Profile of VET organisation
Name of organization: COLEGIO PADRE DEHON
Type of VET institute: Primary Education, Upper and Lower Secondary Education
No of staff: 51-100
No of trainees: <1000
Founded in 1918, Padre Dehon School is a private school with a state subsidy; it is owned by the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart (Padres Reparadores). In line with its religious orientation, the centre has a Catholic rationale or nature. It is located in the town of Novelda, in Alicante. It has male and female students from infant education to upper secondary, with three groups per level on all stages. CPD completes its educational supply with a wide range of extracurricular activities and complementary services.
Description of good practice
Title: FOCUS GROUP, group interviews with the staff and customers aimed at collecting information about the organisation.
A focus group is a qualitative study modality in which a group of people is brought together in order to know the opinions and concerns of the employees in a company. Questions are answered by the group’s interaction in a dynamics that makes participants feel comfortable and free to speak and comment on their opinions.
This process is conducted in two phases:
PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS
- The Organisation and Planning Department decides which groups will undergo a focus group exercise.
- The groups to be interviewed are as follows:
- Upper and lower secondary students.
- Families of end-of-cycle students.
- Teachers from the different cycles.
- Staff: Administration and Service Staff and Counselling Department.
- Next, the criteria to select the participants in the focus group are laid down. The criteria are:
- End-of-cycle students: year 2 and year 4 lower secondary, and year 2 upper secondary; one student per section. They must be participative and cooperative.
- The families must also represent the end-of-cycle groups, from infant education to upper secondary. They must be interested in taking part and in giving their feedback on the operation of the school.
- Participative and critical teachers; three from each cycle.
- Two Administration and Service Staff representatives and three members of the Counselling Department.
- Once the groups are arranged, communication channels are established. All the participants from the school will be informed about the process personally. The families will receive a letter. Families must confirm attendance over the phone.
- The next step is to choose the person who will lead the focus group. His/her profile is as follows:
- A person not known by the groups.
- Experienced in the education sector.
- His/her personality must encourage discussion and make participants confident.
- The experience is led by Mr. Andrés Muñoz, the legal advisor to FERE-CECA COVAL, a person with extensive experience in the sector of semi-private schools. He will be accompanied by Ms. Isabel Gómez, the secretary of Catholic Schools of Alicante.
- The date and timetable is set for all the focus groups.
- A “notebook” is prepared with all the guidance questions that will be asked in the group sessions.
The sessions are held as per the set timetables. Each group follows the guidance questions on the notebook. The chairperson oversees the discussion and the secretary takes note of the most relevant aspects.
Organisation and Planning Department
- Letter to families explaining the process, together with an invitation to participate.
- Notebook with guidance questions, for the person leading the session.
- A report with the final conclusions of each group.
Evaluation and review
After the focus groups were held, all participants said that the experience had been most positive and useful in general terms, as it provided highly valuable information for the improvement of the centre's operation.
The Managing Team then reviewed the process and laid down an action plan to be able to work on the improvements suggested.