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Strengths in Irish Education System Highlighted in New Report

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 24/03/2022. Strengths in Irish Education System Highlighted in New Report Tags: Education And Politics

Minister Foley welcomes publication of Chief Inspector’s Report 2016-2020, showing many strengths in Irish education system and identifying areas for development as the system emerges from COVID

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today (Wednesday 23 March 2022) welcomed the findings of the Chief Inspector’s Report 2016 – 2020 which provides an analysis of the quality of education provision in schools and other education settings in Ireland during the period September 2016 to December 2020. The report is underpinned by almost 10,000 inspections, in addition to advisory and research work carried out by Department of Education inspectors. It covers findings from a range of education contexts, including primary schools, special schools, post-primary schools, the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, and other types of education provision.

The report also encompasses the work of education settings during the COVID-19 period – a time of unprecedented challenge for children and young people, their parents, education settings and all involved in education in Ireland.

This report shows clearly that children and young people in Irish schools, centres for education and other education settings, including early learning and care (ELC) settings, are benefiting greatly from the skills and commitment of education practitioners in terms of support for learning and wellbeing. The positive findings about educational standards in Ireland that the report sets out are also reflected in national and international measures of quality, which are also referenced in the report. While there are many positive findings, the Chief Inspector, Dr Harold Hislop, also identified a number of aspects of the Irish education system in need of development and improvement in the years ahead. These include:

  • Tackling the legacy of Covid – especially in relation to the learning and wellbeing of children and young people in the Irish education system

  • Curriculum – in particular the challenge of reforming the curriculum and assessment experience for students at Senior Cycle in post-primary schools

  • Inclusion and diversity – to ensure that all students, no matter what their background or educational need, can achieve to their fullest potential

  • Governance and leadership of schools – to move towards a more effective, coherent and sustainable approach to school governance and leadership.

Publishing the Report, Chief Inspector Dr Harold Hislop stated:

“Our inspections show that there are many strengths in the Irish education system at early years, primary and post-primary levels. I am pleased to be able to report positively on high quality learning, good teaching and support for children and young people in our education system. This provides a solid basis on which to build even better education provision for our children and young people in the years ahead.”

In responding to the report, Minister Foley said:

“I welcome this report, which draws from knowledge and research gained over several years of inspections across our education settings. The overall findings of the supports, efforts and achievement across our school communities are very positive, and acknowledge the great efforts of school and other education setting leaders, teachers and staff members, students, families and voluntary board members.

“There is much that is excellent in our education system. The Chief Inspector’s Report acknowledges all the good practice that takes place on a daily basis in our schools and other education settings in terms of quality leadership, management, teaching, learning, and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people. It also commends the work of education communities in ensuring our children and young people’s education could continue during the pandemic.

“The findings from this Chief Inspector’s Report together with positive findings for Ireland in international assessments of reading and Mathematics affirm the many strengths in education provision for children and young people from their earliest years right through their primary and post-primary education experiences.

“The report sets out areas in which further initiatives and supports are required to effect improvements – I am pleased that we have continuously used the data emerging from the Inspectorate to inform our plans, and so across the findings we are well advanced in plans to address emerging issues. Using the evidence gathered to continuously improve is a feature of our evaluation system at both individual school and education setting, and at national level. My officials and I will continue to use the findings to inform and enhance our work in supporting our schools and education settings.”

A copy of the report is available here




(24/03/2022 10:30)

ASTI Statement

Chief Inspector’s report confirms high standard of teaching & learning despite inadequate funding

Despite the fact that Ireland is ranked in last place out of 36 countries for investment in second-level education as a proportion of GDP, the Chief Inspector’s report published today shows that school communities are performing well.

The report acknowledges the high standard of teaching and learning in our second-level schools. In 92% of school inspections, the overall quality of teaching was rated as good or very good.

The report also acknowledges the response of school communities in managing the challenges posed by Covid-19 in recent years. It praises the agility and responsiveness demonstrated by schools and teachers’ rapid transition to digital technologies to support learning.

The report also points to the chronically inadequate availability of teacher Continuous Professional Development that the ASTI has sought for years to underpin the work being done in schools to support students with special educational needs.

Commenting on the report ASTI President Eamon Dennehy said:

“Despite unacceptably low investment in second-level education, schools and teachers continue to perform at a high standard. This is testament to the commitment and professionalism of our teachers.

“The report finds that students experienced many challenges during the pandemic, including negative impacts on their mental health, wellbeing and education. As a baseline, the additional funding and resources provided to schools due to the pandemic must be maintained, and substantial further investment must be provided, so that young people are provided with the opportunities they need to thrive.”

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