for Teaching Ethics 7 5

Phonological Awareness Skills as a Precursor to Literacy Development 7 1

Processing and Evaluation within a PSCD Context 7 4

PSCD Learning Outcomes Framework and Assessment 7 3

PSCD Origins and Theoretical Framework 7 5

Reading and Spelling Strategies 7 2

Reading Development 7 3

School Based Assessment for Business Education and Retail 7 4

Sexuality, Gender and Relationship Education 7 3

Teaching Critical Thinking through Debates in the Ethics Classroom 7 5

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Teaching Ethics through the Philosophy for Children Approach 7 2

The Foundations of a Family Literacy Intervention Programme 7 12

The Intrapersonal Skills Development of the PSCA Educator 7 3

The National Literacy Strategy and Balanced Literacy: Theory and Practice 7 1

Table 5: List of awards accredited in 2020

Online posters for awards offered in 2020

•.Internal Review of Programmes

In line with the Maltese National Quality Assurance Framework, the IfE recognises the value in periodically

reviewing programmes to preserve their validity to course participants and society, as well as to ensure that

the intended learning objectives are met through teaching, learning and assessment activities.

In 2020, the Programmes Department examined and adjusted its approach to conducting internal programme

reviews. For this process, the Terms of Reference for the Programme Review Board and the Standard Operating

Procedures for Internal Programme Review were streamlined to ensure consistency in the review process.

Consequently, an internal register of all accredited modules was developed to ensure that all the available

modules undergo this process within a period of five years from their accreditation date. Additionally, the

Programmes Department developed the Terms of Reference for Programme Review Panels which will provide

a forum for lecturers, students and education stakeholders to give recommendations and feedback for the

continuous improvement of programmes.

With regards to the implementation of these processes, the Progamme Review Board met in December

2020 and compiled the agenda of all programmes to be reviewed in 2021. With the support of Programme

Review Panels, the Programmes Department strives to provide academic and professional excellence in its

programmes and to respond to the needs of its course participants and society as a whole.

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•.Facilities and Equipment

To support delivery, the Programmes Department within the IfE is continuously looking into the various ways

to improve the learning experience provided to course participants during their studies. During 2020, the

department researched and procured various equipment to support course participants during the practical

sessions of the respective programme that they were following.

For example, course participants following the Bachelor of Education (Hons) Hairdressing and Beauty can now

make use of two Spa Shields during their practical workshop sessions for them to learn hands-on skills safely.

This equipment meets the requirements of the Superintendence of Public Health issued due to the COVID-19

outbreak. The course participants were also furnished with various beauty consumables to be utilised during

the sessions.

The IfE also makes use of the facilities at the Marsa Sports Complex and the National Sports School for

modules on Athletics, Gymnastics and other areas forming part of the Bachelor and Master’s degrees in

Physical Education. Therefore, the Institute invested in various sports equipment for the sole use of course

participants during practical sessions.

It is envisaged that during the forthcoming year, the IfE will continue to heavily invest in more equipment and

tools to assist course participants following the current and planned new degrees.

•.Course Coordination

For the academic year 2019/2020, coordination and support of accredited and non-accredited programmes/

sessions commenced according to the scheduled timetables. Until the beginning of March, Course Coordinators

were attending to sessions delivered online and on-site at the IfE Centres. However, due to the COVID-19

pandemic and the closing of educational institutes, all sessions shifted online in order for the course

participants’ studies to remain uninterrupted. This meant a slight change in timetables to cater for the new

situation. A smooth transition to attend to online sessions was facilitated by the fact that the IfE Portal was

already fully equipped to cope with such a bold move. The Course Coordination team scheduled training

sessions to support and train lecturers who were not familiar with the VLE tools, Blackboard Collaborate, and

Panopto. Over a period of three weeks and during the initial transition, approximately twenty (20) lecturers

attended this training. Moreover, a further series of step-by-step videos was produced to assist both lecturers

and course participants in using these online tools.

Apart from the practice placement component, all modules covering qualification programmes, short

programmes, stand-alone modules, educator sessions and parental/guardian sessions were successfully

delivered. A total of eight hundred and ninety-four (894) online and face-to-face sessions were coordinated

and supported by the Course Coordination team during the academic year 2019/2020.

•.In-Class Co-Teaching Support

A support service offered by the IfE to Bachelor and Master degree participants was that of in-class coteaching

tutors. These tutors acted as a support structure for those already employed as supply teachers.

These supply teachers were given both the support and the opportunity to receive feedback so as to improve

their practice upon further reflection. The support varied from lesson planning, to co-teaching, to discussing

issues that needed to be tackled to improve their role as a teacher. The in-class co-teaching tutor also offered

support to the supply teacher in the implementation of the outcomes for the programme they were following.

This was done in a practical manner within the classroom. In 2020, thirty-two (32) supply teachers following

the Bachelor of Education or Master of Education benefitted from this support service.

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ADMISSIONS

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•.Overview

The main function of the Admissions Department is to ensure that all course participants are offered the

best possible experience while pursuing their studies at the IfE. It is responsible for the publication of the

prospectus which caters for the educators’ needs as well as market gaps. The department assesses the

eligibility of all course participants and processes formal requests such as leave of absence, recognition of

prior learning, extenuating circumstances and requests for academic records amongst others. The Admissions

office is also responsible for the drafting of policies, guidelines and procedures as well as the safekeeping of

up-to-date participants’ records.

During the year under review, the department saw the formation of the Student Affairs Office. The latter strives

to offer the career and emotional wellbeing support needed throughout one’s course. It also welcomes new

ideas and suggestions which could benefit all participants and the Institute itself. During the second half of

2020, the Student Affairs Office started preparing for the first ever Student Elections held by the Institute for

Education. Through these elections, the Course Participant Representatives Committee (CPRC) was formed.

The CPRC is composed of representatives from undergraduate and postgraduate programme cohorts who

are annually selected through the student representative elections. The main functions of the committee are

to give a voice to every course participant and to contribute in programme review processes. It is also the

main channel through which course participants can forward any issues of concern and highlight areas for

improvement. The committee also aids the Admissions Department in organising events and activities, all of

which are intended to create a memorable campus experience.

