An Roinn Oideachais agus EolaŪochta

Department of Education and Science

Directorate of Regional Offices

 

Evaluation of Youth Encounter Project Schools

REPORT

 

Saint Kevinís School

Infirmary Road, Cork

Roll Number: 19788D

 

Date of inspection: 19 May 2006

Date of issue of report: 26 October 2006

 

 

 

 

1 School Context and Ethos

1.1 Context

1.2 Distinctive character and atmosphere

1.3 Supports for students

1.4 Links with the community

2 Quality of School management

2.1 Role of board of management

2.2 Administration of the school

2.3 Programme and curriculum organisation

2.4 Staff deployment

2.5 Accommodation and resources

3 Quality of school planning

3.1 School plan and policies

3.2 Planning process

3.3 Implementation of plan

4 Quality of teaching and learning

4.1 Planning and preparation

4.2 Teaching methodologies

4.3 Assessment of studentsí progress

4.4 Outcomes and standards

5 Summary of main findings and recommendations

 

 

 


This School Evaluation report

 

This report has been written following an evaluation of St Kevinís Youth Encounter Project School.† The evaluation is being carried out in the context of an expenditure review of those schools which were originally designated ĎYouth Encounter Project Schoolsí. It presents the findings of an evaluation of the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation, the inspector held pre-evaluation meetings with the teaching staff and board of management. †It should be noted that due to health reasons, the principal of St. Kevinís was absent from the school for three months prior to the evaluation taking place.† He did, however, attend the school during the course of the evaluation in order to be interviewed.† The evaluation was conducted over a number of days during which the inspector visited classrooms and observed teaching and learning. The inspector interacted with teaching staff and students in the school, examined learnersí work and conducted an interview with a representative group of students. The inspector also reviewed relevant school planning documentation and teachersí written preparation, and met the board of management and parents.† Following the evaluation visit, the inspector provided oral feedback on the outcomes of the evaluation to the staff of the school and to the board of management. The board of management was given an opportunity to comment in writing on the findings and recommendations of the report; a response was not received from the board.

 

 

1 School Context and Ethos

 

1.1 Context

 

St Kevinís School was established in 1980 as one of five Youth Encounter Projects (YEP) in the country.† Its original brief was to provide a positive experience of education for a small number of students in the Cork area for whom mainstream primary and post-primary education was deemed inappropriate.† Though officially retaining its Department of Education and Science (DES) classification as a YEP, it has locally become known as St Kevinís School, following consultation with parents.† There are twenty-three students enrolled in St Kevinís who range in age from 11 years to 16 years. †This age range places significant demands on the preparation of suitable learning programmes as some students are of primary- school age, while others are pursuing the junior cycle in preparation for the Junior Certificate examinations.† The students are drawn from a range of areas on the north and south sides of the city.† Thus, the city centre location is appropriate.†

 

As part of the evaluation process, the school completed profiles on its students.† These profiles outlined the studentsí previous experiences of school, their home situations and other valuable data.† Of the twenty-three students currently enrolled, sixteen were referred to the school because of serious behavioural difficulties in their previous schools.† Other were enrolled because of poor attendance or because they came under the care of the Health Services Executive.† Many of the students suffer the most extreme and multi-dimensional forms of educational and social disadvantage. Thus, St Kevinís provides for many what may be a final opportunity to benefit from formal non-residential education.† That the school manages to encourage regular attendance and bring most of the students to Junior Certificate level is testament to the significant commitment of the schoolís board of management and staff along with its ongoing and developing links with parents and the home.† Faced with very challenging behaviour on an everyday basis, the staffís commitment in particular is highly commendable.† The provision of positive learning outcomes for the students is the main priority of the staff.† The operation of the school, of necessity, is highly collaborative.† Each member of staff undertakes assigned duties purposefully and in a manner which is supportive of colleagues.† Similarly, collaboration with external agencies, outlined below, is a very positive feature of the work of the school.††††††††

 

 

 

 

1.2 Distinctive character and atmosphere

 

This school has a very distinctive character.† It caters for marginalised students who recognise the difficulties and challenges they pose to teachers and staff in terms of their behaviour.† Though frequently not evident in their interactions with each other and with the staff, many of the students strive to manage their behaviour.† As they progress through the schoolís three classes, a degree of maturity ensures that the students are in a position to focus on learning in a meaningful manner.† It is evident that the staff places significant value on the efforts undertaken to ensure that the majority of the students pursue their studies to Junior Certificate level.† That this is achieved is highly commendable and is due to the dedication and commitment of all members of staff who operate in difficult circumstances.†

