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PRESS RELEASE: St Joseph’s a Research Partner with DCU


Event to Recognise Schools as DCU Research Partners


On the 28th April 2015 a special event was hosted by the DCU Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection, which recognised five post-primary schools as DCU Research Partners in 2015.  The following schools were presented with certificates recognising their partnership with DCU:


St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview, Dublin

Margaret Aylward Community College, Whitehall, Dublin

Coláiste na Mí, Navan

Dunshaughlin Community College, Dunshaughlin

St. Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda


In a ceremony attended by representatives from each of the five schools and representatives from the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection, the Deputy President of DCU, Mr Jim Dowling welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of the university’s relationship with schools.

The five schools participated in a research project which took place during 2014/15 and focused on school self-evaluation (SSE) and in particular it aimed to explore a particular approach to supporting post-primary schools to engage in school self-evaluation. The model of support involves the provision of an external professional to guide and facilitate the process of SSE in schools over the duration of 1 school year. Each participating school, agreed to engage in a self-evaluation process involving the gathering and analysis of evidence and the production of a self-evaluation report and a school improvement plan which will be implemented by each school over the next three years.




The project attempts to identify a model of support that is both cost-effective and efficient and one that may usefully be applied nationwide. Throughout this project each school was facilitated by Dr. Shivaun O’Brien who developed the model of support. In addition each school self-evaluation team engaged in follow-up interviews and focus groups with Professor Joe O’Hara and Professor Gerry McNamara. The data gathered will provide information about how each school experienced the school self-evaluation process, the usefulness of the support provided and how the model can be improved.

In his speech the Deputy President of DCU Mr. Jim Dowling recognised the contribution of the schools in the research project: “You have allowed us to test a process that we developed, in real school settings involving teachers and school management during the course of your busy school lives. You have allocated time and resources to this research project and you have trusted us with your valuable time and energy. You have also taken the time to reflect on the experience and share your feedback and recommendations with us allowing us to write our research and based on your feedback to improve our processes. In the true spirit of partnership, I hope this has been a mutually enriching experience.”