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Parents informed of school review outcomes 17 December 2008

THIS week five schools will share the comments of an external validation of their School Self Review and Evaluation (SSRE) with parents.

The process of SSRE is continuous and entails schools reviewing all aspects of their work and making judgements about what they are doing well and where they need to take action to secure improvement, explained Deputy Director of Education Stuart Dobson. The possible judgements are outstanding, good, satisfactory and inadequate.

‘This process supports schools in having a clear view of how to build on their current strengths to ensure they continue to offer the best possible learning opportunities to pupils,’ Mr Dobson said. ‘The Department of Education believes that this process is proving very effective in helping schools to improve their practice.’

To support schools in confirming that the judgements they have made are accurate, the process has an external element built in to it. From September this year a validation cycle has been taking place in primary schools, Mr Dobson explained.

It involves an external validator, together with a Department of Education Adviser, spending time working with headteachers to review the evidence schools have used to make judgements and to quality assure their accuracy. The validating company, Fieldwork Education, was chosen from a number of companies that tendered for this work.

Any areas for improvement or further dissemination of best practice will then be identified in the annual School Improvement Plan and supported by the school’s link adviser.

Mr Dobson said:

‘The main aim of the validation process is to provide professional support to schools to help them to refine their own judgements. In addition, when a school has been involved in this validation process they will take the opportunity to share key outcomes with parents by summarising them in a newsletter.’

This term Ballacloan Infants’ School, St Mary’s RC Primary School, Marown Primary School, Kewaigue Primary School and Murray’s Road Junior School have undergone external validation visits and attached are the comments these schools are passing to parents this week via their newsletters.

All primary schools will be undergoing this process over the next two years.

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