Exploring Primary School Principals’ Attitudes and Experiences of School Self-Evaluation
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School Self-Evaluation (SSE) is a relatively new initiative in Irish primary schools and it is still very much at an early evolving phase since its implementation. A lack of research that includes the voice of primary school principals pertaining to SSE and also as a means of professional development for the author led to the development of this study research. The purpose of this study is to explore primary school principals’ attitudes and experiences of SSE. The literature critiqued encompasses the purpose of SSE, SSE in the international context, how SSE is perceived in relation to external evaluation, and furthermore addresses current attitudes towards SSE and leadership styles associated with its implementation. A qualitative and inductive approach has been designed in response to the study’s research questions. Six participants volunteered to engage in semi-structured interviews for data collection. The data was subsequently analysed thematically. Emergent themes from the data collated indicate that reflection, collaboration and autonomy are positives that emanate from implementing SSE. While aspects of SSE are criticised, there is general acceptance that SSE is a positive process for bringing about school improvement. The findings demonstrated that the participants utilise a distributive leadership style when implementing SSE. Recommendations that emanate from the study are firstly, that schools must be given the appropriate allocated time to further enhance their skills in reflection and collaboration. Secondly, a more simplified approach to the SSE process would alleviate a number of the difficulties associated with it. Finally, the Inspectorate should continue to support schools to ensure that schools maintain autonomy over the SSE process. The study further suggests that a longitudinal study concerning the attitudes and experiences of primary school principals towards SSE may be beneficial.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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