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Education And Politics News

Students’ Unions Concerns for Leaving Cert Results Date

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 10/06/2021.
Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsStudents’ Unions Concerns for Leaving Cert Results Date


In a letter issued to Ministers Norma Foley and Simon Harris, the Irish Second-level Students’ Union has called for a set of measures to be taken following the announcement of the Leaving Certificate results date. The measures the organisation is advocating for center around accommodation for students in Irish third-level institutions along with a fair transition for those who plan on studying overseas.

The measures, as seen in the attached letter, are laid out below.

  • Certainty to be provided to students applying to European universities that they will be able to progress to third-level.

  • All Universities to be instructed to provide flexibility for first year students and move all payments and application deadlines for on campus accommodation until after the CAO Offers are released.

  • Government representatives to meet with private student accommodation providers to ensure these groups also move all payment and application deadlines until after CAO Offers are released, ensuring affordable accomodation options are available to 1st year students.

  • All third-level institutions to not commence teaching for first year students before September 25th, in order to give a fair and adequate timeframe to students.

  • The Department of Education to evaluate the possibility of bringing forward the release date.

  • The Department of Education to communicate the reasoning behind the results timeline to the student body.

  • Clarifications surrounding the Appeals Process timeline are communicated to the student body.


ISSU President Reuban Murray commented, “Right now the turnaround time faced by students is too close and third-level institutions need to recognise this. It is completely in the power of the individual colleges to move back their start date for students and change the accommodation arrangements for incoming first years. This transition is going to be a challenge for students but if all stakeholders come together, then we can work together to find a feasible solution.”

Mr. Murray further noted, “We welcome the news from UCAS that their deadline for results will now be September 7th - this is a great relief for many students, but there are still no answers for the hundreds of students applying to universities in places like the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Germany. Some students are facing result deadlines of August 26th, and not starting this year may exclude them from applying for grants in the future. There is real worry - and we need to give these students clarity as soon as possible”.

The ISSU welcomes the early announcement of the results date, which now gives the education sector time to recognise its impacts and adapt to the situation.



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Minister Foley's best wishes to Leaving Certificate 2021

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 09/06/2021.
Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsMinister Foley's best wishes to Leaving Certificate 2021


The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has sent her best wishes to students who are sitting the 2021 Leaving Certificate Examinations beginning today Wednesday 9 June.

Minister Foley said: “I would like to wish all students starting their Leaving Certificate examinations today the very best of luck. These exams are the culmination of many days and nights of hard work and I want to thank you for all your determination and efforts throughout a challenging period for all students.

“This is a unique year with students having the option of sitting the examinations and also receiving Accredited Grades. It is heartening to see so many students taking the exams this year while also having the second option of the State Examinations Commission Accredited Grades.

“I would also like to take this opportunity remind students of the public health guidelines that should be followed throughout the next number of weeks during the examination period. You should limit your contacts and continue to follow the public health advice right up until 29 June. This is incredibly important to ensure all students have a fair opportunity to sit their exams.”

Source: education.ie



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Schools Asked to Apply for New Arts in Education Initiative

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 08/06/2021.
Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSchools Asked to Apply for New Arts in Education Initiative


The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today invited primary and post-primary schools to apply for a new arts in education initiative, BLAST 2021. BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers – is a new initiative which will enable up to 400 new arts in education residencies in schools each year.

The aim of this scheme is to give pupils in schools all over the country the opportunity to work with a professional artist on unique projects.

These bespoke classes will be originated and planned between the artist, teacher and the school under the coordination of the ESCI network of 21 full-time education centres.

Minister Foley said: “Creativity has an enormously positive impact on young people and never has this been more important. BLAST will support children and young people for an uncertain future where skills like the ability to connect and collaborate with others, engage in creative and critical thinking and practice inclusivity at every level will be paramount to peace, stability, sustainable economic growth and equality.

“I hope that this exciting BLAST initiative will help schools to further enhance creativity in their classrooms. It is important that our children are allowed to express themselves and learn to adapt and collaborate. The BLAST will give students of all ages the opportunity to develop these essential skills, enjoy and explore artistic and creative expression.”

A number of key figures in the Irish arts sector have lent their voice for this initiative including Louis Walsh, Paula Meehan, Celine Byrne, Baz Ashmawy, Imelda May, Mairead Ronan, DWTS judge Brian Redmond, Gráinne Seoige, Lyra and Jake Carter.

Welcoming the announcement, poet Paula Meehan said: “So much depends on the children of the pandemic. The best and most practical gift we can give them is to nurture their creative selves, their dreaming selves, the power of their own imaginations.

“They face a future that demands transformative energy, massive ingenuity, a whole new way of being on this beautiful earth. Right across the country artists have a destiny in that process; and this project invites a partnership of school and artist that will ripple out into the local community — with the potential for an amount of serious fun into the bargain.”

Minister Foley also invited students at primary and post-primary level to design a new logo for BLAST. Students are encouraged to use their creativity to design a logo for this national initiative that all BLAST projects in all schools can use.

The individual winner chosen by the judging panel of Westlife manager Louis Walsh and visual communications programme Lead, TU Dublin, Brenda Dermody will receive a GoPro camera while all entries will receive a certificate from the Department. The competition is open to all students across primary and post-primary schools.

The closing date for entries by email to blast@education.gov.ie or by post is Thursday 30 September 2021. Further information on how to enter the competition can be found on gov.ie/blast

How will this BLAST Arts in Education Residency initiative work?