 

The school building is not suited to the provision of education and this issue is discussed further below.† However, of most immediate concern is the prevalence of aggression, verbal abuse and violence in the school.† Confronted at times with what amounts to provocation on the part of some of the students, the members of staff are highly commended for maintaining their composure.† The instances of verbal abuse and aggression are particularly prevalent among the younger students in the school who threaten staff regularly.† Members of staff have also been physically assaulted.† The management of student behaviour has long been a concern for the staff and the board of management.† Significant efforts have been undertaken in the past to counteract violent and aggressive behaviour among the students.† This is evidenced in particular by the dedication of in-service planning days to the subject, leading to the formulation of policy in this area.† The degree to which all stakeholders in the school were involved in this process is impressive.† However, the continued existence of verbal abuse of staff and of simmering violence among the students indicates that further measures are necessary in tackling this serious issue.†

 

Given the stresses facing the staff each day, there is a commendable sense of camaraderie and teamwork in the manner in which they conduct business.† Their interactions with students are, as far as possible, positive and there is a good sense of the staff endeavouring to do their very best for the students.† The focus placed on the holistic development of the student is creditable, particularly in after-school programmes which expose students to societal norms and values.†

†††

††

1.3 Supports for students

 

The experience and expertise of staff members is a support for learners in providing a range of academic and vocational subjects.† It is evident that, when studentsí are interested or talented in a particular subject area, the staff endeavours to foster this appropriately.† The school principal, however, cites the absence of a trained primary school teacher on the staff as being a significant impediment to studentsí learning, in that there is a lack of expertise among the staff in dealing with students who have very significant literacy and numeracy difficulties.† The disparity between studentsí chronological ages and their achievement on standardised literacy and numeracy tests and resultant frustrations may, for a minority, be the root cause of instances of aggression and verbal abuse.† Staff display considerable patience in dealing with violent and aggressive outbursts and demonstrate that the studentsí attention can be satisfactorily focused on learning activities.†††

The culture in which the school operates was the focus of discussion at the post-evaluation meetings.† Currently, there is a strong academic focus in the school, with many of the students completing seven Junior Certificate subjects.† This is a very considerable achievement given the demands placed on the staff.† The school should consider the balance between the focus on academic work and the toll this may place on staff.† These considerations should involve discussions around the structure of the school day, which is currently heavily focused on timetabled formal lessons.† A potential outcome might result in less, though more focused time spent on formal learning activities and a consequent increase on less structured and informal learning activities.† The development of more informal learning opportunities may, in time, become a significant support to the students. While constituting a considerable challenge, there is sufficient expertise, commitment and energy among the members of staff to ensure that a restructured day would become a significant support to the students.† In that regard, it is recommended that study visits by members of staff to other schools within the YEP network be facilitated.† The purpose of these visits would be, among other things, to observe practice in relation to the management of student behaviour.††††

 

The school has access to the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and this constitutes a considerable support for the students.† In that regard, their needs are addressed and suitable individual education programmes (IEPs) are developed.† These are collaboratively formulated documents and provide teachers and other staff with appropriate directions relating to the educational development of the student.† Students are also offered counselling in the school.† The focus of this work is on giving students opportunities to focus on their behaviour and to stimulate more positive responses to threats and challenges.

 

The school would benefit greatly by being included in some of the supports being provided to schools in the Departmentís DEIS programme. This would provide support to the school in tackling the low levels of literacy and numeracy that hinder the progression of many of the students.†††††††

 

 

1.4 Links with the community

 

One of the striking features of the work in St Kevinís is the positive relations which exist between the school and the parents.† This stems primarily from the recognition of parents that the school is endeavouring to educate their children in a style which is suited to their needs, but also from the manner in which individual members of staff interact with parents.† These interactions are positive and ensure that the parents are favourably disposed to the school and its efforts to educate their children.† During the course of the post-evaluation meeting, it emerged that the staff have in the very recent past adopted a new approach in relation to informing parents of the precise nature of their childrenís behaviour.† To that end, the school now records in exact detail the unacceptable language used by the students towards members of staff.† This in turn is forwarded directly to parents.† This is a welcome development and may have a beneficial impact on student behaviour.

