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Mother Hen's blog postings on schools and kids in Ireland

Publication of updated Child Protection Procedures for schools

Posted by Mother Hen on 09/30/2011. Labels: Education And Politics

text re imageThe Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD, today published updated child protection procedures for schools. The "Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools" have been developed following extensive consultation with the education partners and are based on the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. 

The procedures will apply with immediate effect to to read full post & comments Shop and Survey Results

Posted by Mother Hen on 04/13/2010. Labels: Primary School News Secondary School News

A big thank you once again to the 500 + respondents to our online survey. We were delighted with your responses, your great ideas and your support for our site. We are working on implementing many of your ideas. In the meantime, here's our response to some of the survey topics. Shop
Our survey showed that over 95% of respondents would like to see operate an online shop as part of our website. So we are opening a shop on the site in May offering you a new way to purchase your school books, have them covered and delivery directly to your home. to read full post & comments

Vote for Ireland's Master Doodler

Posted by Mother Hen on 01/20/2010. Labels: Teachers News

Get out and Vote for Ireland’s Master Doodler!

Forget X Factor, forget The All Ireland Talent Show, the BIG Vote to find Ireland’s master doodler begins today, Monday 18th January, as public voting opens.

Entries for the second annual Doodle 4 Google competition flooded in from primary and secondary schools around the country.  Through their doodles, students highlighted themes such as global warming, the environment and technology as they depicted the theme ‘My Future’.  80 regional finalists were chosen by a panel of expert judges and will now battle it out for the public vote and the crown of Ireland’s champion doodler.

From Monday 18th January members of the public can vote for their favourite doodle in each of the competitions’ four age categories on  Voting will close at midnight on February 1st.  The four doodles, one representing each age category, that receive the most public votes will go forward to the final and Google’s master doodler and Chief Webmaster Michael Lopez will select an overall  winner.  The winning doodle will appear on Google’s homepage in Ireland on 3rd March where it will be seen by millions of people.

All four finalists and their teachers will receive a laptop each.  The overall winner will have their doodle shown on the Google homepage and the winner’s school will receive a €10,000 technology grant from Google.

Alice Mansergh,  Head of EMEA Customer Marketing, Google Ireland said, “We are thrilled with the number of entries we received and are very impressed by the standard of entries in this year’s competition.  Selecting the 80 finalists was no easy task considering the creativity and talent displayed by Irish students.  It is very interesting to see the theme of global warming coming through in a lot of the doodles.  It shows very clearly that our young people are aware of the effect it is having on our environment and are concerned about its impact on their future.”

She continues, “I want to congratulate all finalists on reaching this stage of the competition.  It’s a fantastic achievement and our international reputation as a nation of artists is in safe hands.  Now it’s over to the voting public to decide who should be on the Google home page.  So get online, see the fantastic doodles that have been created by students from all over the country and vote for your favourites.”

For more information and to vote for the winning doodles go to, click to read full post & comments

The pluses and minuses of secondary school league tables

Posted by Mother Hen on 03/19/2009. Labels: Secondary School News

The publication of School league tables generates debate between parents, who are keen to access the information provided by the league tables and many in the educational establishment who generally loathe them.

In an article in the Irish Examiner in December 2008 , the Principal of Senior College Dun Laoghaire, Barry O’Callaghan expresses the concerns of many in the educational establishment that “League tables tell us nothing about those gone to apprenticeships, further education, agricultural, art, dance and other colleges, those happily gone to employment, those who cannot afford to go to university, those travelling the globe and those who have chosen to defer or terminate further academic progression.” He says such league tables are “placing huge pressure on teachers to teach exclusively to produce exam results; that instead of throwing a lifebelt to struggling schools is holding them underwater; is harming the teaching of sport, music and drama and is giving nervous breakdowns to top-performing schools lest they fall out of the top” . to read full post & comments

Budget Cuts - Have your say!

Posted by Mother Hen on 10/23/2008. Labels: Education And Politics

The education cuts announced in the 2009 Budget have resulted in an increasing groundswell of disbelief, disappointment and growing anger. John Carr, Head of the INTO, has described the budget as

“the most callous, savage attack ever undertaken against primary-school children in this country”

The Post-Primary Education Forum - the lobby group representing teachers, parents and school managers - said school closures appeared inevitable unless the Budget cuts were rescinded. "Entire school communities - pupils, families, teachers and school managements - have been dealt a severe blow”

Mother Hen has set out below the main cut outlined in the budget. Let us know how are these cuts going to affect your school and your children – post your thoughts on the budget and less us know of any protests organised in your area.

Budget Cuts to read full post & comments

Schools Enrolment Policies

Posted by Mother Hen on 07/25/2008. Labels: Enrolment Policies

Since my previous posting on enrolment policies The 'Conference on the Governance Challenge for Future Primary School Needs' organised by the Department of Education went ahead on 27th June last. Presentations delivered by the various speakers at the conference can be accessed using the following link to the Department of Education website.

Another contribution to the debate has been the publication of the results of two surveys to read full post & comments

Who, What, Where, When, Why - W5

Posted by Mother Hen on 06/08/2008. Labels: Family And Leisure

Me and mine took an unscheduled trip to Belfast on the May Bank holiday weekend. Having never been before, Belfast was on our agenda for some time and we also wanted to take the kids to the W5 complex in the Odyssey. Needless to say, being so last minute, we had some difficulties finding accommodation in advance but we did manage to book rooms at the Malone Lodge Hotel which worked out well. Probably a little pricier than we wanted to pay but cheaper than many of the big hotels and all the B&B’s we tried were booked out. We did have to ask to move rooms due to some mysterious drilling type noises going on overhead that the hotel could not explain. However once relocated all was fine.

We travelled up on Sunday morning and went straight to W5. to read full post & comments

Schools Enrolment Policies

Posted by Mother Hen on 05/19/2008. Labels: Enrolment Policies

School enrolment policies, both at primary and second level have been a source of debate and frustration among parents for some time now. In an effort to bring together information for parents, we have been updating our schools database at both primary and post-primary level with enrolment policies and procedures for individual schools. This has been a slow process but we will continue to tip away at it on your behalf! Let us know in the comments against individual schools if you find something different.

School admissions policies are governed by section 33(g) of the Education Act, 1998 (No. 51 of 1998). Beyond setting out some general principles and requirements, the Education Act 1998 is quite flexible about the content of any admissions policy. Over time many have put in place practices which are not fully clear to parents. to read full post & comments

Summer Fun & Summer Camps

Posted by Mother Hen on 05/14/2008. Labels: Family And Leisure

With school holidays just around the corner, like many of you, I’m exploring summer camp options for my kids. Camps are a great way to let your kids have a ‘taster’ of activities that they have been pestering you about for ages. My daughter harangued me for a long time that she wanted a pony and wanted to enroll in riding lessons. Thankfully a short summer camp soon dispelled her of the idea that horse ownership was for her. I’m not sure what put her off exactly. It might have been the fresh aromas of the riding stables or the fact she fell off, no not the horse, but some bales of hay and ended up with concussion! Either way it was a lucky escape from what I believe can be a costly pastime. to read full post & comments

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