The education centre

Schools will apply for a BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency to the full-time education centre in their area. The Register of Approved Artists in each Education Centre will be arranged by Artist and Discipline, include relevant required and approved training experience, examples of previous work and examples of relevant or related experience in an educational and community context.

The Artist

Artists from any artistic discipline who have been trained in partnership working with schools will be registered with each of the 21 full-time education centres. Artistic disciplines include visual arts, crafts, music, dance, drama, literature and film. Creative disciplines will be expanded as the BLAST Residency Programme develops over the next number of years.

The Artists on the Register of Approved Artists will have been previously trained and have engaged in School Residencies under Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD and Residency initiative or the Arts in Junior Cycle Programme which are both approved and led by the Department of Education. Artists are currently trained and registered on the Online Register of Approved Artists managed by the education centre network nationally. Garda Clearance for Artists for successful school applications will be sought by the education centre. The education centre will also arrange for payment of the artist which will further remove the administrative burden on teachers and schools.

The School

The school must be in the catchment of the local full-time education centre. Schools may submit only one application.

This initiative encourages:

  • Schools, primary and post-primary, that have not recently had an opportunity to participate in such creative initiatives.
  • Schools supporting inclusion and enhanced arts-in-education engagement with students from disadvantaged backgrounds and SEN.
  • Schools that have a track record in teacher-artist partnership working in the classroom and school.
  • A whole-school commitment to the project, but it is not a requirement that all classes work with the artist.
  • Projects should have regard to the relevant school curricula where appropriate and have a focus on process.

    BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency funding

    The artist’s fee is €1,000 per residency, funded by the Department of Education via each education centre. The education centre will pay the artist. The artist will be funded for 20 contract hours including six hours’ planning/development/review time. Funded residencies can be delivered throughout the academic year, commencing in September 2021 in the year the residency is approved.

    This initiative is supported by the education centre ESCI network, Teacher Artist Partnership CPD programme, Arts in Junior Cycle, NAPD Creative Engagement Programme and the Arts in Education Portal.

    Further information on BLAST, guidelines and the application form will be available from Gov.ie/blast and local education centres’ (21 full-time centres) websites. The application process will open on 4 June and will close on 30 September 2021. Schools can also view a number of leading figures in the Irish Arts sector highlighting the benefits of such an initiative in the lives and education of young people

    Source: education.ie



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    €6m Funding for Summer of Play initiative for outdoor play

    Posted by Schooldays Nwshound, on 01/06/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And Politics€6m Funding for Summer of Play initiative for outdoor play


    Minister O’Gorman announces roll out of Summer of Play initiative with €6m in funding for outdoor play.

    Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., today announced the Summer of Play initiative to support and encourage children and their families to get outside and play as restrictions ease in the coming months. The initiative will see grants, supports and information resources rolled out over the summer months, creating opportunities for children and their families to enjoy a summer of play.

    This coincides with the Ministers launch of a new parenting e-learning course from Tusla and a number of research reports on parents and parenting in Ireland, to mark Global Day of Parents. Parents have a critical role in ensuring positive outcomes for children, and the past year has been particularly challenging. This day is an opportunity to recognise and appreciate all people in a parenting role.

    As part of the Summer of Play launch, the Minister announced €6 million in funding to support outdoor play. The funding is being rolled out through two grants:

  • The Playing Outside Grant for Early Learning and Care and School-Aged Childcare services will provide €5.5 million in funding for services to enhance their outdoor spaces.
  • €450,000 for the Local Authorities Play and Recreation grant will fund the refurbishment and development of playgrounds and play areas across the country. The projects funded encompass a wide range of initiatives that will deliver diverse benefits to children and young people and have a positive impact on communities. They include projects such as sensory gardens, learn to cycle tracks, and natural play trails.

    The Minister also announced a resource for families to support their children’s play - Let’s Play Ireland. The Let’s Play Ireland website, which was originally launched in 2020 and gives families access to a range of play resources for children, has now been updated and relaunched for summer 2021. The resource includes content on activities for parents to enjoy with their children, tips on supporting children with their feelings, and ideas and activities for learning through play.

    Launching the Summer of Play, the Minister said:

    “We all know that play is how children grow, learn and discover. And after a tough year, it will also be how children reconnect with their family, friends and their communities and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

    “In response to the very difficult times children have experienced because of the pandemic, we want to help make sure that children get outside, play, and have fun. To that end, I’ll be announcing funding, supports and resources throughout the summer for them to do just that.

    “The Let’s Play Ireland website on gov.ie has been updated and is packed with new resources for children and families to enjoy. The two grants I’m announcing today will further support this by providing safe, inclusive spaces for children to play in their communities:

    Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services have already risen to the challenge of adapting to the current Covid-19 restrictions by enhancing their outside spaces to support children to spend more time outside. The Playing Outside Grant will help services to further develop their outdoor spaces for learning and play.

    The Local Authorities Play & Recreation Grant will support works to ensure playgrounds are safe and inclusive for all children to enjoy, which will be so important as the restrictions due to Covid-19 are lifted.

    A series of other exciting funded initiatives will roll out of over the coming weeks – all of them promoting a summer of play”.


    Welcoming the announcement, Ruth (8) said:

    “I love playing because it’s so much fun with my friends. I love moving around, it makes me happy and joyful”.

    The Summer of Play was also welcomed by Elise (8), who commented:

    “I’m excited to play because it’s fun and my friends are kind”.

    Hugh (4) commented:

    “I really, really, really like playing.”

    For more information on the Summer of Play initiative, go to gov.ie/children.



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    Special Class List for 2021/2022 School Year Published

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 31/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSpecial Class List for 2021/2022 School Year Published


    Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD has welcomed the publication by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) of the list of special classes for the coming school year (2021/22). The list shows that 2,118 special classes will be established in mainstream primary and post-primary schools across the country from September, providing places for approximately 12,700 students with additional needs.

    Minister Madigan also welcomed the establishment of 269 new special classes for the coming school year which will see an additional 1,600 special class places available across the country.

    Since 2011, the number of special classes has increased by 386%.

    Minister Josepha Madigan said: “The publication of the list of special classes for this September will be a great support to parents and families of young people with special educational needs, and confirms the commitment to ensure that young people have appropriate school places suitable to their needs. I am particularly pleased to see continued growth in the number of special classes across the country, with 269 new special classes being established this year to provide an additional 1,600 places across the country. I want to pay tribute to all our schools, particularly the schools who are establishing special classes for the first time.

    “We are also adding an additional 990 SNAs to support the increase in special classes. All of this is backed by funding of €2 billion which was secured for the special education budget this year. Since 2011, the number of special classes in mainstream schools has increased by almost 386% from 548 to 2,118 for the 2021/2022 school year.

    “I want to thank everyone in the National Council for Special Education and Special Educational Needs Organisers around the country for their work in supporting special education and the establishment of special classes. Throughout Ireland, the number of special classes continues to grow year-on-year. Today’s announcement is another step on the road to strengthening support and inclusion in our education system for the benefit of all students, and will ensure that students have the supports needed to reach their full potential.”

    The list of special classes can be found here.

    Source: education.ie



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    Language Sampler Module Announced for Primary

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 31/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsLanguage Sampler Module Announced for Primary


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today invited expressions of interest from English-medium and Irish-medium primary and special schools to participate in a new language sampler module.

    The proposed language sampler allows schools identify a modern foreign language of their choice, or Irish Sign Language (ISL). Schools will be supported by Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI) in providing a six-week sampler module across a range of additional languages including Irish Sign Language (ISL).

    This six-week sampler module is targeted at pupils in 3rd to 6th class for up to 1 hour per week within the normal school timetable. It will be open to schools to participate on a voluntary basis. Schools will have the autonomy to determine the language they wish to introduce to the children and to secure a language tutor/teacher e.g. language teacher/language assistant from a post-primary school /a member of the school/wider community who is fluent in the target language.

    All language tutors will work under the guidance of the class teacher in terms of advice provided in Circular 0042/2018, around Garda vetting and other child protection requirements.

    The new sampler module aims to:

    • Generate awareness among pupils of the range of languages used by their peers, including Irish Sign Language, in their schools and communities which may help support greater inclusion and appreciation of diversity in society

    • Encourage uptake of languages at post-primary level

    • Provide opportunities for increased levels of collaboration among the school community with regard to the celebration of languages and cultures

    • Support implementation of Languages Connect, Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017 – 2026.


    Minister Foley said: “This exciting new initiative will provide pupils with opportunities to expand their experience with languages and also give them confidence in engaging with new languages.

    “The sampler module will also inform future developments in the area of language acquisition and development of the Primary Curriculum Framework. I would encourage primary and special schools to explore this opportunity to take part in this new module.”

    Interested schools should complete the Application Form available at languagesconnect.ie no later than close of business on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

    The Minister announced that some €200,000 is being provided to support this six week sampler module. Schools selected to participate in the module where it involves one classroom will be provided with a grant from the Department of Education of €400. Schools selected with two classrooms participating will receive a grant of €600. Schools selected with three classrooms participating will receive a grant of €800. Finally, schools selected with four participating classrooms will receive a maximum grant of €1000. .

    The Department/PPLI will establish a panel to evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

    • a geographical spread of schools

    • a range of school contexts

    • diversity in the target languages

    • access to a language tutor

    • the school’s rationale for involvement in the project


    Participation will be confirmed with schools by 27th August 2021. The module will take place over a six-week period towards the end of the first term of the 2021/2022 school year.

    Source: education.ie



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    Registration opens for Online TAP CPD Courses

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsRegistration opens for  Online TAP CPD Courses


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced the opening of registration for the 2021 Online Teacher Artist Partnership continuous professional development (CPD) Summer Course and Residency Programme (TAP) for primary school teachers under the Creative Youth programme.

    The 2021 Online Teacher Artist Partnership CPD Summer Course and Residency programme supports and enhances Arts education in primary schools, developing the creative potential of every child.

    TAP Online 2021 is a Department of Education-approved CPD summer course for teachers, and artists working in partnership in primary schools. CPD for both teachers and artists working in schools is essential to the long-term success and sustainability of the overall Creative Youth plan.

    In order to achieve the long-term objective of cultural and creative education it is necessary to build a critical mass of education and arts professionals who are versed in the theoretical frameworks of arts and creativity education and equipped with the skills and techniques for delivering programmes in partnership.

    Minister Foley said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers and artists to collaborate, in a way that supports and enhances Arts education in our primary schools, with the aim to develop the creative potential of every child.