 

The school has links with a wide range of agencies and initiatives working in the Cork city area.† Most of these deal with disadvantaged and marginalised communities.† The school has strong links with the schools that provide its student cohort.† These include primary and post-primary schools.† There is evidence of strong links with staff from the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB).† Unlike the situation in other YEP schools, very few of the students in St Kevinís have had prolonged absences from school prior to enrolling.†

 

 

2 Quality of School management

 

2.1 Role of board of management

 

The board of management in St Kevinís is very committed to the development of the school, the provision of positive learning experiences for the students and, above all the provision of suitable accommodation for the school.† The board of management meets regularly and is fully informed of progress and developments pertaining to the school and individual students.† The variety of backgrounds and interests of board members is impressive.† The board of management is commended for the degree to which it focuses on the challenges in the school.† The provision of in-service seminars for staff, parents and students is indicative of this.† The chairperson and other individual members of the board of management are frequent visitors to the school and liaise very closely with the principal and other members of staff.† The board of management also concerns itself in sourcing suitable personnel for the school.† In that regard, the board of management has been extremely successful.† Excluding the teachers, who are all suitably qualified to teach post-primary subjects, many other members of staff hold qualifications over and above what may be generally expected.† These include special needs assistants (SNAs) who hold qualifications to post-graduate level in the areas of psychology and counselling.† The degree to which these personnel are suited to their jobs emphasises the importance of the board of managementís search for personnel best suited to St Kevinís.

 

The presence and active contribution of two parents on the board of management is highly commendable.† They offer valuable insights into the nature of the children, their behaviour, their capabilities and their interests.† It is recommended that St Kevinís shares with other YEP schools its experiences relating to its work with parents, focusing on the developmental aspect of the relationship.†††

 

 

2.2 Administration of the school

 

The school is administered effectively.† Supported by a highly efficient part-time secretary, the principal ensures that appropriate attention is paid to the long-term development of the school.† A range of strategic plans have been developed.† The quality of these plans is addressed below.† Routines and timetables are adhered to.† Commendable efforts are undertaken to ensure that the staff is supported in their work.† To that end, a range of supplementary and resource material is provided.† Staff members are regularly consulted in structured and formal meetings.† Very significant demands, however, are placed on the principal, in terms of assisting teachers and staff in managing instances of violent or aggressive behaviour.† While individual outbursts are for the most part managed effectively, there is need of a shared school strategy for dealing with violence and aggression. The reduction of serious student misbehaviour will, in the long term, facilitate greater focus on the day to day educational needs of the students.†††

†††

 

2.3 Programme and curriculum organisation

 

St Kevinís is a school which strives to ensure that as many students as possible will continue their education to Junior Certificate level.† If a student has the benefit of attending the school for a prolonged period and has the opportunity of progressing through the schoolís three classes, then it is likely that this outcome can be achieved.† In that regard, the school structures its day in a manner similar to most other post-primary schools.† Students participate in structured, formal lessons.† Each teacher follows a timetable and is required to teach a range of subjects.† Lessons commence at 9.30am, each lasting thirty minutes, and continue to 2.30pm.† For many of the students, particularly the younger ones, their inability to attend to assigned learning tasks and their propensity towards aggression and verbal abuse impacts severely on the amount of actual time spent engaged in quality learning activities.† Even with the use of individual educational plans (IEPs) and individualised teaching programmes, the younger students in particular fail to engage in quality learning activities.† Thus, it is recommended that the school reviews current arrangements relating to curriculum organisation.† This may result in the adoption of a less-structured, more informal approach to learning.† For example, consideration could be given to shortening the duration of formal lessons, so that they conclude at lunchtime.† Informal learning activities could then be introduced in the afternoons.† This approach has proved successful in other YEP schools.†

 

After-school activities observed during the course of the evaluation were beneficial to the students.† They demonstrated keen interest in the activity provided, attended enthusiastically to assigned tasks and interacted positively, for the most part, with staff and with each other, thus displaying an ability to modify their behaviour in certain settings.††††††††††

2.4 Staff deployment

 

There is a highly favourable staff to student ratio in St Kevinís school.† The three class teachers are supported by a resource teacher, four special needs assistants (SNAs), three part-time teachers a community worker, a part-time counsellor, a Ďfear aí tŪ,í and two part-time youth workers.†††

 

Staff members are experienced and are cognisant of the difficulties and challenges presented by the students.† They operate professionally and their training needs are attended to.† Suitable opportunities are afforded to the staff on a weekly basis to address concerns and progress made by students.† A very positive feature of practice in the school is the periodic rotation of teachers among the schoolís three classes.

