Evaluation of the Write-Minded Literacy Support Service

Client: Youngballymun

Youngballymun's Write Minded Literacy Support Service is designed to enhance the oral language, comprehension and literacy outcomes of children and young people in the Ballymun area of Dublin.

The strategy provides comprehensive, coordinated system-wide supports for the implementation of a mix of targeted and universal evidence-based practices focused on promoting literacy and educational wellbeing for children, young people and families in the community.

SQW, in partnership with the National Foundation for Educational Research, was commissioned by Youngballymun to evaluate the effectiveness of Write Minded. The research included:

  • a scoping study and consultation with stakeholders
  • case studies in all participating primary and secondary schools
  • assessments of pupils' literacy and comprehension
  • consultations with representatives of a range of community and statutory organisations.

In 2014, Marian Morris (Director) presented SQW's evaluation of Write-Minded to an international audience of evaluators and policy developers at the 11th Biennial European Evaluation Conference at the Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland. In the presentation, Marian and Gemma Cox (the Evaluation Manager from youngballymun) explored the challenges faced in developing this community wide system to inform strategic learning. They discussed the strategies needed to recruit schools and allay teachers' fears about the evaluation process and critically examined the ways in which technical and institutional difficulties were overcome in order to embed what is now an ongoing, comprehensive communitywide database that provides real-time feedback to generate strategic learning.

The Evaluation of the Write-Minded Literacy Support Service report can be downloaded here.

The presentation to the European Evaluation Society Conference can be downloaded here.