    “I am very pleased this free training opportunity is being provided online this summer. This exciting initiative will help teachers and schools to further enhance creativity in their classrooms. It is important that our children are allowed to express themselves and learn to adapt and collaborate. The TAP residency element of this programme will give students of all ages in primary schools the opportunity to have their TAP-trained teacher and artist working together in their classroom, facilitating the development of these essential skills for students to enjoy and explore artistic and creative expression.”

    TAP provides trained teachers with the opportunity to host a fully-funded TAP Artist Residency in their school in 2021/22. This Department of Education-led initiative is a highly innovative, creative and participant-responsive programme that promotes professional learning towards partnership.

    Teacher Artist Partnership (TAP) CPD will be delivered online in 2021 and offers a free online course with extra personal vacation (EPV) day approval and opportunities for participating teachers to apply for a face-to-face in-school residency in their school in the 2021/2022 academic year.

    TAP Online 2021 runs from Thursday 1 July - Wednesday 7 July. It is recommended that participants engage with module 1 on Thursday 1 July, Module 2 on Friday 2 July etc., to facilitate engagement with other participants and enable tutors to support participant learning.

    Live Zoom options during TAP online are voluntary. Participants can join for Tea at Ten every morning and Live Creative Dance on Monday 5 July. All other parts of the course can be carried out in the participants' own time.

    Teachers can now register at their local education centre website.

    Source: education.ie



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    Winners Announced in COVID Languages Competition

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsWinners Announced in COVID Languages Competition


    Hundreds of Transition Year students across the country embraced the opportunity to ‘Express yourself in COVID times’ through a foreign language as part of a new competition launched by DCU’s School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies.

    Supported by Languages Connect, DCU organised the event to provide students with a creative outlet for their passion for foreign languages during the pandemic when usual in-person interactions, which are so fundamental to language learning, were not able to take place.

    The competition attracted more than 300 entries from 70 schools around Ireland. Students were invited to submit entries across a range of topics in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and multilingual for a chance to win prizes for Best TikTok story, Best video/Instagram story and Best Comic strip.

    Best Comic Strip went to Our Lady’s School in Templemore while students from St Raphaelas in Stillorgan took first place for Best TikTok story and students from the Convent of Mercy in Roscommon won Best Video.

    Runner up prizes and recognition also went to:

    • Roscommon Convent of Mercy, 2nd prize Comic Strip

    • Mount Sackville Secondary School Dublin, 2nd prize TikTok story

    • Presentation Secondary School Kilkenny, 2nd prize Video

    • Christ King Girl’s Secondary School Cork, 3rd prize Comic Strip

    • East Glendalough School Wicklow, 3rd prize Tik Tok story

    • Patrician High School Monaghan, 3rd prize Video


    Organiser, Assistant Professor Lucía Pintado Gutiérrez from DCU’s School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, said: “We live in a multicultural society and studying languages opens doors to other countries, cultures, people and employment opportunities. Our languages competition was designed to make students feel excited and inspired about continuing to learn languages in a difficult year and so they could feel optimistic about the bright future ahead of them if they choose to go on to study languages at third level in DCU.”

    According to Dr Pintado Gutiérrez, studying languages opens up global career opportunities across many industries as businesses expand into broader markets.

    She added: “Good communication through foreign languages is essential to organisations and sectors operating globally. Graduates from our degree in Applied Language and Translation Studies are immediately work-ready and sought after for their professional competencies as language professionals and translators. Many of our graduates have found employment across a range of industries where they have applied their language skills, including localisation, gaming, banking, tourism, education, research, and recruitment. Students taking a language as part of their Joint Honours degrees also acquire very interesting profiles that make them ready for the workforce.”

    The benefits of studying a language are well reported with evidence to show that learning vocabulary improves memory and being bilingual develops multitasking and problem-solving skills. Being well versed in a foreign language also encourages appreciation for other cultures and helps students understand different cultural values.

    The DCU Transition Year Languages Competition 2021 was organised with support from Languages Connect, which promotes the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of foreign language skills to principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, students and stakeholders in post-primary education. The campaign was funded by the Department of Education and facilitated by Post Primary Languages Ireland, as a key objective of the Languages Connect – Ireland’s for Foreign Languages in Education 2017 – 2026.



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    Thousands of students celebrate Walk to School Week

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 24/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsThousands of students celebrate Walk to School Week


    Ireland’s annual celebration of walking to school runs from May 24-28.

    Schools across Ireland will take part in National Walk to School Week 2021, the annual celebration of walking to school, which takes place from May 24 to 28 in primary and secondary schools. Walk to School Week is an initiative of the Green-Schools Programme.

    Schools participating in the Green-Schools Travel themes will encourage students, teachers, parents and the wider community to walk to school and focus on the many positives of an active, fun and sustainable commute on foot. National WOW Day (Walk on Wednesday) on May 28 is the week’s highpoint when Green-Schools hope to surpass the figure of 20k students walking to school.

    To celebrate walking and the new appreciation many of us feel for our surroundings, Green-Schools is hosting four live online events with expert speakers during Walk to School Week 2021. Each day new activities and resources for schools to help celebrate the week will be shared online while Green-Schools Travel Officers will be visiting schools virtually to help in their campaigns to promote sustainable travel on the journey to school.

    About National Walk to School Week

    Green-Schools National Walk to School Week is one of the most important action awareness weeks in the school calendar and is the only one of its kind in Ireland which promotes active and sustainable travel on the journey to school.