Contact Details:

Admissions Office

Tel: 2598 2026

Email: ife.admissions@ilearn.edu.mt

Delivery of Accredited Programmes

•.Qualifications

During academic year 2019 – 2020, the IfE congratulated a total of eleven (11) course participants who

successfully graduated. Two (2) educators completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Educational

Leadership while another two (2) successfully graduated in the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Educational

Leadership. This year also included a further four (4) participants who graduated from the Postgraduate

Diploma in Education, three (3) of which specialised in Primary Education while a fourth participant specialised

in Physical Education. A further two (2) course participants graduated from the adaptation course titled

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary), therefore obtaining the opportunity to teach in both primary

and/or secondary education sectors. For the first time ever, this year also saw the graduation of one (1) course

participant who completed the Certificate in Education (Textiles and Fashion). This programme equips course

participants with the necessary knowledge and competences required to work in the vocational educational

sphere.

56


Graduates 2019-2020

Figure 1: Number of graduates 2019-2020

In October 2019, the Institute for Education welcomed another considerable intake of participants following

the Qualification Programmes. Table 6 below lists the ongoing qualifications as at December 2019.

CODE QUALIFICATION INTAKE MQF ECTS

BPRI/01/2018 Bachelor of Education (Primary) Oct-18 6 180

BHOS/01/2018 Bachelor of Education (Hospitality) Oct-18 6 180

BPRI/01/2019 Bachelor of Education (Primary) Oct-19 6 180

BENT/01/2019 Bachelor of Education (Engineering Technology) Oct-19 6 180

BTXF/01/2019 Bachelor of Education (Fashion and Textiles) Oct-19 6 180

BHOS/01/2019 Bachelor of Education (Hospitality) Oct-19 6 180

PGCAFL/01/2019

Postgraduate Certificate in Assessment for

Learning Teaching Strategies

Oct-19 7 30

PGCP/01/2019 Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary) Oct-19 7 30

MPRI/01/2018 Master of Education (Primary) Oct-18 7 90

MAGB/01/2018 Master of Education (Agribusiness) Oct-18 7 90

MHOS/01/2018 Master of Education (Hospitality) Oct-18 7 90

MHUM/01/2018 Master of Education (Humanities) Oct-18 7 90

MPHY/01/2018 Master of Education (Physical Education) Oct-18 7 90

MPRI/01/2019 Master of Education (Primary) Oct-19 7 90

MENG/01/2019 Master of Education (English) Oct-19 7 90

MHUM/01/2019 Master of Education (Humanities) Oct-19 7 90

MREL/01/2019 Master of Education (Religious Education) Oct-19 7 90

MSCI/01/2019 Master of Education (Sciences) Oct-19 7 90

MAEL/01/2018 Master in Applied Educational Leadership Oct-18 7 90

MAEL/01/2019 Master in Applied Educational Leadership Oct-19 7 90

Table 6: List of ongoing qualifications in academic year 2019-2020

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

57


The above programmes cater for a total of two hundred and thirty (230) participants who, at the end of

2019, were enrolled in full qualifications with the IfE. The subsequent figure illustrates the number of course

participants per qualification.

Course Participants 2019-2020

Figure 2: Number of course participants enrolled in a qualification in academic year 2019 -2020

Out of the two hundred and thirty (230) participants, a total of one hundred and fifty-seven (157) were

welcomed in October 2019 exclusively.

Qualifications

Figure 3: Number of course participants enrolled in a qualification during the 2018 and 2019 intake

It is evident that there has been an increase in applicants for all qualifications. This may reflect the positive

impact of new available streams at both Bachelor and Master levels. In 2019, the Institute for Education

welcomed thirty (30) new participants following the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and a further fifty-two

(52) participants following the Master of Education programme (M.Ed.). The Master in Applied Educational

Leadership (MAEL) catered for twenty-five (25) new course participants in 2019. The Postgraduate Certificate

in Assessment for Learning Teaching Strategies (PGCAfL) was offered to forty-eight (48) new participants,

while the adaptation Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education (PGCP) catered for two (2) participants.

58


•.Short Programmes

Short programmes are accredited awards composed of a number of modules, all of which are individually

assessed. These programmes are intended for persons employed within the education sector with an interest

in developing skills to enhance the learning experience of their students. During academic year 2019-2020,

the initial 10-week training course, targeting Supply Learning Support Educators, was offered three times

while the Introductory Course for Supply Teachers (Award) pegged at MQF Level 6 was offered once between

October and December 2019. Table 7 below provides an overview of the Short Programmes offered during the

year under review.

CODE PROGRAMME DELIVERED MQF ECTS

IN/01/2019 Introductory Course for Supply Teachers Oct – Dec 2019 6 15

SLIEN/03/2019

SLIEN/01/2020

SLIEN/02/2020

Supporting Learners with Individual

Educational Needs

Supporting Students with Individual

Educational Needs

Supporting Students with Individual

Educational Needs

Oct – Dec 2019 4 23

Jan – Mar 2020 4 23

May – Nov 2020 4 23

Table 7: List of short programmes delivered in academic year 2019-2020

Short Programmes

Figure 4: Number of course participants attending short programmes in academic year 2019-2020

Figure 4 reflects the total number of active course participants under the respective Short Programmes. A

total of thirty-three (33) participants attended the course designed for Supply Learning Support Educators,

titled Supporting Students with Individual Educational Needs (SLIEN); and a further sixteen (16) participants

followed the Introductory Course for Supply Educators (IN).

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

59


•.Stand-alone Modules

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the IfE directed its efforts to increasing the number of online stand-alone

modules, which resulted in a total of forty-five (45) modules. Table 8 provides the full list of modules which

were delivered during academic year 2019-2020. A total of twenty-seven (27) modules were offered at MQF

Level 7, followed by fifteen (15) modules at MQF Level 6, a further one (1) module at MQF Level 5, and two (2)

modules at MQF Level 4. It must also be noted that each ECTS delivered through these courses is equivalent

to twenty-five (25) learning hours in the Accelerated Progression Scheme for teachers. Therefore, between

2019 – 2020 a considerable 2,375 hours of learning were available for educators to follow.

