Gaelscoileanna Teo. has welcomed the Tánaiste’s (pic right) statement of 28th July 2010 announcing a significant revision of the recognition process for post-primary schools.
The criteria for judging applications to establish post-primary schools will be agreed under the proposed new framework. This will ensure the transparency of the decision making process for new schools at Departmental level.
Referring to the implications for Irish-medium post-primary schools, Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive of Gaelscoileanna Teo. commented , “We warmly welcome the revision of the recognition process for post-primary schools and we believe it’s timely in light of the recent review of recognition criteria at primary level. We are confident that this proposed revision will facilitate post-primary provision and satisfy the needs and justifiable demands for Irish-medium education at post-primary level”.
The need for any proposed school to be able to cater for diversity in its pupil population is amongst the criteria already cited by the Tánaiste. Irish-medium schools cater for diversity in provision on grounds of language/religious ethos and they cater and welcome pupils from every linguistic, social and academic background.
With regard to Irish-medium Units within English-medium schools ní Ghréacháin cautions “While we welcome the proposal to provide Units to cater for the demand for Irish-medium education in cases where there is insufficient demand for an independent Irish-medium school, it is vital that consultation between ourselves and the Department continues with a view to reviewing and comprehensively developing the existing model of the Irish-medium Unit both in both concept and approach. Clearly, the Unit model can cater for demand to an extent, , however the current model has many challenges to overcome. We would greatly welcome the opportunity for consultation with the Department on the development of a new model and on the criteria for founding Irish-medium post-primary schools going forward”.
The Tánáiste intends to form a consultative group in the Autumn which will prepare a set of proposals with regard to the recognition of post-primary schools. These will focus on the need for school places to be made available for an extra 67,000 pupils by 2024.
Ní Ghréacháin congratulates the Tánaiste for undertaking this process and states “...we are committed to co-operating with the Tánaiste and the Department of Education and Skills on this all-important issue and we are greatly looking forward to playing a central role in the challenge of putting the most effective education system into operation. We would advise that the Tánaiste ensures that a representative with specialised knowledge of the needs of Irish-medium schools be present on the Consultative Group ”.
Gaelscoileanna Teo. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish. It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established all-Irish schools. There are 169 primary schools and 38 secondary schools currently providing education through the medium of Irish.
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