    Jane Hackett is the Manager of the Green-Schools Travel Programme: “We are excited to be back in touch with schools and focused on celebrating walking to school. If we have learned anything this past year it is the benefit of a walk outdoors; even a short walk has benefits for our physical health and mental wellbeing. We hope this message reaches the school run this week and many more children and teenagers discover the simple joy of walking to school.”

    Walk to School Week arrives as UN Global Road Safety Week closes, the theme for which was ‘Streets for Life #Love30’. The UN is calling for 30km/h speed limits to be the norm in cities worldwide in places where people mix with traffic. The Green-Schools Programme promotes and supports the Love 30 campaign and reduced speed limits outside schools. The programme’s most recent Love 30 toolkit for schools can be found on the Green-Schools website.



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    Dublin Pupils' Virtual Walk to Raise Funds for School

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound on 19/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsDublin Pupils' Virtual Walk to Raise Funds for School


    Junior and senior infants at a new Dublin gaelscoil are doing a virtual 2,500km walk of the Wild Atlantic Way to raise funds for their school.

    Pupils at Gaelscoil Áine on Mobhi Road, Drumcondra, will walk, run, scoot and cycle the length of the popular tourism trail by the end of May in their own neighbourhoods.

    “Our incredible pupils are bringing the Wild Atlantic Way to Dublin for this exciting challenge,” said Príomhoide (Principal) Nic Dhiarmada.

    “We could not be prouder of the 43 boys and girls at Gaelscoil Áine who will travel the equivalent 2,500km length from Malin Head to Kinsale during the month of May.

    Their parents are keeping note of how many kilometres they do each day while raising funds for much-needed school resources like reading schemes.

    “It’s a great, fun and healthy challenge for our students and we cannot thank them, their parents and our wider community enough. Maith sibh gach duine.”

    The school hopes to raise €1,000 in this challenge to purchase graded reading schemes, which are a series of books that are structured to help children learn to read.

    Gaelscoil Áine opened in September 2019 offering parents a new Irish-speaking co-educational school that is both multi-denominational and multilingual. It is under the patronage of An Foras Patrúnachta, which is a management body founded in 1993 to promote education through the medium of Irish.

    It is currently located at the Whitehall College building on Mobhi Road while it awaits an announcement from the Department of Education about a permanent location.

    The school has 43 pupils in junior and senior infants and there is huge demand for places in it. Under current plans, the school will increase each year to a total of eight classes.

    Anyone who wishes to donate to the Gaelscoil Áine Wild Atlantic Way fundraising challenge can do so at this Go Fund Me page link



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    Teachers Impact on Preventing Anti-Social Behaviour

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 12/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsTeachers Impact on Preventing Anti-Social Behaviour


    The relationship between young people and their teachers is far more impactful than the neighbourhood they grow up in, a report by the ESRI finds. ... click to read full post & comments


    Expanded Summer Provisions for Pupils with Educational Needs

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 11/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsExpanded Summer Provisions for Pupils with Educational Needs


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education Josepha Madigan TD today (Tuesday, 11 May) announced the provision of expanded summer education programmes for pupils with complex special educational needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage, as a Covid-19 pandemic response measure, for summer 2021.

    Under this expansion of the summer programme, students with complex special educational needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage will have access to an enhanced summer programme of education.

    The total funding available to provide the programme is up to €40 million, a one hundred per cent increase on the allocation for summer provision in 2020.

    The programme’s aims are to support pupils to re-engage with education, to build their confidence and increase their motivation, promote wellbeing and for some who are at key transition stages, help to ensure they can move on to their planned educational placement next September along with their peers.

    For the first time ever, all schools (primary and-post primary) are encouraged to provide summer programmes and the eligibility criteria have been extended to include post-primary children with complex needs and children at risk of educational disadvantage. Prior to this expansion summer programmes were only available to special schools and pupils in special classes in primary schools and in DEIS schools. Today’s announcement marks a recognition of the value of such school based programmes for children with complex needs and those at risk of educational disadvantage in all schools.

    A home-based summer programme will continue to be available for children with complex needs where their schools are not providing a school based programme.

    Minister Foley said: “This is an incredibly important Government decision, to significantly expand the summer programme as a specific response to the pandemic, and offer important education provision this summer to children who really need and it.

    “We are all acutely conscious that children and young people did not have access to in-school learning for a long period of time. Despite the best efforts of everyone to support and engage with remote learning, not being in school has many adverse consequences. Evidence indicates that it particularly impacts children with complex special educational needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.

    “The summer 2020 programme was extremely successful and its benefit was felt when children re-integrated into their education settings in September. I am delighted we can now extend this vital opportunity to many more children this year.

    “I encourage school communities to take full advantage of this opportunity and to provide this valuable programme to their students. We have also listened to concerns of school stakeholders as to the challenges in running summer programmes and have taken significant steps to enhance those supports for schools. Across the country, our children and young people with complex needs, or at risk of educational disadvantage will benefit hugely from today’s decision.”

    Minister Madigan said: “This is an important announcement for young people with additional needs and young people facing educational disadvantage. It is the largest summer programme there has ever been and for the first time, every student with complex needs across all primary and post-primary schools will be eligible to take part. This is something that I have sought to put in place and I welcome the decision to make this expanded programme a reality.

    “We know it has been a very difficult year for students with additional needs who might not have been able to engage with remote learning. Parents and families have been worried about regression and loss of key skills.

