Overview of Developments Since 2001



Overview of developments since 2001

Since 2001, Bridging the Gap has produced the following positive outcomes: 




Project achievements




Indicators of success




Bridging the Gap has empowered the schools to take action based on identifying the needs of their pupils. 

(No two schools are the same, so the project allows each school to decide which activities to offer)




The cost of school-based projects is very modest (approx €3000 per school per year). At the start of the year, each school submits a proposal showing the cost of planned activities.  At the end of the year, they submit a report of the outcomes.




Schools have achieved significant success by setting clear and measurable goals for the project and tracking their results using performance data. 




Measured improvements in literacy and language development, mathematics, science and information technology


(For more examples, see annual evaluation reports)



Bridging the Gap has provided enhanced opportunities for pupils to participate in arts and cultural activities




Measured improvements in self-esteem and self-discipline.  This has had a positive impact on attainment across the curriculum.

Pupils have developed high levels of skill in music, drama, visual arts. 


Anthology of pupils’ work produced for Cork City of Culture 2005: Connections launched by President Mary Mc Aleese



Bridging the Gap has produced measurable improvement in the quality of educational experience for children in participating schools

Improved motivation and expectations among children, families, teachers


Improvements in attendance, quality of homework, retention to senior cycle, uptake of science subjects, aspirations to study in higher education, career ambitions


(For more examples, see annual evaluation reports)





Bridging the Gap has helped schools to make more productive links with their communities

Parents are more actively engaged in children’s learning, and they support the work of the project in the school

Schools are promoting community and family involvement in health and environmental improvement projects

Bridging the Gap has supported six research studies investigating solutions to educational disadvantage

Three Masters in Education, three PhDs awarded

The Project Director and Project Manager have also written and presented a number of papers about educational inclusion.

Research capability of schools has been improved by promoting action research in the classroom

The systematic collection and analysis of data has become an everyday part of school life, which helps principals and teachers to see how their targeted actions produce results for their pupils and for the community

Bridging the Gap has had a visible impact on national policy





Bridging the Gap cited as a good example of practice in promoting increased access to higher education (HEA report, 2006 http://www.hea.ie/uploads/pdf/Evaluation%20Report%2020061.pdf)

Bridging the Gap has achieved a high level of publicity in local and national media

Newspaper and magazine articles; radio and TV interviews; video of project showcase produced; annual evaluation reports and Connections anthology have been highly commended for quality of design and production

Bridging the Gap has adopted a coherent and comprehensive strategy for changing the attitudes and behaviours of children, families, schools and other institutions, embedded in the community mission of the university




Five interlinked project strands, resourced and supported by the university:

1.      Professional development for teachers

2.      Research into educational disadvantage and inclusion

3.      Networking among practitioners in schools and university

4.      Dissemination of project at national level

5.      School-based initiatives





Bridging the Gap

School of Education, UCC, Cork