 

 

2.5 Accommodation and resources

 

The building in which the school is located is a Victorian rectory which is owned by the Cork City Vocational Education Committee (VEC).† Though not subject to any formal timetable, the VEC has indicated to the school that it wishes to repossess the building in order to relocate its offices.† This proposition offers both challenges and opportunities to St Kevinís.† The opportunity, when presented, of moving to a new location in the city centre should be grasped, given the fact that the current circumstances are far from ideal.† The buildingís three floors are used to the best possible effect by the school and contain three classrooms, small offices and meeting rooms, a staff room and, in the basement, a fully functioning commercial kitchen.† A pool table is also located in the basement.† It is evident that some of the students do not respect the efforts of staff to create the best possible learning environment.† This is evidenced by the amount of damage done to doors and walls in the school and by the defacement of illustrative charts in classrooms.†

 

It is also evident, that this building does not suit the purposes of a school.† It impacts negatively on the studentsí educational experiences and it is clear that, among the students there is little regard for the building.† There is, however, a good range of resources in the school.† The use of ICT as a reward mechanism is appropriate and, to that end, a good range of software is provided.† Some of the students display aptitude for working with computers and, in that regard, the school may wish to consider the design and production of a website.† Supplementary materials, such as dedicated reading schemes, are plentiful in the school.† Very good efforts are made by staff to utilise these to best effect.††††

 

 

3 Quality of school planning

 

3.1 School plan and policies

 

The issue of child protection was discussed with the management of the centre. Evidence was provided to confirm that management and staff have taken appropriate steps to develop policies in line with the provisions in Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Department of Health and Children, 2004). Evidence was also provided to confirm that the management of the centre has adopted and implemented the policies. A designated liaison person has been appointed in line with the requirements of these Department of Health and Children guidelines.

 

Considerable and commendable work is evident in the production of a range of administrative and curriculum policies.† It is also evident that collaboration is a positive feature of the planning process in the school.† The role of each member of staff is clearly defined.† The source of many of the schoolís curriculum policies is the Primary School Curriculum.† Although a small number of its students are of primary school age, the majority are of post-primary school age.† Thus, as a long-term measure, the school may wish to consider the creation of curriculum policies which are not rooted in the Primary School Curriculum.† The optimum manner in which to pursue this goal is in collaboration with other YEP schools.††

 

The school has contact and links with the Department of Education and Science (DES).† These links range from ongoing contact with individual members of the Departmentís High-Support Unit to attendance at in-service training provided by the DES.† As is the case in other YEP schools, the nature of the support offered by DES agencies is regarded by the school as inappropriate to its needs.† Because of its official classification as a primary school, the teachers are obliged to attend in-service courses aimed at addressing the implementation of the Primary Curriculum.† For example, the school does not teach Irish, yet it is obliged to attend in-service course on the teaching of Irish.† Evidence gathered during the course of this, and other YEP evaluations, suggests that an alternative model of support is necessary for this school.† In that regard, it is recommended that the school seeks access to support from the Special Education Support Service (SESS) with a view to the provision of a more relevant model of in-service support.†††††

 

 

3.2 Planning process

 

The staff meets every week to review completed work, to monitor studentsí progress and behaviour and to plan for future learning opportunities.† It is evident that each staff memberís contribution to this process is valued.† The commitment of the staff to the students is also very evident in this process.† The board of management is commended for ensuring that suitable opportunities are given to the staff to engage in more strategic long-term planning.†††

 

3.3 Implementation of plan

 

One of the main aims of the school is to bring students to Junior Certificate level.† This is set out in the schoolís mission statement.† In that regard, many of the students experience success.† The school plans and utilises a range of measures aimed at managing the studentsí behaviour.† These vary in their effectiveness.† School policies emphasise the creation of a culture of respect for all in St Kevinís.† This is not universally apparent in practice.† The degree to which the students are verbally abusive of their teachers and staff members is unacceptable, a view expressed by staff members during the course of the evaluation.† At the same time, it is evident that the students can differentiate in their interactions with some staff members and visitors.† The greatest challenge facing the school is ensuring that instances of aggression, violence, and verbal abuse become the exception rather than the norm in the school.† In that regard, observation of behaviour management strategies employed in other YEP schools is recommended.† This may influence a review of current policies and strategies aimed at managing student behaviour. †

 

Similarly, other YEP schools may benefit from observing practice in St Kevinís, particularly in relation to the planning of parental involvement in school life.† The fact that there are parentsí representatives on the schoolís board of management is extremely positive for the operation of the board and, ultimately, the school.† The process of planned consultation with parents that the school has engaged in is highly commendable.† This is evidenced in the structured and facilitated meetings that have been held with parents to elicit their views on school life.