    “Having visited schools hosting summer programmes in previous years, I have seen first-hand the positive benefits that it brings. This summer, all students in special schools, special classes, and those with complex needs in mainstream schools will be eligible to participate in a summer programme. This is the first time that all schools will be eligible to host a summer programme and I urge all schools to do so. It is a very worthwhile opportunity for young people.

    “The summer programme has become an important part of special education provision in Ireland. I am delighted that this year’s programme recognises the diversity of needs that exists in Ireland, across our special schools, special classes, and mainstream classes. This programme and the funding that goes with it, demonstrates the commitment of the Government to backing special education and ensuring that every student gets the support they need.”

    The five key strands of the programme will run, as follows:


    • Numeracy and literacy camps in DEIS primary schools

    • School based summer programme in primary schools with special classes and special schools.

    • Home based provision for children with complex needs where no school based programme is available;

    • All primary schools (DEIS and non DEIS) have the opportunity to provide a two-week summer programme for mainstream pupils with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.

    • All post-primary schools (DEIS and non DEIS) have the opportunity to provide a two-week summer programme for mainstream students with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage

    • The programmes for mainstream students in primary and post-primary schools are new programmes for 2021, building upon previous summer programmes in DEIS schools and the programmes for pupils with special educational needs last year.



    Enhanced measures have been put in place to encourage participation of schools in this process, including reducing the administrative process, provision of funding to schools towards preparation and overseeing of the programmes, earlier payment of school staff and provision to recruit final year student teachers graduating this summer.

    Further details on the schemes and how schools can apply will be made available over the coming period at gov.ie/summerprovision.

    Pupils with complex needs who have transport provided on the Special Educational Needs School Transport Scheme during the school year and are attending the school based programme in either a primary or a special school will be provided with transport.

    Following a Government decision today, the Department of Education will also confirm to schools that for the 2021/22 school year there will be no change to the model of allocation of special needs assistants.

    The introduction of the frontloaded model for the allocation of special needs assistants will be deferred to the commencement of the 2022/23 school year.

    This has occurred as during the pandemic period it has not been possible to provide the necessary information and training to support the implementation of the new model in schools.

    SNA allocations for 2021/22 school year will be based on the actual number of SNAs employed by a school on 30 April 2021 and the allocation on that date will be rolled over into 2021/22. No school will receive a reduced allocation and there will be scope for additionality under an exceptional review process to be delivered by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

    Source: education.ie



    ... click to read full post & comments(1)


    Blue Star Programme Celebrates 10 year Anniversary

    Posted by Schooldays, Newshound, on 07/05/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsBlue Star Programme Celebrates 10 year Anniversary


    The Blue Star Programme today celebrated its 10-year anniversary with schools across Ireland, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD. Today’s celebrations also saw schools in counties Clare, Westmeath and Dublin receive awards for 10 years of participation in the programme. The programme, implemented by European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland), allows primary school pupils across the country to learn about Europe and the EU through creative activities and projects which complement the national curriculum. Pupils carry out projects on the history, geography, culture and creativity and Institutions of the EU.

    Attending an online event to celebrate the anniversary of the Programme and Europe Week, Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD said,

    “Blue Star is an exciting programme that allows our primary schools to learn about, and get creative on, our European identity and culture. I am pleased to see this learning and creativity, over a long number of years, being recognised with the 10-Year Legacy Award. I would like to say a big thank you to the three schools who have stayed with the programme over the last decade, and to all the schools participating this year.


    “As Minister for European Affairs I am honoured to support the Blue Star Programme and have seen at first hand the enthusiasm that our young people are bringing to the programme. I want to commend the work of European Movement Ireland who manage this excellent programme and I am really hoping to visit some participating schools in person as soon as it is safe to do so.”

    Noelle O Connell, CEO of EM Ireland said,

    "Over the last 10 years, over 1,000 primary schools from across the country have taken part in the Blue Star Programme, but only 3 schools have taken part in all 10 years of the Programme – Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire, Co. Clare; Gardiner Street Primary School, Dublin and St. Thomas' National School, Co. Westmeath. We are delighted to present them with the 10-Year Legacy Award today to recognise all of the wonderful work they have done over the past 10 years in fostering the core values of the Programme and incorporating the Blue Star Programme as an important element of their classroom learning. It is wonderful to celebrate their achievements today while also marking the Blue Star Programme’s own 10-Year Anniversary.

    “Educational initiatives such as the Blue Star Programme are so important in today’s world as they promote a sense of openness and understanding among young people, in an increasingly diverse and vibrant Ireland. This year, there are over 15,000 primary pupils from across all 26 counties taking part in the Programme. These pupils are learning all about the history, geography, art, culture and values of Europe and they are gaining an awareness that not only are they citizens of Ireland, but they are also citizens of a wider European, and international, community."

    Watch the #BlueStar10 Celebration event back here now.

    The Blue Star Programme is a venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and Skills, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland. European Movement Ireland is the National Implementation Body of the Programme. Since it was established in 2011, there has been over 1,000 primary school registrations, covering all 26 counties, with approximately 90,000 pupils having taken part.



