Information_for_schools_on_WSE-MLL

					 Whole School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning

Information for schools

Introduction
Whole-School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning (WSE-MLL) evaluates whole-
school issues with a particular focus on the quality of management and leadership and the quality of
teaching and learning in post-primary schools.

WSE-MLL examines whole-school issues relating to management, leadership, provision, planning,
teaching, learning and assessment. The inspection will
 provide an evaluation of these important aspects of the work of the school
 assess the development and improvement that the school has engaged in as a result of earlier
    external evaluations, throughout the school and in specific subject departments
 identify and affirm good practice in the school
 provide clear recommendations for further development and improvement
 provide an inspection report to the school and the public.

During the in-school evaluation period inspectors will visit a selection of lessons. The inspectors will
observe teaching and learning and will interact with students in classrooms and learning areas. Brief
feedback will be provided to each teacher following the observation of lessons. Inspectors may also
convene meetings with subject departments, coordinators or programme teams as necessary. Generally,
teachers will be informed as to which lessons are to be evaluated on the morning of each day of the
evaluation. Subject inspections will not be included in WSE-MLL but published inspection reports will
be reviewed prior to the in-school phase of the evaluation. Both subject inspection and full WSE will
continue as key elements of inspection in post-primary schools.

WSE-MLL will be carried out in line with the general principles regarding evaluation and reporting
outlined in the Professional Code of Practice on Evaluation and Reporting for the Inspectorate.

The evaluation team will normally consist of two inspectors: one reporting and one support inspector.
An additional support inspector will participate in schools with an enrolment of more than 700
students.

The WSE-MLL will produce a report on the quality of management, leadership and learning in the
school. The WSE-MLL process will include oral feedback to the principal and deputy principal, staff
and board of management. The inspection report will issue to the school for factual verification (FV)
and school response (SR) stages. During the trial phase, the inspection report will not be published on
the website of the Department of Education and Skills.


WSE – MLL and schools

Letters of notification
Schools will receive three weeks notice of a WSE-MLL evaluation. The chairperson of the board of
management and the patron or trustees of the school and the chief executive officer of the vocational
education committee, where relevant, will receive a copy of the letter of notification. Following the




                                                                Information for schools on WSE-MLL_26_09_10
official notification of the WSE-MLL, the principal will be contacted to outline the format of the
evaluation, to arrange meetings and evaluation visits, and to clarify any specific issues.


Documentation
The school will be requested to complete a school information form in electronic format, part of which
will be pre-filled by the Inspectorate using data available within the Department of Education and
Skills.
The principal will be asked to provide a small number of documents in advance to the inspection team:
 Minutes of the five most recent meetings of the BOM
 The full school timetable and individual teacher timetables together with explanation of codes
 The school enrolment and admissions policy / procedures, copies of application forms and related
     material
 The school calendar for the previous three years with details of opening and closures dates and the
     schedule of meetings staff days and major school events

The principal and chairperson of the board of management will be requested to complete and sign a
form confirming that the school has complied with Children First (Department of Health and Children,
2004) and the Child Protection Guidelines for Post-primary Schools (Department of Education and
Skills, 2004).

The following documents should be available in the school for consultation by the inspection team
during the evaluation.
 The school’s handbook for staff
 The minutes of the last five staff meetings
 Copies of newsletters or other communications to parents
 The school plan
 The code of behaviour/conduct including policy on suspension and exclusion

Advance day in school
In the week prior to the in-school phase inspectors will visit the school to
 meet with the principal and deputy principal to finalise arrangements for the evaluation
 obtain documentation and examine some documentation in-school.
 oversee the administration of student questionnaires in selected classes and arrange with the school
     for the distribution of parental questionnaires to selected parents
 meet with the board of management
 meet with representatives of the parents’ association, where a parents’ association, affiliated to the
     National Parents Council, post-primary, (NPC-pp) has been formed. Where the school does not
     have a parents’ association or the association is not affiliated to the NPC-pp, the inspectors will
     convene a meeting with the parents’ representatives on the board of management
 be available to address staff, if required, to deal with queries about the evaluation.

Board of management
At the meeting with the board of management of the school, the board will be invited to give a
presentation on the operation of the school under the following headings:
 The school context
 The school’s self-evaluation process and its impact on school improvement
 The strengths of the school and the areas for development identified by the board
 The implementation of recommendations of previous evaluations
 The quality of partnership within the school community

Following this, the meeting will examine the work of the board. A representative of the patron,
trustee(s) and VEC (as appropriate) may attend this meeting.

Questionnaires to parents and students
The purpose of the questionnaires is to provide an insight into the views of parents and students on the
performance and operation of the school. The completed questionnaires will not carry the names or
signatures of parents or students. They will be returned to the Department of Education and Skills.



                                                                 Information for schools on WSE-MLL_26_09_10
The aggregated results of analysis of the questionnaires will be provided to the reporting inspector.
Information gained from the analysis of questionnaires may be referred to in the inspection report. A
report of the aggregated data from the questionnaires will be provided to the school.

In-school phase
During the three days of the in-school evaluation period, the reporting and support inspector will
collect further evidence to inform the evaluation through meetings with
   the principal and deputy principal
   a group or groups of key staff members (for example, representatives of the middle management
       team, or the student support team, or the education support team, or subject/programme co-
       ordinators)
   a focus group of 10-12 students selected by the inspection team in consultation with the
       principal. (If available, the group should include, but not be limited to, members of the school’s
       student council.)


Reporting phase

Following completion of the in-school evaluation phase, the inspection team will agree its findings and
the recommendations to be included in the draft inspection report. When the Inspectorate complete the
draft report, post-evaluation meetings will be held with:
      the principal and deputy principal
      the school staff
      the members of the board of management and a representative of the patron/trustees and a
         representative of the parents’ association (normally the chair) where the association is
         affiliated to the NPC-pp

The purpose of these meetings is to communicate the main draft findings of the evaluation and provide
opportunities for clarification of any information and discussion as to how the school can develop
through implementation of the main recommendations of the evaluation.

The draft inspection report will be finalised following the completion of the post-evaluation feedback
meetings. The inspection report will be processed through the normal quality assurance procedures of
the Inspectorate and will be issued to the school for factual verification and later for school response as
prescribed in Publication of School Inspection Reports: Guidelines (DES, 2006). When WSE-MLL is
fully established, the final report and the school’s response, if appropriate, will be published on the
website of the Department of Education and Skills. Publication will not take place during the trial
phase of WSE-MLL.




Inspectorate Evaluation Support and Research Unit
September 2010




                                                                  Information for schools on WSE-MLL_26_09_10
       Whole School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning Report

The report, of approximately six pages will be written in accordance with the framework below.


WSE-MLL EVALUATION FRAMEWORK

Brief introduction outlining school context

1.      Summary of findings and recommendations for further development
        1.1 Key Findings
        1.2 Recommendations for Further Development

2.      Quality of school management and leadership
        2.1 School ownership and management – the Board of Management
        Composition, functioning and fulfilment of statutory obligations
        The school’s priorities for development

        2.2 Effectiveness of leadership for learning
        Leadership of staff
        Leadership of students

        2.3 Management of facilities


3.      Quality of learning and teaching
        3.1 The quality of learning and teaching

4.      Implementation of recommendations from previous evaluations
        4.1 Management
        4.2 Learning and teaching

5.      The school’s self-evaluation process and capacity for school improvement




                                                               Information for schools on WSE-MLL_26_09_10