Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (82)

Brendan Smith


80 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider an independent review of social personal and health education and its effectiveness in mental health promotion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34079/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

The Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in the Primary School composite report presents the findings from a thematic evaluation of SPHE in 40 primary schools. As part of its ongoing evaluation of curriculum implementation, the Inspectorate conducted this thematic evaluation in 2007 in order to gain a clear insight into what was happening in the provision of SPHE. As part of this evaluation relevant school documentation and pupils' work were examined, SPHE lessons were observed and interviews were conducted with teachers, management and pupils. In addition, the responses provided by senior pupils and their parents in SPHE questionnaires were analysed.

At post-primary level, 63 subject inspections in SPHE were conducted between September 2010 and May 2011. Inspectors visited 301 SPHE lessons taught by 264 different teachers. In each post-primary school evaluated, a questionnaire was administered to a group of third-year students to ascertain their experiences of junior cycle SPHE. A total of 2,634 questionnaires were administered. Inspectors also met with a group of senior cycle students in each school to ascertain their experiences of SPHE with a particular focus on provision for a senior cycle RSE programme as it applied to them. It is planned that a composite report based on the evaluations undertaken on SPHE lessons at post-primary level will be published towards the end of 2012.