    ... click to read full post & comments


    New RSE Programme for Schools Causing Waves

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsNew RSE Programme for Schools Causing Waves


    A new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme called Flourish released by the Department of Education is hitting headlines over the last few days. Flourish is a programme set out to be used in all Catholic Primary schools in Ireland, which accounts for approximately 90% of schools. While opting out of Religion classes is an option that is taken by some, the question heavily debated is, should religion be featuring so heavily in children's Relationship and Sexuality Education? ... click to read full post & comments


    €100k Fund for Grants for Music Education

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 26/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And Politics€100k Fund for Grants for Music Education


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today invited applications for grants under the €100,000 Non-Mainstream Music Education Bursary Scheme 2021.

    Minister Foley said: “The last year has been an extremely challenging time for our children and young people. During the periods of remote learning, they were unable to engage in many in-person group activities such as music classes in the community.

    “Music is an important way for people to express themselves and show their creativity. It is vital that we provide these opportunities to our children and young people.

    “Community organisations that provide music lessons to children and young people have also had a challenging time. I hope that these grants can enable them to continue providing music tuition and classes for the remainder of this year. Bursaries available under this scheme will help organisations get resources they need to continue working with children and young people.”

    The purpose of the scheme is to provide support by way of a cash grant to established, smaller-scale, non-mainstream music education/community music initiatives with limited or no access to other forms of public funding. Grants can be used to purchase instruments, other musical equipment and tuition. Grants are not intended for use on capital expenditure such as structural or building costs. The total budget available in 2021 is €100,000.

    Interested parties can find the application form on the Department’s website at the following link.

    Applications will be considered by the Committee for Non-Mainstream Department of Education Funded Non-Mainstream Music Education.

    Source: education.ie



    ... click to read full post & comments


    Education Bill 2021 for Leaving Cert Published

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 26/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsEducation Bill 2021 for Leaving Cert Published


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today (Friday 23 April) published the Education (Leaving Certificate) (Accredited Grades) Bill 2021.

    The Bill provides for a system of Accredited Grades in respect of Leaving Certificate 2021 by conferring powers on the State Examinations Commission to run such a system. ... click to read full post & comments


    Schools Commit to Promoting Positive Mental Health

    Posted by Schooldays newshound, on 21/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSchools Commit to Promoting Positive Mental Health


    Schools showcase commitment to promoting positive mental health. Despite extraordinary challenges faced by schools over the past 12 months, students and teachers across the country have showcased their commitment and determination to promoting positive mental health, with over 50 applications across the country entering their mental health and wellbeing initiatives into the Walk in My Shoes’ annual Mission Possible School Achievement Awards. ... click to read full post & comments


    Establishment of New Special School in Cork

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsEstablishment of New Special School in Cork


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD have today (16 April, 2021) announced a significant expansion of special school provision in Cork through the establishment of a new special school and increased capacity in an existing special school to meet the needs of children in the Cork area. ... click to read full post & comments


    National Action Plan for Childminding Launched

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 16/04/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsNational Action Plan for Childminding Launched


    The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Mr Roderic O’Gorman T.D., has today launched the National Action Plan for Childminding. ... click to read full post & comments


    Upskilling programmes for post-primary teachers

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 07/04/2021.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsUpskilling programmes for post-primary teachers


    The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD are delighted to announce additional places in 2022 on programmes to upskill registered post-primary teachers ... click to read full post & comments


    Development of a New Digital Strategy for Schools

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 06/04/2021.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsDevelopment of a New Digital Strategy for Schools


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced the development of a new Digital Strategy for Schools, commencing with a wide-ranging consultation process.

    The new Digital Strategy for Schools will replace the existing strategy, ... click to read full post & comments


    Hot School Meals Programme 2021 Launched

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 26/03/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And Politics Hot School Meals Programme 2021 Launched


    Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has today launched the Hot School Meals Programme 2021, ... click to read full post & comments


    Additional supports for schools for Leaving Cert 2021

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 26/03/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsAdditional supports for schools for Leaving Cert 2021


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD yesterday announced the details of the additional supports that will be provided to schools to support the running of the Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied Examinations and the ... click to read full post & comments


    Measures to Tackle Educational Disadvantage

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 01/03/2021.
    Tags: Teachers Education And Politics Measures to Tackle Educational Disadvantage


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today (Monday 1 March) announced further supports to those schools catering for children and young people who are experiencing the highest levels of educational disadvantage. As part of the Budget 2021 measures to tackle educational disadvantage, the Minister announced: ... click to read full post & comments


    Patronage of three new primary schools in 2021

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 23/02/2021.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsPatronage of three new primary schools in 2021


    The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced the patronage of the three new primary schools to be established in 2021.

    In all cases, the Minister accepted the recommendations of the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). ... click to read full post & comments


    Choice of calculated grade or written exams for Leaving Cert

    Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 17/02/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsChoice of calculated grade or written exams for Leaving Cert


    Following a Government decision today, Minister for Education Norma Foley TD confirmed that Leaving Certificate 2021 examinations will proceed and students will also have the alternative option of applying for grades accredited by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), to be known as SEC-Accredited Grades.

    This decision follows intensive engagement with education stakeholders ... click to read full post & comments


    New funding arrangements of ELC during Level 5

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/01/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsNew funding arrangements of ELC during Level 5


    Following Cabinet approval yesterday (26 January) for the continuation of additional measures under full Level 5 restrictions, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has announced new funding measures to support the Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare (ELC and SAC) sector up to 5 March.

