The Education Act, 1998 required schools to develop a school plan which would state the school’s objectivesregarding access and participation, and the measures proposed by the school to achieve these objectives. The Act obliges boards of management to regularly review and update the school plan. School development planning as a formal activity resulted from these provisions. Through formal school planning, schools developed and reviewed mandatory policies and legislative requirements, creating what can be regarded as the permanent section of their school plan. School planning also enabled schools to identify and work on priority areas for development, thus creating the developmental section of their school plan.
School self-evaluation is a further development of school development planning. It is a way of working that contributes to both the permanent and developmental sections of the school plan. Through school self- evaluation, schools reflect on and review their day-to-day practices and their policies, with a particular focus on teaching and learning. It provides all schools, including DEIS schools, with an internal process for developing and progressing action planning for improvement.
School self-evaluation involves reflective enquiry leading to action planning for improvement that is informed by evidence gathered within each school’s unique context. The process enables schools to use this evidence to identify meaningful and specific targets and actions for improvement that focus on teaching and learning practices and outcomes. It enables them to create and implement improvement plans, to measure their progress, and to identify their achievements.
Through school self-evaluation, boards of management can further develop and review the policies and practices contained in the permanent section of the school plan. This will enable boards to support continuing developments and improvements in teaching and learning.
Over the course of the year students, parents and staff have worked collectively to guide the vision for the school and have been involved continuously in the process of self-evaluation. This has been evidenced by surveys and feedback during parent-teacher meetings and staff meetings.
Please see below for a summary of our findings: