A secondary school in Fethard, south Co. Tipperary, provides an exemplary level of support for students, according to a newly published report.
A Whole School Evaluation (WSE) was carried out on the Patrician Presentation Secondary School, located on the Rocklow Road, Fethard, on February 5. The report was published on June 14. All schools are subject to regular WSEs to ensure compliance with national guidelines.
The Patrician Presentation Secondary School is a private co-educational Catholic voluntary secondary school, under the trusteeship of the Le Chéile Schools’ Trust. The school has a current enrolment of 134 students. It offers the Junior Cycle programme, the Junior Certificate School Programme (JCSP), an optional Transition Year (TY), the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP), and the Leaving Cert. The school participates in DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), the action plan of the Department of Education and Skills for educational inclusion. The school welcomes students of all abilities and operates with what the inspector describes as “a positive and caring Christian ethos.”
The main findings of this report are: “Leadership of learning and teaching and school development planning is effective; there is potential for strategies linked to DEIS planning to have a greater impact at classroom level.
Whole-school structures to support and care for students are exemplary; however, a wholeschool guidance plan documenting this work is yet to be developed and provision for special educational needs (SEN) requires further development and re-organisation. The principal and deputy principal are highly dedicated and work very well together to create a positive and safe teaching and learning environment and together with the board of management, manage the school very effectively. Learner outcomes and learner experiences of very high quality were evident. The quality of teaching was very good overall, with teachers’ individual practice ranging from good to excellent.
The school has made good progress in relation to recommendations from previous inspection reports. The school’s level of engagement with the self-evaluation process, through planning for DEIS and its capacity for improvement is very good.”
The key recommendations are: “To enhance the quality of the students’ experiences, whole-school collaborative DEIS planning should seek to identify strategies to be implemented at classroom level and a more co-ordinated, phased introduction of agreed teaching and learning strategies should take place.
"A whole-school guidance plan should be developed. The additional teaching resources allocated to the school for students with SEN, should be used solely to provide additional supports to students with SEN and the use of the SEN teaching allocation to provide mainstream subject teaching should cease. The board should play a more active role in monitoring the effectiveness of the agreed strategies linked to the DEIS planning targets and should ensure that progress made in relation to these targets is reported to the school community annually.”
The board of management of Patrician Secondary School said it welcomed the “positive and affirming” report. It stated: “The Board of Management of Patrician Presentation Secondary School will continue to develop all aspects of our school through engagement in evidence-based practice, based on best practice both nationally and internationally to meet our students’ needs academically, personally, socially, spiritually and holistically in a caring and respectful school community.”
Full unedited report at education.ie