Supporting the consistent implementation of self-evaluation in Irish post-primary schools

  • Shivaun O’Brien
  • Gerry McNamaraEmail author
  • Joe O’Hara


This paper explores approaches to support the consistent implementation of school self-evaluation. The first part of the paper outlines the changing nature of self-evaluation in Irish post-primary schools and how a new approach introduced by the Department of Education and Skills in 2012 demonstrates real intentionality in terms of implementation. This recent attempt to engage schools in self-evaluation is compared to a previous self-evaluation initiative introduced in 2003. Despite significant improvements to the self-evaluation process, a number of concerns remain particularly in relation to the capacity of schools to engage in the process and the limited level of support that is provided to schools. The question of how best to support the implementation of self-evaluation is a concern in many jurisdictions. This question was explored in research carried out on the implementation of self-evaluation in Centres for Education in Ireland, and the findings are outlined in the second part of the paper. The research highlights a relatively high level of implementation of self-evaluation in Centres for Education nationally as well as generally positive feedback on the self-evaluation experience from participants. Some of the factors that influenced successful implementation are outlined. Key among these is the facilitator-led approach, addressing the practicalities of implementation and the national monitoring system. While this research did not involve post-primary schools, the findings may have relevance for the provision of supports in post-primary schools in Ireland, and it may also have a wider application for self-evaluation policy and practice in other jurisdictions.


School evaluation Self-evaluation Capacity building Facilitator-led approach Practicalities of self-evaluation Supporting self-evaluation Action research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shivaun O’Brien
    • 1
  • Gerry McNamara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joe O’Hara
    • 1
  1. 1.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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