Upcoming Subject Inspection – Information from the Inspectorate for Students & Parents/Guardians
The Inspectorate of the Department of Education inspects schools throughout the country in order to assess the quality of education being provided. A subject inspection is one way in which this is done. Your child’s school has been notified that a subject inspection will be taking place in Irish on Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th February 2023 .
About subject inspection
During a subject inspection, the inspector will examine the work happening in the school in regard to the subject with a view to encouraging good practice and, where appropriate, making recommendations for improvement in provision of the subject. As part of a subject inspection, the inspector evaluates and reports on different aspects under the following areas:
-Learning, teaching and assessment in the subject
-Provision and whole-school support for the subject
-Planning and preparation for the subject
Many activities will occur during a subject inspection including:
-Meetings with the principal and the subject teacher(s)
-A review of planning documentation along with relevant whole-school policies
-Evaluation of learning and teaching in classrooms, including talking to students and looking at their work in the subject
-A focus group with students
About focus groups with students
During the inspection, the inspector will meet a group of students to hear from them about their experience of learning in the subject. This is called a focus group. We invite your child to volunteer to participate in a focus group.
Why do inspectors have a focus group with students?
The Department considers dialogue between children/young people and inspectors to be a very important dimension of meaningful student participation. Inspectors want to hear about the students’ experience of learning in the subject from their point of view. You will find further information about inspections at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d3832-guide-to-inspection
What is involved for your child (time, location, etc.)?
Your child, along with other students, is invited to volunteer to take part in a focus group meeting with an inspector. The focus group meeting will take place during the normal school day and will last for one class period. A focus group will have up to ten students. If more than ten students volunteer, then the inspector will select a number from amongst those who have volunteered.
Right to withdraw
Your child is invited to take part in the focus group in a voluntary capacity. Therefore, they are free to withdraw from the focus group at any time without giving a reason and without consequence.
How will the information from the focus group be used?
During the focus group the inspector will record general notes from the discussion. At the end of the focus group meeting, the inspector will summarise the main points from the discussion that will be shared with the school. The inspector will write an inspection report following the subject inspection. The report will be published on the Department of Education website: https://www.gov.ie/en/school-reports/
How will confidentiality be maintained?
All relevant data protection and child protection requirements will be followed. The children/young people who take part in the focus group will not be named or identified in any record of the focus group or in the inspection report.
You are asked to click on link below and complete the details below for your child (on on your own behalf if you are aged 18or over) if they wish to volunteer and you are happy for them to do so.
CONSENT FORM TO PARTICIPATE IN FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION WITH INSPECTOR