CODE AWARD DELIVERED MQF ECTS

M05 Award in Creating an Inclusive Environment Oct-19 7 1

M33

Award in the Use of Effective Questioning Techniques and

Development of Success Criteria

Oct-19 6 3

M12 Award in Emotional Well-being Oct-19 7 1

M03

M64

Award in Assessment for Learning Strategies, Recording

Evidence and Conversing About Learning

Award in Creating an Understanding of the Education

Psychosocial Services

Nov-19 7 3

Nov-19 4 4

M15 Award in International Assessments - PIRLS and TIMMS Nov-19 7 1

M22

M17

M49

M26

M54

M03

Award in the Pedagogy and Assessment of Social Studies in

the Primary Classroom

Award in Promoting Moral Development through Play During

Early years

Award in Promoting Moral Development through Play During

Early years

Award in the Teacher as a Leader in the Primary Classroom:

The Merging of Theory and Practice”

Award in an Understanding of Career Guidance and

Development

Award in Assessment for Learning Strategies, Recording

Evidence and Conversing About Learning

Nov-19 7 1

Dec-19 7 2

Dec-19 6 1

Dec-19 7 1

Jan-20 7 3

Jan-20 7 3

M65 Award in Teaching Athletics Jan-20 6 4

M01

Award in Planning Project-Based Learning (PBL) in the

Primary Classroom

Jan-20 6 2

M45 Award in Inquiry Based Learning in STEM subjects Feb-20 6 2

M24 Award in Summative Assessment Feb-20 7 2

M10

Award in Embracing Literacy Strategies and the Language in

Education Policy

Feb-20 7 2

M31 Award in Student Engagement and Learning Strategies Mar-20 6 1

M09

M64

Award in Education for Sustainable Development (including

EkoSkola) and out-of-class activities

Award in Creating an Understanding of the Education

Psychosocial Services

Mar-20 7 1

Mar-20 4 4

60


M51

M18

Award in Involving and Collaborating with Parents in the

Early Years (KG1 - Yr 2 or ages 3 to 7)

Award in Pedagogy and Assessment of Maltese including

Language Awareness and the Teaching of the Four Skills

Mar-20 6 2

Mar-20 7 2

M58 Award in Setting Examination Papers Mar-20 6 1

M11

Award in Embracing Numeracy Strategies in the Primary

Classroom

Mar-20 7 1

M14 Award in Integrating Policies and Reforms Mar-20 7 2

M29

Award in Fostering a Lifelong Healthy Lifestyle through

Physical Education

Apr-20 7 1

M04 Award in Classroom Management Apr-20 7 2

M53 Award in Training Needs Analysis of a College or School Apr-20 7 2

M60

Award in Effective Educational Leadership in Multicultural

Schools​

Apr-20 7 2

M57 Award in Developing Emotional Intelligence at School Apr-20 7 1

M86

Award in Assessment for Learning and Continuous

Assessment

Apr-20 6 2

M08 Award for Digital Citizenship and Digital Tools for Education May-20 5 2

M02

M07

M55

M23

M07

Award in Applying a Learning Outcomes Approach in the

Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages

Award in Differentiation and Diversity in the Primary

Classroom with a Focus on Autism

Award in Involving and Collaborating with Parents in the

Primary School Years 3 to 6 (ages 7 to 10)

Award in Identifying and Supporting the Child with Dyslexia

in the Primary Classroom

Award in Differentiation and Diversity in the Primary

Classroom with a Focus on Autism

May-20 6 2

May-20 7 1

May-20 6 2

May-20 7 1

Jun-20 7 1

M13 Award in Interculturalism in the Primary Classroom Jun-20 7 1

M67 Award in Fitness Jun-20 6 4

M69 Award in Classroom Management Jun-20 6 3

M73

Award in Human Resources Management for Educational

Leaders

Jun-20 7 5

M70 Award in Communicating with Parents Jul-20 6 2

M82

Award in Gender, Sexuality and Forms of Living

Arrangements

Jul-20 6 5

M74 Award in the Educational Leader and the Law Jul-20 7 5

M09

Award in Education for Sustainable Development (including

EkoSkola) and out-of-class activities

Jul-20 7 1

Table 8: List of stand-alone modules delivered in academic year 2019-2020

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

61


Stand-alone Modules

Figure 5: Number of course participants that attended stand-alone modules in academic year 2019-2020

As illustrated in Figure 5, two hundred and seventy-five (275) course participants followed accredited standalone

modules during academic year 2019-2020, the majority of which were offered online.

•.Further Support and Training Opportunities

The Institute for Education has continued to offer a number of tailored staff training, in-class co-teaching

opportunities as well as Phase, CoPE, Educator and Parental/ Guardian sessions. These unaccredited sessions

were mainly designed for educators, members of the school management team (SMT) and parents/guardians.

•.Phase Sessions

The Institute for Education, in collaboration with the Ministry for Education, offers induction sessions for

newly appointed Heads and Assistant Heads of School. These courses are offered subject to availability and

are open to all educators and educational leaders who show interest. These are usually offered in two rounds

during the academic year. The first round is offered between October and December while the same sessions

are subsequently offered for a second round between January and May. During the Academic year 2019-2020,

the first round was offered face-to-face, while the second round was mainly held online due to the pandemic.

The online sessions alone attracted a total of one hundred and thirty-two participants (132) while a further two

hundred and ninety-one (291) participants followed the face-to-face sessions.

Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, twenty-four (24) phase sessions were made available. The list below

portrays all the sessions that were offered and the respective number of attendees.

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CODE TITLE OF SESSION DELIVERED

NO. OF

ATTENDEES

PH39/02/2019 The Role of the Learning Support Educator Oct-19 14

PH19/02/2019 Nurture Groups / Learning Zones Oct-19 12

PH01/02/2019 Access Arrangements Oct-19 17

PH38/02/2019 The Role of an Assistant Head (Secondary) Oct-19 8

PH37/02/2019 The Role of an Assistant Head (Primary) Oct-19 5

PH34/01/2019

Achieving Quality Standards through an Effective

Internal Review Process

Oct-19 18

PH32/02/2019 The Induction of NQT/NRTs Oct-19 28

PH20/02/2019

PH36/02/2019

PH31/02/2019

Peripatetic Services, ACTU, Early Intervention and the

INCO

The Responsibilities of the SMT with Respect to VET

Subjects

The Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) using

the provision Mapping Tool

Oct-19 22

Oct-19 8

Nov-19 22

PH35/02/2019 The Migrant Unit Nov-19 9

PH14/02/2019 Financial Management and Procurement Nov-19 19

PH34/02/2019

Achieving Quality Standards through an Effective

Internal Review Process

Nov-19 25

PH02/02/2019 Accessing EU funds Nov-19 1

PH32/01/2020 The Induction programme for NQT/NRTs Jan-20 21

PH43/01/2020

Supporting learners who present with SEBD in a

mainstream school

Jan-20 38

PH12/01/2020 Employee Support Programme Jan-20 24

PH35/01/2020 The Migrant Unit Apr-20 15

PH01/01/2020 Access Arrangements Apr-20 25

PH44/01/2020

PH44/01/2020

PH44/02/2020

Achieving quality standards through the School

Development Plan

Achieving quality standards through the School

Development Plan

Achieving quality standards through the School

Development Plan

Apr-20 24

Apr-20 20

May-20 15

PH37/01/2020 The Role of an Assistant Head (Primary) May-20 6

PH14/01/2020 Financial Management and Procurement May-20 27

TOTAL 423

Table 9: List of phase sessions delivered in academic year 2019-2020

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

63


•.Community of Professional Educators Sessions

During the first quarter of 2020, the IfE continued to enhance the opportunities for professional development

