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This study explores the effectiveness of the School Completion Programme (SCP) in helping to achieve the three goals of the National Children’s Strategy (2000-2010) which are that children:
• Will have a voice in matters which affect them
• Their lives will be better understood
• They will receive quality supports and services to promote all aspects of their development
The research involved interviewing children who attend the schools involved in the Programme and have participated in the supports at some stage in their educational lives. The findings provided me with a valuable insight into how these children experience their lives and how they perceive the SCP supports on offer to them. It was found that the children’s experience of the SCP supports was a positive one which helps them overcome the difficulties they encounter during their educational lives and supports them to ensure their lives do not fall into crises. In conclusion, it is argued such a support should be developed rather than curtailed particularly in the current context of globalisation and growing diversity.
The researcher argues that the SCP is a postmodern service and for that reason, my completed master’s research draws on a postmodernist and social constructionist framework using an ethnographic methodology. My conclusions include; (a) that the SCP is a unique, school based service which helps our children achieve the goals of the National Children’s Strategy (2000-2010), (b) a real commitment to the development of such supports is needed by Government, and (c) the SCP is an effective service which helps reduce inequality, enhances retention and achievement and provides new ideas about how to achieve a positive climate in schools today.
O'Neill, C., : ''The School Completion Programme and the Development of Human Rights Education in Ireland''. Masters Dissertation, Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology, October 2012.