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Non-Linked Schools

School of Distinction Awards

This ‘Schools of Distinction Award’ aims to recognise and showcase the efforts of schools nationwide to transform their school culture and to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning. The scheme will recognise the often extraordinary work being successfully undertaken by schools in challenging conditions and with limited resources. This is achieved through the implementation of our three core practices - Pathways to College, Mentoring and Leadership in Learning. It encourages participants to draw on their own school and community resources and the resources of the Trinity Access project in Trinity College Dublin to support educational innovation and change. 

There will be a strong focus on schools within the Delivering Equality of opportunity In Schools scheme (DEIS) and Schools Completion Programme.


This award scheme aims to support the development of ‘college-going’ practices and a student-centred, innovative learning environment across schools nationwide, particularly within schools where there is a low progression rate to post-secondary education. 

Three Award Levels

Community Award:

Our Community Award recognises the achievement of schools who have joined our Community of Practice and engaged in a process of evaluating and identifying the needs of their students and teachers through our School Survey. Community Award winners set relevant targets to address these needs and action student centred programmes with the aim of embedding a college-going culture in their school. Schools who win this award have begun the process of engaging in our 3 core practices of Pathways to College, Mentoring and Leadership in Learning and have plans to expand these programmes in the future.

Innovation Award:

Our Innovation Award recognises the creative and innovative ways that schools are embedding a college-going culture. They have active, student-centred programmes that support our 3 core practices of Pathways to College, Mentoring and Leadership in Learning in their school. Innovation Award winners support and encourage their teachers to explore innovative teaching methodologies, engage with other excellent teachers through our Community of Practice and establish Community of Practices within their own schools

Transformation Award:

Our Transformation Award recognises schools that have embedded a vibrant college-going culture, transforming school vision, perceptions and expectations. Transformation Award winners have established the 3 core practices of Pathways to College, Mentoring and Leadership in Learning as fundamental to their whole school culture. Innovative and student-centred teaching and learning is a priority with teachers leading and supporting Community of Practice within their own school and the wider Trinity Access community. Transformation Award winners actively engage in a process of reflection, using school data and current research to inform their whole school planning and target setting.

Read our Practitioners’s Guide here and email to begin your journey.

2020 Innovation Award Winners

Athy College

Le Cheíle Secondary School

Portlaoise College

Stepaside Education Together Secondary School

St Louis Secondary School, Dundalk

St Paul’s Community College

2020 Community Award Winners

Coláiste Pobail Setanta

Fingall Community College

Ringsend College

St Kevin’s Community College

Logo that says Community, Innovation, Transformation


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