'Quality is about passion and pride.'
Tom Peters and Nancy Austin, A Passion for Excellence
Quality is at the top of most agendas and improving quality is probably the most important task facing any institution. However, despite its importance, many people find quality an enigmatic concept. It is perplexing to define and often difficult to measure. One person's idea of quality often conflicts with another and, as we are all too aware, no two experts ever come to the same conclusion when discussing what makes an excellent school, college or university.
The message of quality
We all know quality when we experience it, but describing and explaining it is a more difficult task. In our everyday life we usually take quality for granted, especially when it is regularly provided. Yet we are all too acutely aware when it is lacking. We often only recognize the importance of quality when we experience the frustration and time wasting associated with its absence. Of one thing we can be certain: quality is what makes the difference between things being excellent or run-of-the-mill. Increasingly, quality makes the difference between success and failure.The best organizations, whether public or private, understand quality and know its secret. Seeking the source of quality is an important quest. Education is also recognizing the need to pursue it, and to deliver it to pupils and students. There are plenty of candidates for the source of quality in education. Amongst these are: