COMPOSITE REPORT ON IRISH LANGUAGE COLLEGES 2014

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Composite Report on Irish Language Colleges,August 2015 Department of Education and Skills. Published by,Department of Education and Skills,Marlborough Street. This report and related reports may be accessed at. www education ie,FOREWORD III,1 INTRODUCTION 1,2 IRISH LANGUAGE COLLEGES 2014 2. 3 EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS 2014 2,3 1 THE EVALUATION PROCESS 3. 4 MAIN FINDINGS OF EVALUATION REPORTS 2014 4,4 1 OVERVIEW OF MAIN FINDINGS 4.
4 2 MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP 6,4 3 TEACHING LEARNING AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT 8. 4 3 1 Morning classes 8,4 3 2 Afternoon and evening activities 13. 4 4 PLANNING AND SELF EVALUATION 13, 4 4 1 Whole college planning and self evaluation 13. 4 4 2 Teacher planning 15,5 CONCLUDING COMMENTS 16. APPENDIX A IRISH LANGUAGE COLLEGE STATISTICS 2014 18. APPENDIX B STATISTICS FOR IRISH LANGUAGE COLLEGES INSPECTED IN 2014 20. LIST OF TABLES, Table 1 Statistics for Irish language colleges 2014 2.
Table 2 Quality continuum 4, Table 3 Overview of the quality of work in Irish language colleges 2014 5. LIST OF FIGURES, Figure 1 Overview of quality of work in Irish language colleges 2014 6. Figure 2 Quality of management and leadership 7, Figure 3 Quality of teaching learning and achievement in morning classes 9. Figure 4 Quality of afternoon and evening activities 13. Figure 5 Quality of whole college planning and self evaluation 14. Figure 6 Quality of teacher planning 15, This composite report presents the findings of inspections carried out by the Inspectorate. Department of Education and Skills on Irish language colleges in 2014 The Irish. language colleges provide thousands of students each year with a valuable opportunity. to engage with Irish as a living language in the Gaeltacht In particular the colleges play. an important role in developing positive attitudes among students towards Irish and in. enhancing their ability and willingness to speak the language. It is important therefore that the highest standards are promoted in the services provided. by the colleges The Inspectorate supports the Department of Arts Heritage and the. Gaeltacht in this regard by evaluating the quality of educational provision in a sample of. Irish language colleges each year Inspectors visited a quarter of the colleges in 2014. and reviewed aspects of provision such as management and leadership teaching and. learning and the effectiveness of the various language and cultural activities. It is heartening to see that inspection findings in relation to many aspects of the work in. Irish language colleges are positive Much credit is due to the management and teachers. of the colleges in ensuring that the work of the colleges is of a high standard However. the report also identifies areas where there is need for improvement and highlights the. need for colleges to continue to improve the quality of their educational provision for. Harold Hislop,Chief Inspector,1 Introduction, This composite report focuses on the quality of educational provision in the Irish.
language colleges inspected during 2014 on behalf of the Department of Arts Heritage. and the Gaeltacht DAHG The DAHG has the primary administrative role for Irish. language colleges and for implementing the regulations set out in the document. Regulations under which Recognition is granted to Irish Language Colleges1 This report. is based on the main findings of reports provided by inspectors from the Department of. Education and Skills DES regarding the quality and effectiveness of educational. provision in colleges to support students acquisition of the Irish language. The inspections offer an external view on the work of Irish language colleges in. different Gaeltacht areas and on the quality of teaching and learning in the colleges. The external evaluations undertaken are focused solely on Class C Irish language. courses which are attended by post primary students and a small percentage of pupils. from primary school senior classes The main purpose of the evaluations is to promote. continuous improvement and to affirm and promote good educational practice The. inspection reports give clear practical advice in order to improve the quality of. educational practice, The Inspectorate of the DES aims in this composite report to give practical support to. the DAHG and to the Irish language colleges that will guide and encourage them in. further developing and improving the standard of work in the colleges and in increasing. the impact of colleges on the learning of Irish among students attending their courses. The first section of the report describes the distribution of students attending Irish. language colleges in general and the evaluation process used by the Inspectorate. This is followed by an examination of the main overall findings in the evaluation reports. under the following subheadings,Management and leadership. Teaching learning and student achievement,o Morning classes. o Afternoon and evening activities,Planning and self evaluation. o Whole college planning and self evaluation,o Teacher planning.
This regulations document is available at www ahg gov ie. 2 Irish language colleges 2014, In 2014 thirty two colleges offered Irish language courses to post primary students in. various Gaeltacht areas Three residential Irish language colleges operated outside. the Gaeltacht A total of 126 Irish language summer courses were provided in the. Class C category 18 130 students in total attended Irish language courses a figure. 6 lower than that of 2013 Table 1 summarises levels of attendance on a provincial. basis Additional details regarding individual colleges are provided in Appendix A at. the end of this report,Grand total of Irish language courses 2014. Number of courses Number of students,Ulster 25 3 715. Connacht 67 12 064,Munster 31 2 017,Leinster 3 334. Grand total 2014 126 18 130, Table 1 Statistics for Irish language colleges 20142.
3 External evaluations 2014, During 2014 external inspections and reporting were undertaken on the quality of. educational provision in 25 of courses provided by the Irish language colleges. Inspectors visited thirty two Irish language courses that were provided under the. direction of twenty four steering committees This included fifteen courses in Connacht. eight courses in Munster eight courses in Ulster and one course in Leinster. Seventeen inspectors took part in this work Further details about the colleges in which. the inspections took place are available in Appendix B at the end of this report. A report on the quality of educational provision was submitted to the DAHG and to the. management of every Irish language college in which an evaluation took place In the. case of eight Irish language colleges a memorandum was provided highlighting issues. related to the fulfilment of regulations stipulated in the document Regulations under. which Recognition is granted to Irish Language Colleges. 2 Source Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht November 2014. 3 1 The evaluation process, In its inspection and report writing work the Inspectorate aims to operate an evaluation. process which is fair transparent and consistent, The Department of Education and Skills carries out external evaluations of courses in. Irish language colleges in order to, assure the quality and effectiveness of educational provision in Irish language. colleges through the collection of objective reliable independent and high quality. recognise and affirm the strengths of educational provision in Irish language. promote ongoing improvement in the quality of educational provision in Irish. language colleges for the benefit of the students attending. The inspection reports address the following themes in particular. quality of management and leadership, quality of teaching learning and student achievement in Irish.
quality of planning and self evaluation, Usually the inspection of Irish language colleges took the form of a one day incidental. inspection carried out by a reporting inspector During 2014 on a trial basis two. inspectors a reporting inspector and a supporting inspector carried out the. evaluation on an Irish language college in which fifteen to twenty five teachers were. The inspection activities carried out included, visits to a number of morning classes to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning. interactions with students during and outside lessons as appropriate. a review of college documentation,observation of afternoon activities. meetings with various members of the steering committee or with college staff. including the principal, In addition to the above activities evaluation visits in 2014 included for the first time. meetings with student focus groups in order to capture the students perspective. regarding the Irish language courses provided A maximum of eight students was. chosen on a voluntary basis to take part in the focus groups In choosing students. due regard was given to having a balanced representation in terms of age gender and. language proficiency College management had the option of either having or not. having a teacher present during the inspector s meeting with students. The quality continuum as illustrated in Table 2 informed the inspectors appraisal of. the quality of student learning and the quality of teachers practice during the evaluation. of the Irish language colleges As in 2013 principals and the chairpersons of Irish. language college steering committees were invited to confirm the factual accuracy of. inspection reports before they were issued, Categories used Performance Examples of the range used in the reports to.
in the reports levels describe the quality of provision. Satisfactory Significant Excellent of a very high quality very effective. strengths highly commendable very good very successful. few areas for improvement, Strengths outweigh Good good quality valuable effective practice. weaknesses competent useful commendable fully,appropriate provision although some possibilities. for improvement exist, Less than Weaknesses Fair in certain areas but with evident weaknesses. satisfactory outweigh strengths that are impacting significantly on pupils learning. less than satisfactory in some areas scope for,development experiencing some difficulty. Significant Weak unsatisfactory insufficient ineffective. weaknesses requiring significant change development or. improvement experiencing significant difficulties,Table 2 Quality continuum.
4 Main findings of evaluation reports 2014,4 1 Overview of main findings. On the whole very good arrangements were in place across Irish language colleges. to promote students learning and use of Irish and to ensure that students benefitted. as much as possible from the Irish language courses The promotion of oral Irish was. an essential element in the work of the various colleges. Table 3 summarises the outcomes regarding the quality of work in the main areas of. provision in Irish language colleges inspected during 2014. 1 Management and There were significant strengths or strengths outweighed. leadership weaknesses in almost every Irish language college Half. showed significant strengths, There were more weaknesses than strengths in a very small. number of Irish language colleges No college showed. significant weaknesses, 2 Teaching learning and There were significant strengths or strengths outweighed. student achievement weaknesses in most Irish language colleges There were. morning classes significant strengths in a fifth of colleges. There were more weaknesses than strengths in a very small. number of Irish language colleges No college showed. significant weaknesses, 3 Teaching learning and There were significant strengths or strengths outweighed. student achievement weaknesses in every Irish language college Most showed. afternoon and evening significant strengths,activities.
4 Whole college planning There were significant strengths or strengths outweighed. and self evaluation weaknesses in almost every Irish language college A third. showed significant strengths,One college showed significant weaknesses. 5 Teacher planning Strengths outweighed weaknesses in half of the Irish language. colleges A very small number showed significant strengths. There were more weaknesses than strengths in a third of the. Irish language colleges There were significant weaknesses in. one instance, Table 3 Overview of the quality of work in Irish language colleges 2014. Figure 1 shows the proportion of the thirty two Irish language colleges operating at. differing levels of quality in the various areas according to the main findings of the. inspections undertaken in 2014, In terms of management and leadership inspectors reported that there were significant. strengths or that strengths outweighed weaknesses 50 and 41 respectively in. most colleges in which an evaluation took place Weaknesses outweighed strengths. in only a very small number of colleges 9 while no college was reported as having. significant weaknesses overall in relation to this area. As regards teaching learning and student achievement in the morning language. classes Figure 1 shows that good practice was evident in a majority 72 of the Irish. language colleges in which an evaluation took place with about one fifth of colleges. Composite Report on Irish Language Colleges 3 1 THE EVALUATION PROCESS DES regarding the quality and effectiveness of educational

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