 

 

4 Quality of teaching and learning

 

4.1 Planning and preparation

 

Teachers are commended for the degree to which they plan and prepare for their work.† The school reports a dearth of age-appropriate materials in Ireland for teenage students with low literacy and numeracy levels.† The teachers have to provide a wide range of supplementary and concrete materials for their work with the students.† These range from reading materials to illustrative charts and posters.† Much of these are home-made and designed with individual studentsí needs and abilities in mind and they provide further evidence of the commitment of the staff.†

 

Teachers also provide suitable written preparation for their work.† In some instances, the degree to which the students can achieve the learning objectives set out by teachers is limited because of poor behaviour.† The Junior Certificate schools programme (JCSP) offers suitable guidance to teachers in their efforts to prepare students for completion of the Junior Certificate.† Most of the students in their second year in the school will follow the JCSP, primarily in preparation for the Junior Certificate.†

 

A positive feature of teachersí written preparation is the presence of IEPs in each of their folders.† Monthly literacy and numeracy targets are set and there is very good evidence of collaboration between the school and NEPS in that regard.†††††††

4.2 Teaching methodologies

 

The class and support teachers are cognisant of the need to develop basic literacy and numeracy skills among the students.† In the case of some students, balancing this need with the provision of appropriate resource materials presents a significant challenge.† In instances, some of the students display extreme behaviour, perhaps as a mechanism to deflect attention from their difficulties in literacy and numeracy.† The teachers are commended for the calm manner in which they seek to ensure that learning takes place.† Settling the youngest students in particular into a learning routine is difficult.† They frequently leave their classroom without permission, sometimes to smoke in the toilet, at other times to interrupt ongoing work in other classrooms.† While individual lessons are timetabled to last thirty minutes, the behavioural challenges posed by some students result in limited time being spent on planned tasks.† This may only amount to ten or fifteen minutes.† When they are focused on a learning activity, however, the staff successfully ensures that the studentsí attention is on the task at hand.† Students who have very limited literacy skills are treated with sensitivity.† In these instances, the staff read stories to the students and attempt to promote and develop basic literacy skills through a process of questioning.† Computers with an appropriate range of software are used effectively as a reward mechanism for students who successfully complete assigned tasks.† As the students progress through the three classes, the focus of work shifts to the pursuit of Junior Certificate subjects.† Good use of the studentsí environment in the teaching of numeracy is noted.† Students are successfully brought from the known to the unknown using concrete examples to which the students can relate.† Some students are enabled to progress to completing seven subjects, predominantly at ordinary or foundation level.† A small number take subjects at higher level.† These are mostly subjects with a strong vocational element.† This in itself represents a significant achievement on the part of the school.† It is appropriately recognised by the school that following the Junior Certificate is not suited to a small number of students.† In those instances, students follow the JCSP which is suited to their needs.† These students experience success in participating on this programme.††

 

Over the course of the evaluation, it was evident that many of the students were more favourably disposed to vocational subjects.† The school offers Woodwork, Cookery, Art and Music.† The board of management is highly commended for the provision of a comprehensively-equipped commercial kitchen.† The value of community representation on the board is very clearly in evidence in that regard, in that individual members of the board were in a position to influence decisions made by institutions to charitable donations.† The provision of the kitchen has enabled successful learning to take place.† Students observed took obvious pride in the completion of cakes and dinners.† Strict hygiene procedures are adhered to.† Part-time teachers of practical subjects are provided by the VEC.† Students attend to assigned tasks with enthusiasm and display considerable application in completing sometimes difficult tasks.† Appropriate resources are supplied and used effectively for these purposes.† Students, for the most part, attend lessons in pairs, thereby allowing class teachers to focus on other studentsí literacy and numeracy needs.† It is noted, however, that the poor standard of accommodation in the school impacts negatively on the effectiveness of some of the programmes pursued.† The lack of an appropriate ventilation system in the woodwork room, for example, is of concern.† During the course of the evaluation, one classroom was subject to a heavy leak during a prolonged wet period.† Overall, it is evident that the physical conditions in the school have a negative effect on the quality of teaching and learning.†

