Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (48)

Mick Wallace


48. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the inspection system in place for secondary schools is operating in a satisfactory manner; if he is satisfied with the impact they are having on education standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11888/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am satisfied that the inspection system in place for post-primary schools is effective and that it is very clearly focussed on school improvement and ensuring that schools deliver effectively for all learners. Reforms to the inspection system have ensured that a range of inspection models is now used to evaluate the work of schools, that a greater focus is placed on the quality and standards of teaching and learning in the classrooms visited, and that schools are visited more frequently by inspectors.

In 2012, for example, inspections were conducted in 81% of all post-primary schools. Through these inspections, inspectors engage school management and teachers in professional dialogue about teaching and learning methods, so that all students attain the appropriate standards. Inspectors directly address with the school the learning outcomes achieved by students. Following inspections, inspectors make robust recommendations where required to direct the school's improvement agenda. I am satisfied that inspection contributes to the continuing improvement of standards achieved in education provision.

Question No. 49 answered with Question No. 22.