Whole School Evaluation System Analysis

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The DES is in place to ‘advise and support policy makers and the wider educational community’. (DES, 2017) The Inspectorate is within a division of the Department of Education and Skills and is ‘responsible for the evaluation of primary and post primary schools and centres of education.’ The goal of the inspectorate is to put in place a process that schools can do their own evaluation effectively. As stated above their role is to ‘provide an assurance of quality and public accountability in the education system.’ The types of inspections carried out in schools by the Inspectorate vary. The types of evaluations in place in post-primary schools in Ireland are; Whole School Evaluations, Subject Inspections, Programme Evaluations, Incidental Inspections…show more content…
One could suggest that one form of evaluation could not work to its full potential without the other. External Evaluations can ‘help legitimize internal evaluation’ (Nevo, 2010). Therefore, external evaluations can remove the bias view of SSE by ‘respecting its existence and giving it a ‘stamp of approval.’ (Nevo, 2010). A form of external evaluation is Whole School Evaluations(WSE). WSE is a system which has been implemented into education. Evaluation dates back as far as the nineteenth century. This policy placed within the education system has ‘led to a perceived need for greater accountability’ and responsibility to local bodies, schools and teachers. It has done so by introducing WSE’s. WSE’s began in the 1990’s. Its aim was to ‘investigate the quality of school planning, the quality of learning and teaching and the quality of school management’ (McNamara and O’Hara, 2008). At the beginning WSE was not completely successful in meeting its objectives. WSE faced implications which were changed over time. It is through these changes that WSE incorporate Management leadership and learning. Once the WSE is completed the school is given a whole school evaluation report, this same report is also accessed online by the public through the DES web page. As ‘School inspection…focuses on the public accountability of schools and teachers through various mechanisms, such as the publication of school…show more content…
I feel that both internal and external forms of inspection are important and work at their best when they are both used hand in hand within the process of school evaluation. From my research, it is apparent that internal evaluations work best at the local level, as schools can identify what they need to improve to ensure the best quality of education, the external evaluation compliments the internal as it focuses on the whole school by fostering the aims of a SSE. While the overall aim of the Inspectorate is to ‘provide an assurance of quality and public accountability in the education system’, it doesn’t meet its objective completely. There are some challenges faced by the Irish school system to achieve an effective quality assurance process. The Inspectorate is successful in holding stakeholders accountable for the quality of learning and teaching, it can however be improved by making its findings more relatable to the public, ensuring schools understand exactly what it is they can change to improve on teaching and learning, by providing more specific and effective feedback. If this can happen I feel the inspectorate can fully complete its aims and objectives of providing assurance quality. Overall ‘Inspection will always be only one element in a complex process. However, irrespective of such constraints, its influence can be profound, particularly in its potential to challenge

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