in schools by offering centrally planned Community of Professional Educators (CoPE) sessions. Although

this year witnessed a drastic decrease in sessions due to the challenges faced by schools throughout the

pandemic, a total of two hundred and thirty-five (235) educators were still able to follow one or more of the

nine (9) CoPE sessions offered to teaching staff.

TITLE OF SESSION

Positive Relationships in Schools

Classroom Management

Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism

Meditation & Mindfulness

Keyword Signing

Flipped Classroom

Classroom Management

The Multicultural Classroom

DELIVERED

Jan-20

Jan-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Feb-20

Table 10: List of CoPE sessions delivered in 2019-2020

Table 10 lists the CoPE sessions that were held during school hours. This list is also an indication of the training

areas that were given priority in the respective School Development Plans. The table portrays an emphasis on

Multiculturalism with three (3) out of the nine (9) sessions targeting this topic.

•.Educator and Parental/Guardian Sessions

In 2019-2020, the IfE continued to offer educators and parents/guardians the opportunity to follow one-off

sessions on a vast array of topics. Thirty-five (35) educator sessions and fifty-nine (59) parental/guardian

sessions were offered between January and August 2020. The IfE also offered a number of synchronous as

well as asynchronous sessions, all of which attracted a total of 960 educators and 1172 parents/guardians. In

addition to this, in collaboration with a number of schools, four (4) of the parental sessions were also offered

in schools, thus directly targeting the needs of the guardians of the specific college. Tables 11 to 14 indicate

the list of educator and parental/guardian sessions made available throughout 2020.

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CODE SESSION DELIVERED

TS37/02/2020 Sociology of Inclusive Education Apr-20

TS10/02/2020 Supporting Your Student to Become an Independent Learner Apr-20

TS05/02/2020 Developing Intercultural Communication Capabilities Apr-20

TS26/02/2020

Learning More About Your Student’s Additional Needs and Ways You

Can Support Him/ Her

Apr-20

TS42/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School Apr-20

TS37/02/2020 Sociology of Inclusive Education May-20

TS37/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School (April 2nd group) May-20

TS05/02/2020 Developing Intercultural Communication Capabilities May-20

TS11/02/2020 Facilitating Learning for the Child Who is on the Autism Spectrum May-20

TS10/02/2020 Supporting Your Student to Become an Independent Learner May-20

TS42/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School May-20

TS43/02/2020 Facilitating Learning for the Youth Who is on the Autism Spectrum May-20

TS26/02/2020

Learning More About Your Student’s Additional Needs and Ways You

Can Support Him/ Her

May-20

TS42/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School (May 2nd session) May-20

TS37/02/2020 Sociology of Inclusive Education Jun-20

TS42/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School Jun-20

TS10/02/2020 Supporting Your Student to Become an Independent Learner Jun-20

TS05/02/2020 Developing Intercultural Communication Capabilities Jun-20

TS42/02/2020 Bridging the Gap Between Parents and the School ( June 2nd session) Jun-20

TS26/02/2020

Learning More About Your Student’s Additional Needs and Ways You

Can Support Him/Her

Jun-20

TSS21/01/2020 Helping children with learning difficulties Jun-20

TSS22/01/2020 How to talk to my child about LGBTIQ Issues. Jun-20

TSS23/01/2020

TSS26/01/2020

Global kids. Skills and competencies needed to help our kids to

become global citizens

Learning more about your child's additional needs & ways you can

support him/ her.

Jun-20

Jun-20

TSS28/01/2020 Encouraging reading and writing Jun-20

TS30/01/2020 Raising Bilingual Children Jun-20

TSS43/01/2020 Facilitating Learning for the youth who is on the Autism Spectrum Aug-20

TSS09/01/2020 Using Positive Behaviour Strategies with Young Children (Ages 3 - 10) Aug-20

TSS13/01/2020 Parents as collaborators in our children's education Aug-20

Table 11: List of educator sessions delivered in academic year 2019-2020

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

65


CODE

TS01/01/2020

TS05/01/2020

TS11/01/2020

TS10/01/2020

TS26/01/2020

TS43/01/2020

SESSION

How to Create a Literacy-rich Environment

Developing Intercultural Communication Capabilities

Facilitating Learning for the Child Who is on the Autism Spectrum

Supporting your Child to Become an Independent Learner

Learning More About Your Child’s Additional Needs and Ways You Can Support Him/her

Facilitating Learning for the Youth Who is on the Autism Spectrum

Table 12: List of asynchronous educator sessions offered in academic year 2019-2020

CODE SESSION DELIVERED

PS07/20 Facilitating learning for the child who is on the Autism spectrum Jan-20

PS02/20 Be the best parent you can be Jan-20

PS43/20 Using positive behaviour strategies with young children Jan-20

PS24/20 What parents need to know about LGBTIQ issues in schools Jan-20

PS22/20

Kif nistgħu ngħinu lit-tfal jiktbu u jaqraw bil-Malti meta dawn

għadhom lanqas jagħrfu l-ittri kollha

Jan-20

PS03/20 School Library, Public Libraries and Children Jan-20

PS44/20 How to talk to my children about LGBTIQ issues Jan-20

PS52/20 The Importance of play for language and educational development Jan-20

PS18/20 L-Ortografija tal-Malti Jan-20

PS11/20 Empowering Parents as Partners in their children's education Jan-20

PS43/20 Using Positive behaviour strategies with young children Jan-20

PS55/20 Encouraging Reading and Writing Feb-20

PS01/20 Language development in the early years Feb-20

PS56/20 Using Positive behaviour strategies with adolescents Mar-20

PS55/02/2020 Encouraging Reading and Writing Apr-20

PS38/02/2020 Hands on Mind on Maths Apr-20

PS70/02/2020 Supporting your child with autism whilst at home Apr-20

PS42/02/2020 Helping Children with Learning Difficulties Apr-20

PS29/02/2020 Effective Home – School Partnership Apr-20

PS71/02/2020

Supporting your child with a learning/intellectual disability whilst at

home

Apr-20

PS46/02/2020 Sociology of Inclusive Education Apr-20

66


PS45/02/2020

Global Kids: skills and competencies needed to help our kids to

become global citizens

Apr-20

PS72/02/2020 Supporting your child with ADHD whilst at home Apr-20

PS70/02/2020 Supporting your child with autism whilst at home May-20

PS42/02/2020 Helping Children with Learning Difficulties May-20

PS38/02/2020 Hands on Mind on Maths May-20

PS71/02/2020

Supporting your child with a learning/intellectual disability whilst at

home

May-20

PS55/02/2020 Encouraging Reading and Writing May-20

PS29/02/2020 Effective Home – School Partnership May-20

PS72/02/2020 Supporting your child with ADHD whilst at home May-20

PS42/02/2020 Helping Children with Learning Difficulties Jun-20

PS38/02/2020 Hands on Mind on Maths Jun-20

PS70/02/2020 Supporting your child with autism whilst at home Jun-20

PS55/02/2020 Encouraging Reading and Writing Jun-20

PS29/02/2020 Effective Home – School Partnership Jun-20

PS45/02/2020

Global Kids: skills and competencies needed to help our kids to

become global citizens

Jun-20

PSS43/01/2020 Using Positive Behaviour Strategies with Young Children Jul-20

PSS58/01/2020 Engaging Home Activities Jul-20

PSS33/01/2020 Enjoy Paired Reading with your child Jul-20

PSS32/01/2020 Facilitating Learning for the youth who is on the Autism Spectrum Jul-20

PSS13/01/2020 The importance of reading in your child's Educational Journey Jul-20

PSS43/02/2020 Using Positive Behaviour Strategies with Young Children Jul-20

PSS07/01/2020 Facilitating Learning for the Child who is on the Autism Spectrum Aug-20

PSS09/01/2020 How to create a literacy rich environment Aug-20

PSS27/01/2020 Parents as collaborators in their children's Educational Journey Aug-20

Table 13: List of parental/guardian sessions delivered in academic year 2019-2020

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

67


CODE

PS04/01/2020

PS05/01/2020

PS07/01/2020

PS14/01/2020

PS18/01/2020

PS22/01/2020

PS24/01/2020

PS28/01/2020

PS31/01/2020

PS44/01/2020

PS45/01/2020

PS52/01/2020

PS53/01/2020

PS57/01/2020

SESSION

The Immediate Environment as a Potential Learning Tool

Supporting Your Child to Become an Independent Learner

Facilitating Learning for the Child Who Is on the Autism Spectrum

Intejbu l-Esperjenza tal-Qari ta' Uliedna

L-Ortografija tal-Malti

Kif Nistgħu Ngħinu lit-Tfal Jiktbu u Jaqraw bil-Malti Meta Dawn Għadhom Lanqas

Jagħrfu l-Ittri Kollha

What Parents Need to Know About LGBTIQ Issues in Schools

Logħob u Riżorsi għat-Tagħlim tal-Malti

Raising Bilingual Children

How to Talk to my Children About LGBTIQ Issues in Schools

Global Kids: Skills and Competencies Needed to Help our Kids to Become Global

Citizens

The Importance of Play for Language and Educational Development

Learning More About Your Child's Additional Needs and Ways You Can Support Him/her

Writing Strategies for Parents

Table 14: List of asynchronous parental/guardian sessions offered in academic year 2019-2020

•.Tailored Staff Training Support

In collaboration with the Foundation for Educational Services (FES), the IfE offered training to play-workers

and child support workers throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. In 2019, a total of sixty-six (66) playworkers

and thirty-two (32) child support workers received training.

68


INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

AND LIBRARY

RESOURCES

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

69


•.Overview

The Information Technology Department (IT) tackles any issues related to information technology within the

Institute. We mainly provide technical assistance on issues incurred by the Institute’s internal staff. The

requested assistance varies from the installation of printers, to laptop configuration and much more. The

Department also assists students attending the Institute’s programmes as well as professionals delivering

programmes and who need support with accessibility and content management of the online virtual learning

environment. As a Department, we try to make both students and lecturers feel at home, so that their

experience at the IfE is a positive one.

The virtual learning environment, as commissioned by the Institute in October 2018, has progressed significantly

over the past few years. Since then, there have been other advancements and through the coordination with

our supplier, new features have been added. These features were meant to provide a better experience to

both students and lecturers. Thus, the concept of online courses was introduced, made possible thanks to the

addition of a dedicated software which permits both synchronous and asynchronous sessions to take place.

All phases of the project have now been completed but the Institute is still making adjustments in some areas

in order to provide additional benefit to its users. Through the use of such a platform, the payment process of

professionals and suppliers has been facilitated and thus, payments are being effected in a timelier manner.

The complete online shift of operations due to COVID-19 restrictions has been quite smooth. Despite the fact

that there were some users who were concerned at the beginning, more and more individuals got on board

and started noticing the benefits of following lectures from the comfort of their home. This could be possibly

be due to the investment made by the Institute and the Ministry of Education in this regard, which made it

possible for the Institute to immediately switch the delivery of all its programmes online, as was necessary.

New equipment for the classrooms was purchased and installed in the last quarter of the year in order to

provide additional benefit for those making use of our premises post-pandemic. Further equipment will be

added in the future to stay updated with technology advancements. Together with these efforts, the Institute

plans to add further subscriptions to aid both lecturers and learners with their studies. The Institute’s website

will also be updated to offer a more dynamic and user-friendly experience for individuals accessing to learn

more about the IfE’s programmes and services. We always strive to deliver the best possible experience to

our clients.

•.Panopto

The Panopto subscription has proved vital during the COVID-19 pandemic

as it helped lecturers and students to proceed with their studies online.

This tool was used by lecturers in providing asynchronous lectures for

students to follow and also made it possible for students to record

and upload assignment videos to the portal when requested. This tool

was procured early on in 2020, just in time before the everyone started

working from home. Initially, there was a slight learning curve, but the

tool’s advantages became more evident as time went by.