    The Minister has also confirmed that the pre-school (ECCE) ... click to read full post & comments


    Special Needs Schools Not Re Opening

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 20/01/2021.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsSpecial Needs Schools Not Re Opening


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Joseph Madigan TD ... click to read full post & comments


    Special Needs Schools may re-open next week

    Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 14/01/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSpecial Needs Schools may re-open next week


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD today met with primary and special education stakeholders in a positive engagement. All parties are working together towards a phased return for children in special schools ... click to read full post & comments


    Minister's statement on extended school closures

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound on 07/01/2021.
    Tags: Education And PoliticsMinister's statement on extended school closures


    Schools will be closed until 1 February 2021. Special schools, special classes and specialised settings will be fully open from Monday 11 January.

    Leaving Certificate final year students will receive ... click to read full post & comments


    Schools closed until 1st Feb with two exceptions

    Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 06/01/2021.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSchools closed until 1st Feb with two exceptions



    As part of new restrictions to tackle rising Covid-19 infections, the Government has confirmed this afternoon that Schools will remain closed until 1 February, except for the provision of special education (special schools and special classes) and specialised settings (such as ... click to read full post & comments


    Schools Re-Opening delayed until 11th January

    Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 31/12/2020.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsSchools Re-Opening delayed until 11th January


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion has announced that the school Christmas break will be extended by three days, with schools re-opening on Monday 11 January.

    Minister Foley said: “It is a key objective of Government that our children and school staff can attend school safely. This has been achieved through ... click to read full post & comments


    TUI to Recommend Rejection of Proposal

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 16/12/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsTUI to Recommend Rejection of Proposal


    The Executive Committee of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has unanimously decided to recommend rejection of the new public service agreement proposals, Building Momentum – A New Public Service Agreement 2021-2022.

    The union acknowledges and welcomes the fact that these proposals provide for general ... click to read full post & comments


    €50m ICT grant funding

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 30/11/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And Politics €50m ICT grant funding


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today (Monday 30 November) announced €50 million in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Grants for primary and post-primary schools to be paid in early December, 2020.

    The €50 million payments involve:

  • €40m ICT Grant funding issued to all eligible schools in line with previous years, ... click to read full post & comments


    Patronage of three primary schools

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 26/11/2020.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsPatronage of three primary schools


    The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has invited parents to express their preference in relation to the patronage of three primary schools to be established in 2021.

    Parents are invited to express their patronage preferences using the Department’s Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) website. ... click to read full post & comments


    The Minister's Easel

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 23/11/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsThe Minister's Easel


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD invites children in primary school to submit their artwork for display in her office.

    Each week, the Minister will select several items of artwork to be placed on the easel in her office, for display. ... click to read full post & comments


    No-homework day for all children in Ireland

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/11/2020.
    Tags: Parenting Education And PoliticsNo-homework day for all children in Ireland


    Education Minister Norma Foley has announced a no-homework day for all Irish students for working so hard throughout the pandemic.

    Some good news for the children of Ireland - a no homework day has been issued for all pupils in the country!

    Education Minister Norma Foley has announced a no-homework day for all students without getting in trouble. ... click to read full post & comments


    Dedicated special ed classrooms in new school builds

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 17/11/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsDedicated special ed classrooms in new school builds


    Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan TD, has stated that new school building projects currently sanctioned and all new projects from 2021 onwards will include dedicated rooms and facilities for special classes where needed. Minister Madigan made her remarks as she officially opened the National Council for Special Education’s annual Research Conference.

    Officially opening the conference, Minister Madigan said: ... click to read full post & comments


    Framework to support roll-out of LC Computer Science

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 16/11/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And Politics Framework to support roll-out of LC Computer Science


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today (Monday 16 November) announced details of a new industry framework to support the implementation of the subject Leaving Certificate Computer Science.

    The framework has been developed by an industry and Department of Education partnership, ... click to read full post & comments


    New Upskilling Programmes for Post-primary Teachers

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 04/11/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsNew Upskilling Programmes for Post-primary Teachers


    Minister Foley and Minister Harris announce new upskilling programmes for post-primary teachers in mathematics, physics and Spanish
     
    The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD ... click to read full post & comments


    New Resources Commemorating the Decade of Centenaries

    Posted by Schooldayds Newshound, on 22/10/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And Politics New Resources Commemorating the Decade of Centenaries


    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD is delighted to announce the launch of the Junior Cycle Decade of Centenaries Research Collection, produced by the Department’s Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) initiative. This research collection was developed as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme. ... click to read full post & comments


    Survey highlights health and safety concerns of teachers

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 22/10/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsSurvey highlights health and safety concerns of teachers


    Findings of a new survey of over 1,500 Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) members in the Post Primary and Further/Adult Education sectors highlight a range of concerns around health issues, resources in schools and increased workload. (Click here for full findings).

    The Union is insisting on ongoing engagement around the move to Level 5 restrictions ... click to read full post & comments


    Applications for patronage of 4 new secondary schools

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/10/2020.
    Tags: Teachers Education And PoliticsApplications for patronage of 4 new secondary schools


    The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of four new post-primary schools to be established in September 2021.

    Minister Foley said: “This is an unusual and challenging time for school patrons and school communities. ... click to read full post & comments


    Budget 2021 - increase in investment in education

    Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 14/10/2020.
    Tags: Education And Politics Teachers ParentingBudget 2021 - increase in investment in education


  • Budget increases by €410 million to €8.9 billion as special education, DEIS schools and all primary and post-primary schools benefit from new investment.
  • This increase is additional to the ... click to read full post & comments



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