Adapting to Diversity: Irish schools and newcomer students (Primary and Second Level School Principals, 2009)

Study Number (SN): 0001-00



Economic and Social Research Institute (2009). Adapting to Diversity: Irish schools and newcomer students (Primary and Second Level School Principals). [data collection]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0001-00. 



Funded by the Department of Education and Science (now the Department of Education and Skills), and conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute, this study represents the first large-scale national research conducted on school experiences regarding provision for newcomer students. It draws on a national survey of primary and second-level school principals, complementing this information with detailed case-studies of schools with varying proportions of newcomers.

The main objectives of the study are:

  • To analyse the distribution of newcomers across schools and the characteristics of schools with different proportions of newcomers;
  • To document the current mode of provision for language support, the perceived language needs of newcomer students, and the issues involved in addressing their needs;
  • To examine the perceived suitability of the existing curriculum and teaching materials for educating a diverse student population;
  • To document the social supports put in place by schools for newcomers and the perceived adequacy of such supports in fostering social integration;
  • To examine the implications of the study findings for future policy development.


Adapting to Diversity Report


Key variable areas

Unit of analysis: School principals, primary and secondary schools

Number of cases (Primary Schools): 1,032 (3,290 when weighted with variable 'Gross')

Number of cases (Secondary Schools): 454 (733 when weighted with variable 'Popwgt')

Weighting variables (Primary Schools):

  • Sampwgt (sums to sample size);
  • Gross (sums to population)

Weighting variables (Secondary Schools):

  • Samwgt (sums to sample size);
  • Popwgt (sums to population)

Principal investigators:

  • Emer Smyth (ESRI)
  • Merike Darmody (ESRI)
  • Fran McGinnity (ESRI)
  • Delma Byrne (ESRI)


Accessing the data

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