Launch of CSSC ethos tooklit 241019 with Derek Baker and Sara Long final

CSSC launches ethos self-evaluation toolkit

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has today, 24 October, launched its ethos self-evaluation toolkit for controlled schools.

Ethos within a school is critically important and during the development of the CSSC ethos self-evaluation toolkit, the significance of a clear ethos to enable a school to thrive became apparent.  It was gratifying to hear from many school Principals the impact that their school’s ethos had on the aspirations of pupils striving to reach their potential.

Controlled schools across all phases of education live their school ethos on a daily basis, and this toolkit has been developed to encourage schools within the sector to self evaluate their ethos.

Speaking at the launch, which took place at Stranmillis University College, CSSC’s Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said,

“Ethos is critical to all aspects of school life, it is the cornerstone on which a school operates and should permeate everything that happens within a school.  The CSSC self-evaluation toolkit has been developed to enable controlled schools to explore ethos within individual school settings.”

CSSC was delighted that the ethos self-evaluation toolkit was launched by Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education who said,

During the past couple of years CSSC has been working with a wide range of stakeholders including principals and boards of governors across the sector. By listening to your school representatives and working with the Transferor Representatives’ Council and Stranmillis University College, you have established a statement of ethos for controlled schools and the underlying principles that represent them.

“Using educational research and expertise you have developed a self-evaluation toolkit that I am pleased to see launched officially today. I know that schools will welcome this development. I want to congratulate all of you who were involved and trust that the toolkit and the support available from CSSC will enable schools to develop an ethos reflective of the core values of the sector and relevant to their own individual circumstances.”

How ethos defines the school experience

Controlled school leaders Darren Mornin, Principal, Limavady High School, Roz McFeeters, Principal, Hill Croft School and Peter Henry, Principal, DH Christie Memorial Primary School shared the ethos journey for their schools and how ethos defines the school experience for the school community.

Darren Mornin, Principal, Limavady High School said,

“We used the toolkit, which we found very beneficial when evaluating the ethos in our school. It also allowed the school to confirm if all the work undertaken on ethos remained current, based on the new toolkit provided by CSSC. Each item of the toolkit allowed me to engage with key stakeholders including pupils, parents, outside agencies and the board of governors. Their feedback was positive and affirmed the current ethos of the school.”

Roz McFeeters, Principal, Hill Croft School said,

The ethos of any school is like the wind; you can see its effects in everything, but it is hard to grasp, define and measure. The CSSC ethos self-evaluation toolkit is a brilliant resource to help schools on their journey to identify, refine and quantify this continuously moving force.”

Peter Henry, Principal, DH Christie Memorial Primary School said,

In the midst of so many challenges facing us within education today, CSSC’s ethos self-evaluation provides an opportunity to refocus on so much that is good about our schools. Who we are, what we do and why we do it?”

The CSSC ethos self-evaluation toolkit has been developed for each phase of education – nursery, special, primary and post-primary.  It is fully customisable for each school, and is available to download here.

Photograph caption:

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council launched its ethos self-evaluation toolkit for controlled schools on Thursday 24 October 2019.  Pictured (l-r) are Heather McKenzie, CSSC School Support Officer; Peter Henry, Principal of DH Christie Memorial Primary School; Permanent Secretary Derek Baker; Barry Mulholland, CSSC Chief Executive; Sara Long, EA Chief Executive; Darren Mornin, Principal of Limavady High School; and CSSC’ Head of Education Support, Jayne Millar.