•.Resources

• ACADEMIC VIDEO ONLINE –

ALEXANDER STREET

• ACADEMIC COMPLETE – EBOOK

CENTRAL

70


• PROQUEST PLATFORM

• SAGE KNOWLEDGE

• PROQUEST RESEARCH COMPANION

• SAGE RESEARCH METHODS

• EBSCO

• TURNITIN

• SAGE JOURNALS

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

71


•.Library Resources Overview

The need was felt to give a boost to and upgrade the IfE’s physical library resources so that individuals

following a qualification and/or an award with the Institute would have easier access to resources. For this

to come into effect, several initiatives were taken and major changes occurred in the library during the year

2020. Although some of the processes involved had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work

done by the IfE Administration continued without hesitation in order to reach the final desired target, i.e: a

fully functional IfE library by the beginning of the year 2021.

•.The Procurement of More Books

Although the IfE library already had a substantial number of books available, during 2020, the Administration

Department took care of the procurement process of another 586 books. These books were added to the

procurement of books that were obtained in 2019, thus contributing to a library enriched with books about

more subjects so as to reflect the subjects of qualifications, awards and other courses that are offered at the

IfE. Amongst other subjects, books that were procured in 2020 were related to subjects such as Ethics, PSCD,

Business Education and Retail, Neuroscience, Hair and Beauty, Mathematics, Fashion and Textiles, Chemistry

and Hospitality. Emails were also sent to lecturing staff and all other staff at the IfE in order to suggest books

for future procurement.

Some of the books procured for IfE library in 2020

• The Physical Upgrading

of the IfE Library

In order to cater for a larger number of books

that are being procured on a regular basis for the

IfE library, a major upgrade was also done in the

physical ambience of the library. More shelving was

added to the library, both to provide enough space

for the books that have already been delivered, and

to also cater for more books that will be procured

over the next few years.

More shelving was added to the IfE library so as to

create enough space for the present batch of books and

for more books to be procured during the coming years


•.The Book Lending Process

Parallel to the procurement of books for the IfE

library, the procurement of accessories related to

the lending of books also occurred. IfE aimed to

be part of Malta Libraries and to be able to use

the VSmart Malta Libraries system. In this regard,

the Administration Department took care of the

procurement of a barcode reader, date rubber

stamps and new Malta Libraries membership cards

(orange card) as well as the IfE library card (blue

card).

Ife Library users have to be both in possession of the Malta

Libraries card (orange card) and the IfE Library card (blue card)

•.The Cataloguing of Books by Malta Libraries

Following the procurement process of books which were delivered to the IfE, the next step was for the books

to be registered in the Malta Libraries system by using a cataloguing process. This involved packing of books in

boxes, writing lists of the content on each box and keeping records while also communicating with the Malta

Libraries to pick up the books and deliver the catalogued ones. In 2020, two (2) batches of books were sent

to the Malta Libraries for cataloguing. The first batch consisted of fifty-three (53) boxes with a total amount of

eight hundred and sixty-three (863) books, and the second batch of books consisted of seventeen (17) boxes

with a total amount of three hundred and eighty-four (384) books. The process of cataloguing is on-going, and

as more books are delivered to the IfE through procurement, these are then prepared and sent for cataloguing.

Books delivered from cataloguing by Malta Libraries and

ready to be put on shelves for library members to borrow

Books prepared in boxes to be taken for cataloguing at

Malta Libraries

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•.The Attendance of two Institute for Education Staff Members

to the VSmart Malta Libraries System Course

In the first week of December, two (2) IfE staff members attended a week-long online course concerning

the use of the VSmart Malta Libraries system. This course should have taken place at the Malta Libraries

Headquarters in Floriana last April, but instead had to be delivered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from this course, a Malta Libraries representative attended a half-day session at the IfE library in

October and provided general information about the function of a library as part of the Malta Libraries.

•.The Opening of the Institute for Education Library in 2021

In preparation for the full functioning of the IfE library, the Library policy and procedures version 2.0 document

was updated in the IfE’s website and an email was sent to all prospective library members at the Institute.

Apart from the library policy, this document outlines the procedure for a library member to access books she/

he needs to borrow from the IfE library through the Malta Libraries website. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic

the IfE library cannot be open for library members as per normal procedure. For further information, library

members can also access the FAQ section on the IfE website. Post-pandemic, the library policy and procedure

will be subject to updates and library members will be updated accordingly. There is also the plan to have

a Reference section in the library where a library member can access resources such as theses done by IfE

course participants. However, this can only be implemented after the pandemic.

The IfE Library Policy and Procedures Version 2.0 can be accessed through the IfE website: www.ife.gov.mt

Institute for Education Policies and Forms Policies and Procedures

74


RESEARCH

AND

DEVELOPMENT

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

75


•.Overview

The role of the Research and Development Unit is to support teachers, parents and students to address any

challenges they may be facing by undertaking research and sourcing material that is relevant for schools. One

way of doing so is by giving young and established researchers the opportunity to present their findings in a

Symposium that is held yearly by the IfE. The Department is also responsible for managing all activities related

to the dissertation module of its programmes. Moreover, it manages EU projects that enhance the experience

of participating educators and which helps them to gain insight into developments and practices in other

European countries.

Throughout 2020, the Research and Development team undertook the following activities to achieve its aims:

• Development of policies and procedures linked to dissertations;

• Organisation of the 1st Annual Symposium;

• Preparation of the 2nd Annual Symposium;

• Erasmus+ project My Journey – My Mobility.

•.Dissertations commenced in 2020

The year 2020 saw the first cohort of course participants embarking on their dissertation at the Institute for

Education. As at the end of December 41 course participants are undertaking their dissertations at Master’s

level during the academic year 2020/2021 as outlined in Table 15 below. The dissertations are due to be

submitted by May 2021.

Course Participants Undertaking Their Dissertation During 2020/2021

COURSE

NUMBER OF COURSE PARTICIPANTS

Master in Applied Educational Leadership 18

Master of Education Hospitality 4

Master of Education Humanities 3

Master of Education Physical Education 3

Master of Education Primary 13

Total 41

Table 15: Number of course participants per course undertaking their dissertation during the academic year 2020 – 2021

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•.Development of policies and procedures linked

to dissertations

Consequently, the year 2020 was characterised by the development and refinement of policies and procedures,

structures and handbooks related to the dissertation module. Throughout 2020 the following Boards and

Committees were established:

• Dissertation Board

• Dissertation Committees

• Research Ethics Board

The role of the Dissertation Board is to provide guidance on policies, procedures and handbooks related to the

dissertations module as well as on training for dissertation supervisors and assessors, to set up assessment

boards, receive the dissertations and issue results.

