Exploring the enablers, tensions, and sectoral responses to embedding core values within publicly managed schools in Ireland
The role of schools in developing values is internationally recognised, with many systems grappling to identify and embed values in schools. Within an Irish context, the Education Act (1998) frames values from the perspective of ‘characteristic spirit’, giving responsibility to boards of management to uphold the characteristic spirit as established by the school’s patron. This was the first time this concept applied to publicly managed schools. Recently, the largest publicly managed sector, Education and Training Boards, has grappled with the question of which values should underpin the characteristic spirit of their schools. Following a national consultative process, the sector has identified values (excellence in education, care, equality, community, respect) and is now tasked with embedding these within its schools. The change literature high-lights the complexity of this task. Following a review of the corpus of relevant research, this paper explores the enablers that support publicly managed schools to embed the core values in schools, as well as potential tensions that need to be considered to support enactment. The paper provides a critique of the sectoral response to these enablers and tensions. This paper contributes to international debates on values in education by considering these enablers and tensions to support change.
PublicationJournal of Beliefs & Values
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Sustainable development goals
- (3) Good Health and Well-being
Department or School
- School of Education