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Pupils to rate teachers and their schools in new probe

PUPILS are to be asked about their teachers in new Department of Education evaluations of schools.

For the first time, children will be asked for their opinions on how teachers deal them in the new evaluations being conducted by school inspectors.

Parents will also be given confidential questionnaires asking them if they think schools are run well, if complaints are dealt with fairly, and how they rate school management and teachers.

Both primary school and secondary school pupils will be asked to answer questionnaires on what they think of how their teachers and schools deal with bullying.

Newly revamped whole school evaluations (WSE) aim to get much wider views on the schools chosen to be inspected by the Department of Education.

In primary schools, survey forms will be given to pupils in third, fourth and fifth classes which contain questions to which the choice of answers is limited to 'yes', 'no,' or 'not sure.' The questions include:

nTeachers talk to us about dealing with bullying?

nI can talk to a teacher if I am upset about something in school ?

nMy teacher explains things clearly in class?

nI feel safe in my class and in the playground?

nEveryone is treated fairly in school ?

Families will also be sent questionnaires to their homes for return to school inspectors in sealed envelopes. They will be asked a wide range of questions about what they think of how their child's school is being run.

Important

All the survey forms will be anonymous and the statistics will be given to inspectors after they have been processed by computer. The data will also be available to the schools.

Education Minister Mary Coughlan said it was important that the school evaluation process includes more input from children and parents.

Evaluation reports on a quarter of all schools are now available to view on the department's website at www.ed

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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