The Dissertation Committees support and report to the Dissertation Board. Their role is the review and approval

of the preliminary and final research proposals and the recommendation of the dissertation supervisor. Five (5)

Dissertation Committees were established in line with the courses offered by the IfE that involve a dissertation,

namely for B.Ed. Primary; B.Ed. Secondary; M.Ed. Primary; M.Ed. Secondary and MAEL. The chairperson of each

Dissertation Committee serves on the Dissertation Board.

The Research Ethics Board reviews and approves research ethics approval requests. Ethical approval is

needed for all research undertaken by the Institute’s staff and course participants (both undergraduate and

postgraduate) wherever research and related activities involve human participants or raise ethical issues.

The year 2020 also included the development and refinement of handbooks related to the dissertation

module. The dissertation handbook and handbook for dissertation supervisors developed in 2019 were refined

to provide details on and deadlines for the entire dissertation process. The latter includes the development of

the research proposal; the submission and assessment of the dissertation; details on the dissertation rubric,

marking criteria and grading; as well as an overview of relevant policies and procedures and relevant forms.

•.Pool of Dissertation Supervisors and Assessors

The pool of dissertation supervisors and assessors was significantly expanded. The IfE now has one hundred and

eight (108) dissertation supervisors and assessors. Out of these, sixty-seven (67) hold a Master’s qualification

and can supervise and assess dissertations at Bachelor level and co-supervise dissertations at Master level.

Moreover, forty-one (41) hold a Doctoral qualification and can supervise and assess dissertations at Bachelor

and Master level. Course participants at the IfE now have access to a handbook of all dissertation supervisors

and assessors with information on their area of thematic and methodological expertise.

Four (4) training workshops were held in 2020 for dissertation supervisors – on the 1st September, 7 th

September and two (2) workshops on the 17th December. The workshops provided dissertation supervisors with

information on the dissertation process, relevant policies and procedures, provided guidance on dissertation

supervision and an opportunity for an exchange of experiences.

Apart from that, a workshop was held for dissertation assessors on the 22nd December to provide guidance

and training on the dissertation rubric and the dissertation assessment process.

Throughout 2020, IfE’s existing policies and procedures were reviewed and updated to address the dissertation

component. These included the following policies and procedures:

• Research Ethics Policies and Procedures;

• Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policies and Procedures;

• Extension to Duration of Studies Policy.

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

77



1 st Annual Symposium of the Institute for Education

The 1 st Annual Symposium of the IfE was held on 16th and 17th September 2020. In light of the COVID-19

pandemic, the Symposium was held online through the IfE’s blackboard collaborate platform and attracted

about one hundred (100) participants.

The Symposium focused on “Internationalisation and Multiculturalism in Maltese Education and Society”.

This topic was chosen in view of the recent, substantial increase in foreign students in Maltese compulsory

education which went from 2.3% in 2006/2007 (National Statistics Office, 2011) to 9.7% in 2016/2017 (National

Statistics Office, 2018). This increasing multicultural environment in schools poses challenges for educational

institutions as they are required to provide inclusive education suited to the learning needs of a more diversified

student population.

The Symposium was addressed by Professor Khalid Arar

from Texas State University, who focused his keynote

speech on new challenges in the educational sector

stemming from migration, and by Professor Yasemin

Karakasoglu from University of Bremen, who spoke about

migration and international mobility as key challenges

for schools and whether intercultural education the

answer.

In addition to these keynote speeches, fourteen (14)

research projects were presented in parallel workshop

sessions covering the following topics:

• Internationalisation and multiculturalism in Maltese

society;

• Internationalisation and multiculturalism in schools;

• Working in international and multicultural schools;

• Effective international and multicultural practices in

schools and society.

1 st Issue of the Malta Journal of Education

78


The presentations and recordings of the different sessions are available on the Symposium website at:

https://instituteforeducation.gov.mt/en/Pages/Symposiums/2020/Programme.aspx

The full papers presented at the 1st Annual Symposium were published in the Malta Journal of Education – a

peer-reviewed Journal the IfE established to publish the research presented during its annual symposia. The

image below shows the cover of the first issue of the Malta Journal of Education.

•.2 nd Annual Symposium of the Institute for Education

During 2020, preparations began for the second Annual Symposium of the IfE, which will be held on 15th

September 2021. At present, the Symposium is expected to be held in a physical venue at the IfE, but depending

on the circumstances, may also be held online.

The focus of the second Annual Symposium is “Technology Enhanced and Remote Teaching and Learning”. The

theme of the Symposium has been chosen in view of the Institute’s commitment to encourage educators to

explore fresh approaches and adopt innovative teaching and learning styles in its own programmes. Given the

schools’ experience with emergency remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, this context has given

further weight to the subject and the Symposium seeks to explore and evaluate the practices and experiences

of school leaders, teachers, students and parents that arose as a result. Through a call for papers, nineteen

(19) paper proposals have been selected for presentation during the Symposium, which will explore various

aspects of technology enhance and remote teaching and learning, namely teaching methods, technical tools

and the perception of various stakeholders. These papers will also be published in the second issue of the

Malta Journal of Education.

Moreover, the IfE has confirmed Professor Don Passey from the University of Lancaster as a keynote speaker

for this event.

Further information on the Symposium is available on the IfE’s website at:

https://instituteforeducation.gov.mt/en/Pages/Symposiums/2021/Conference-Details.aspx

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

79


•.Erasmus+ project My Journey – My Mobility

The IfE is implementing the Erasmus+ project My Journey - My Mobility, which is focused on training and upskilling

educators and giving them the opportunity to share best practices related to implementing vocational

and applied subjects in schools. The project has a duration of three (3) years and will support the mobility

of two hundred and ninety (290) educators – two hundred and seven (207) from Malta as well as thirty (30)

educators from Belgium, twenty-nine (29) from Germany and twenty-four (24) from Estonia.

As part of this project, Maltese educators can meet foreign counterparts from Belgium, Germany and Estonia

experienced in teaching VET and witness the benefits of VET first-hand. During their visit they can discuss

issues of common interest, experience and challenge ideas, practices and methods witnessed abroad and

share best practices on how to further promote VET and applied subjects.

