Adopting and adapting: school leaders in the age of data-informed decision making

  • Cornelius Young
  • Gerry McNamara
  • Martin Brown
  • Joe O’Hara


The concept of data-informed decision making (DIDM), a term used interchangeably with data-driven decision making (DDDM) and data-based decision making (DBDM), is relatively new to Irish education and the school planning process. This research sought to clarify what data principals use and how they use that information for school improvement considering new school self-evaluation requirements. The paper begins by charting the rise internationally of data use in school planning, decision making and accountability. It proceeds to describe the policy context in this area in Ireland and then reports recent research with school leaders around how data is collected and used in their work. Although the paper focusses on Ireland, it is tentatively suggested that school leaders, teachers and policymakers in other countries, and there are many, which have come late to the expectation that school improvement and accountability should be heavily data-informed may find the efforts of Irish principals in this regard of interest.


Assessment Evaluation Data-informed decision making Leadership School inspection School self-evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelius Young
    • 1
  • Gerry McNamara
    • 1
  • Martin Brown
    • 1
  • Joe O’Hara
    • 1
  1. 1.EQI – The centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection and DCU Institute of EducationDublin 9Ireland

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