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Extra Funding for Island Gaeltacht Schools

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/06/2018. Extra Funding for Island Gaeltacht SchoolsTags: Teachers

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. has announced an additional package of supports to support island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht areas.

The government launched the Policy on Gaeltacht Education in 2016, which was the first ever targeted strategy for education provision in Gaeltacht areas, as part of the Minister’s Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s Education and Training Service the best in Europe by 2026.

Making the announcement today, Minister Bruton said:

“I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. I am acutely aware of the challenging environment in which island post-primary schools operate, which is why, as part of our Policy on Gaeltacht Education, we are supporting these schools with additional resources to meet their unique circumstances.”

All island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht have opted into the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme, meaning they are striving to operate as Irish-medium schools. Under this Scheme, which is a key action in the Policy on Gaeltacht Education, these schools already receive a number of additional supports such as, additional funding for Irish-language teaching materials, extra training for their teachers and additional language-support hours.

Today’s ring-fenced package of supports for island post-primary schools is in addition to these resources.

The package of additional supports includes:

Increased teacher allocation for each of the island post-primary schools from its present allocation of 1 whole-time equivalent post to 1.5 whole-time equivalent posts from September 2018

An additional ring-fenced budget of €15,000 per annum for each post-primary island school to cover their additional operational costs

The establishment of Coláiste Naomh Eoin, previously designated as a Language Unit (Aonad), as an independent stand-alone school on Inis Meáin, Co Galway. This change in status will result in the appointment of a principal and deputy principal, the establishment of a board of management for Coláiste Naomh Eoin, and the allocation of standard capitation and other grants to Galway/Roscommon ETB for the school. 

Joe McHugh, Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said:

"These additional €15,000 grants and extra teaching resources for Gaeltacht island post-primary schools will go a long way in supporting this Government's ambitions to sustain and grow the Irish language among the next generation.

"The islands are valuable communities and this money demonstrates a clear vision for their Irish language medium schools to be properly resourced and to expand and improve the teaching of key subjects such as the sciences.

“I know this will make a huge difference to communities on the islands off Donegal and Galway and will be a welcome boost to the teachers, equipping children and teenagers with the skills they need for the future.”

There are five post-primary schools located on islands in the Gaeltacht in Counties Galway and Donegal. All five schools are under the patronage of Galway/Roscommon ETB and Donegal ETB.

Each ETB is required to adopt a co-ordinated and strategic approach in the management and allocation of these additional resources for island post-primary schools. This will require the incorporation of specific targets and actions in each post-primary school’s action plan for improvement, which they are required to have in accordance with their participation in the Gaeltacht Recognition Scheme. It should also include the sharing of resources between schools and the building of synergies to enhance the quality of Irish-medium educational provision in island post-primary schools. 

Source: Press Release, Dept. Of Education 


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