Relationships and interagency collaboration on Small Schools Project

The Small Schools Project has aimed to explore different ways in which to improve the sustainability of and provide support for small schools, through working in clusters.

Within the layers of the project are equally dedicated stakeholders: INTO,CPSMA, IPPN, Gaeloideachas, General Synod Board of Education of the Church of Ireland, OIDE working in unison with Departmental of Education Units. Unique in that ideas and potential for reform and affirmation of good practice is coming and facilitated from the schools; with the full school team involved.

There are emerging benefits (inter-collaboration, clustered professional development, secretarial training and groupings, resource optimisation, enhanced educational outcomes and experiences for pupils, procurement and sharing of resources, exploration of shared governance structures, in-school distribution of leadership and at cluster level, amalgamation of hours to create positions, administration officer) and evolving challenges being recognised. Yin and Yang.

The Teaching Council ethical values of Trust, Care, Integrity and Respect however have been epitomised in all interactions and teasing out of solutions. “Relationships, Relationships, Relationships” have been prioritised and actively worked on at all levels. As Henry Ford once mentioned “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success.

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