Through these study visits, conducted jointly with our international partners, participants will be empowered

to better identify and support the needs of VET educator and learners. To this end, visiting foreign schools

with an established VET system can provide Maltese educators with valuable information on the benefits

and challenges faced by teachers, trainers and students. This provides participants with good practices and

realistic scenarios which can serve as a reference point on teaching VET and applied subjects and which

empowers them to promote these subjects in schools.

During 2020, two rounds of mobilities to Estonia, Germany and Belgium were supposed to take place – one

study visit to each partner country in spring 2020 and another one in autumn 2020. A total of eighty-five (85)

Maltese educators were to benefit from a mobility experience abroad, along with thirteen (13) educators from

Belgium, twelve (12) from Germany and ten (10) from Estonia.

However, the pandemic flight and country restrictions made these visits impossible. Further visits to each

partner country and a study visit by the project partners to Malta are foreseen in 2021 provided the restrictions

are lifted.

80


FINANCE

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81


•.Overview

2020 was the Institute for Education’s third year since it was re-constituted as an agency. It was also a year like

no other. The COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on the operations of the Institute. However, the resilience

and adaptability demonstrated by the Institute’s team alleviated the effects of such an unprecedented event.

The Institute resorted to online facilities to deliver its courses, and where possible, conducted events remotely.

The Institute’s employees adapted well to telework. These measures resulted in savings on hospitality, venue

and travel related costs. Moreover, the Erasmus+, My Journey My Mobility projects could not be implemented.

The Finance Department implemented major changes in the way it operates. A new accounting system was

successfully implemented during this year. This brought about major improvements through its linkage with

portal, document accessibility, bank transfer payment facilities and asset register. Later in the year, payroll

software was also implemented at the Institute. This enabled the Finance Department to partially take over

the payroll function from the Ministry for Education. It is envisaged that in the coming year, payroll for all

Institute contracted employees will be administered by the Finance Department.

In summary, throughout 2020, the Institute generated €44,881 from course fees, and paid out €880,856 in

direct and administrative expenditure. The Institute ended the year with a surplus of income over expenditure

of €1,164,025, after considering the Government Subvention received. The Institute also acquired non-current

assets costing €301,011 during the year.

It is to be noted that actual course fees received during the year amounted to €137,960, however €93,079 do not

relate to 2020 and thus, were deferred. This treatment is in line with National Audit Office recommendations.

The afore-mentioned results generated the following work volume within the Finance Department:

DESCRIPTION QUANTITY (NUMBER) VALUE (€)

Local purchase orders approved for availability of funds 282 214,676

Cheque payments issued 625 380,917

SEPA payments issued 449 438,685

Payroll runs processed 6 62,644

Bank Transfers paid 45 169,604

Bank Transfers received 220 2,204,791

Transactions updated in accounting package 37,060 9,659,518

Table 16: Work volume within the finance department

The Finance Department prepared and submitted the necessary financial reporting required by the Budget

Affairs Division within the Ministry for Finance. This included monthly and quarterly FDRS reporting and the

preparation of three year Financial and Business Plans, plus related annexes.

During the year under review, the Institute underwent a financial audit for 2019 by the National Audit Office.

This was a very detailed audit, the process of which spanned over three months and involved various aspects

of the Institute’s financial administration beyond the scope normally covered by the annual statutory audit.

The reports, explanations and documents requested by the auditors necessitated co-ordination with other

departments within the Institute. All recommendations made by the auditors were internally discussed and

actioned upon accordingly.

The Finance Department prepared workings and drafted the Institute’s annual financial statements. It also

liaised with the external auditors to ensure that the audited financial statements were concluded within the

tight deadline stipulated in the Institute’s Agency agreement with the Ministry for Education (formerly Ministry

for Education and Employment).

82


During the year under review, the Finance Department participated in meetings held with the developers of

the Institute’s online information system. The Finance Department ensured that the data transferred from

the portal to the new accounting system had all the necessary information and documentation in place. This

facilitated the necessary checks prior to accepting this data in the new accounting system.

The Institute’s statement of financial position as at 31 December 2020, its statement of comprehensive

income, and its statement of cash flows for the year then ended as per audited accounts are presented as

follows.

•.Institute for Education - Statement of Financial Position

AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2020 2020 2019

€ €

ASSETS

Non-current assets

Property, plant and equipment 207,973 114,915

Intangible assets under development 96,150 32,050

Total non-current assets 394,123 146,965

Current assets

Trade and other receivables 53,382 70,793

Cash and short-term deposits 2,143,139 992,243

Total current assets 2,196,521 1,063,036

TOTAL ASSETS 2,590,644 1,210,001

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

Equity

Endowment capital 21,802 21,802

Accumulated Fund 2,236,739 1,072,714

Total equity 2,258,541 1,094,516

Liabilities

Non-current liabilities

Deferred grants 72,112 24,038

Total non-current liabilities 72,112 24,038

Current liabilities

Deferred grants 24,038 8,012

Payables 235,953 83,435

Total current liabilities 259,991 91,447

TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 2,590,644 1,210,001

Institute for Education | ANNUAL REPORT 2020

83


•.Institute for Education - Statement of Comprehensive Income

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2020 2020 2019

€ €

Revenue

Government Subvention 2,000,000 1,359,640

Course Fees 44,881 99,553

Erasmus+ Reimbursement (3,668) 67,564

Total Recurrent Revenue 2,041,213 1,526,757

Direct Expenditure (496,027) (340,409)

Administrative Expenditure (384,829) (295,968)

Erasmus+ Disbursements 3,668 (67,564)

Total Recurrent Expenditure (877,188) (703,941)

Total comprehensive income for the year 1,164,025 822,816

•.Institute for Education - Statement of Cash Flows

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2020 2020 2019

€ €

Cash flows from operating activities:

Surplus from operations 1,164,025 822,815

Non-cash adjustments

Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 53,853 18,405

Profit from operations 1,217,878 841,220

Movement in trade and other receivables 17,411 (49,342)

Movement in trade and other payables 216,618 (14,494)

Net cash flows from operating activities 1,451,907 777,384

Cash flows from investing activities:

Payments to acquire intangibles (64,100) -

Payments to acquire property, plant and equipment (236,911) (88,873)

Net cash flows used in investing activities (301,011) (88,873)

Movement in cash and cash equivalents 1,150,896 688,511

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 992,243 303,732

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year 2,143,139 992,243

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Institute for Education

Martin Luther King Road, Pembroke, PBK 1990, Malta

+356 2598 2001

ife@ilearn.edu.mt

InstituteforEducationMalta

www.ife.gov.mt

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