 

Opportunities for informal learning are afforded to the students both during school time and in the after-school programme.† A very positive recent initiative was the decision to bring six students on a weekend trip to Wales.† This provides excellent opportunities for the promotion of positive behaviour, and, crucially, the exposure of the students to societal norms.† The school had until last year run a programme which involved some of the students visiting and assisting at an old-folks home.† This reportedly was successful in that the studentsí behaviour was exemplary during visits.† The expansion of the provision of a greater range of suitable informal learning opportunities may provide the school with improved student learning outcomes.† It is recommended that this process of expansion commence in tandem with a review of the appropriateness of the structure of the school day.† This may result in the provision of less, though more focused, formal class time.

†††

4.3 Assessment of studentsí progress

 

It is evident that the studentsí progress is monitored systematically.† Considerable time is afforded to each staff member at weekly meetings to reviewing progress made on achieving educational and behavioural objectives.† The contribution of all staff members ensures that the studentsí abilities and needs are very familiar to all who work in St Kevinís.† Similarly, studentsí efforts are monitored carefully in the classrooms.† Their written work is carefully corrected and is suitably affirmed.† At all times, the students are exposed to positive reinforcement by the staff.† Good behaviour is appropriately praised and rewarded.† IEPs also provide good evidence of the assessment of studentsí progress.† They are a record of their achievements and influence the following monthís planning.† An appropriate range of diagnostic tests is utilised, and these in turn inform the teachersí written preparation.†

 

4.4 Outcomes and standards

 

In the course of a structured interview, parents expressed the view that their children had experienced considerable success as a result of their attendance in St Kevinís with a resultant improvement in their behaviour and attitude in the home.† In the view of the parents, their childrenís experiences in St Kevinís have not been marked by the negativity of their previous experiences of formal schooling.† With regard to the studentsí former schools, parents similarly reported very negative experiences because of their childrenís violent or aggressive behaviour.† They were frequently called to their childrenís previous schools and in many instances formed the view that they were being exclusively blamed for their childrenís poor behaviour.† Through the offices of the schoolís community worker in particular, and the staff in general, the parents now have a very positive relationship with their childrenís school and teachers.† They expressed a strong desire that their children would, as a minimum, complete their formal education to Junior Certificate level.† Some expressed the view that St Kevinís should be in a position to offer subjects to Leaving Certificate level.† The positive endorsement of the schoolís work by the parents is a very significant outcome.

 

For the majority of the students, the most positive outcome of their experiences in St Kevinís is that they are retained in the education system.† Given the stresses connected with working in this sector, the staff is highly commended for ensuring this outcome.† It is very evident that the majority of students would have ceased their formal education were it not for the existence of St Kevinís.†††

 

For many of the students, the length of time spent in St Kevinís is a good indicator of a successful transition to further training or employment.† A survey of the progression of former students was carried out as part of the evaluation process.† Of former students who spent more than three years in St Kevinís, approximately 71% progressed to employment or to further training with agencies such as FAS.† Of those who spent two years or less in St Kevinís, approximately 38% moved into secure educational units, were in receipt of custodial sentences or were seeking employment.†

 

Ensuring that a significant number of students pursue their studies to Junior Certificate level is a positive outcome.† In that regard, the skill and expertise of the staff is commended.† Most of the pupilsí abilities and skills in the area of literacy and numeracy improve as a result of their experiences in St Kevinís.† Even students who present with particularly challenging behaviour experience success in these areas.†

 

As previously referred to, the greatest challenge facing the school is in addressing the behavioural difficulties presented by many of the students.† There needs to be a shared understanding among students and staff of the consequences of extreme behaviour by students.† Ensuring that instances of violence, verbal abuse and aggression become the exception rather than the norm is the area of greatest challenge for the school.

 

5 Summary of main findings and recommendations

 

The following are the main strengths and areas for development identified in the evaluation:

 

 

 

As a means of building on these strengths and to address areas for development, the following key recommendations are made:

 

 

 

Post-evaluation meetings were held with the principal and teaching staff at the conclusion of the evaluation when the draft findings and recommendations of the evaluation were presented and discussed.