I launched a new system of school self-evaluation for all schools last November. My Department issued circulars 0039/2012 (primary) and 0040/2012 (post-primary) which explain the school self-evaluation process and the actions required at school level. The Inspectorate has published comprehensive guidelines for schools and is delivering a range of other supports for school self-evaluation. School self-evaluation will work alongside and complement the annual programme of external inspections conducted by the Inspectorate to provide an integrated and robust system of quality assurance.
I do not intend to change the very good external inspection arrangements that we have. However, in the years ahead, as schools develop their capacity to conduct effective school self-evaluation, models of inspection will be further adapted to assess, validate and take full account of each school's own self-evaluation and improvement planning. By connecting school self-evaluation and external inspection in this way we can achieve a more integrated quality assurance system for schools supporting the provision of a high quality and effective school experience for all learners.