#GE16 and Primary Education: Cuts to Education

Over the coming weeks, we've decided to focus in on some of the issues facing Irish Primary Education in the run up to the General Election. In all the excitement, sometimes it's important to set a context and thanks to Voices For Teachers and their members, a list of all the cuts to education are listed below. These are cuts to education that have happened since the first Croke Park Agreement. Séamus O'Connor who gave me permission to use this list adds that the extra responsibilities we have undertaken are not listed below. These are simply the things that were taken away. What are your thoughts? 1. Loss in take-home pay of between 18% and 32% due to pay cuts; USC; pension levy; tax and PRSI increases. Even more cuts for post 2011 teachers. 2. Serious cuts to allowances; withdrawal of qualification allowances (loss of €4,918 per year for...

#DojoChatEU: Parental Engagement

Every week ClassDojo run a chat based on some aspect of education under the hashtag #dojochateu. I type in my own thoughts to the questions that are asked and publish them on this blog. This week the topic was based on Parental Engagement. Q1 What works best for schools trying to increase family engagement? How do we meet parents where they are at? With so many parents working or busy, it can be difficult to get family engagement. We try our best all the time to engage parents in anything we can think of. Last year we opened a garden in the front of the school that is designed to be maintained by teachers, parents and pupils. We're working hard on parental engagement and trying out different things. Hopefully when the weather gets better, we'll have it buzzing with parents, butterflies and bees! We also have offered art classes, computer...

IPPN 2016: Principals Meet Politicians

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This year's IPPN annual conference was more than a little bit political with no less than seven politicians taking to the stage over the two days. Every year I give a summary of what I got up to. I try to spend a good bit of time in the Expo and miss out on some talks but it gives me a chance to see what sort of resources are going to be available to me this year. In terms of technology, it was all about touchscreen panels  with about 5 companies exhibiting their version of the "new Interactive Whiteboard." I can't say I'm completely sold on them yet as I'm not sure how long they last when they are in full use in a classroom. There were a few companies selling Apple stuff and their stands were generally all glossy and lovely. I didn't have any need to speak with them as I am not going to buy iPads any time soon. Tip Tap Tap were there and I...

School Autonomy Summarised

We got sent a really good summary of the Department of Education's paper on School Autonomy. Also with many teachers, the author of the summary is very worried about many of the proposals. The Department is asking for submissions as part of a consultation (where have we heard that before?) Personally, I see this as merely another way for the Department of Education to step away from its responsibilities, especially legal cases (they're really smarting after the Louise O'Keeffe case) and, in my biased opinion, school patronage. My own summary of the document is that it seems to be proposing to copy the UK Tory party's model. Most decent educators would agree that this policy has effectively destroyed the education system in the UK. In any case, here is the summary from the teacher who asked to remain unidentified. What is school...

IPPN Expo Preview

The IPPN conference is coming next week. The conference has seen a change in that the minister for education is going to be at the official opening of the conference rather than the morning after, which seems to be aimed at launching the various political parties' education election manifestos. We're also going to have to put up with an appearance from Enda Kenny. Every year I take a look at the exhibits and highlight some of the more interesting ones that may escape our radar. All the familiar faces will be there so I won't be earmarking them - I'm looking at new companies offering potentially interesting products for the classroom. Stand B2: Playchimes.ie Outdoor wall games are becoming popular in schools and this company are offering a free €50 voucher just for coming along to their stand. I'll be interested in seeing the various wall...

Two line Tuesday

The INTO ballot is very odd. It's about 6 years too late and only focuses on the problems that we had back then rather than all the problems they've allowed to happen since.  

ClassDojo Comes to Ireland

For all you ClassDojo users out there, the people behind ClassDojo are coming to Dublin on the 16th January. They'll be taking over the Long Hall bar in Dublin from 5pm and there's going to be loads of goodies and fellow ClassDojo folk to meet. If you're interested in going along, here is a link to the Eventbrite invitation: http://bit.ly/DublinHH

Anseo.net Review of 2015

2015, as always, has been a very busy year in primary education. Every year, we look back over some of our articles throughout the months to see how the year shaped out. The world of technology was a quiet enough place with very few new gadgets capturing the imaginations of teachers. 2015 seemed to be a year of consolidation and figuring out what to do on all the devices we have in classrooms. Outside of the edtech world, equality was the buzzword of 2015. Anseo.net got involved in the Marriage Equality debate and continues to highlight the many inequalities in our education system. At the end of 2015, it's good to see a number of groups such as Education Equality and others putting pressure on everyone to recognise that a school day in the life of a child is not always an equal place. January is the month of the IPPN conference for principals...

CESI Conference 2016 Announced

The CESI (Computers in Education Society of Ireland) Conference 2016 has been announced. It will be held in DCU on Saturday, February 27th, the first time the conference has been held in a major university. The annual CESI Teachmeet which takes place the night before will be in the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra on the 26th. Spread the word!

The First Ever Educate Together Conference for Teachers!

Educate Together have lots of conferences throughout the year. There's the main AGM where all members get to vote on the running of Educate Together and there's the principals' conference. There's usually conferences on ethics and this is for boards of managements, principals, parents and teachers but Educate Together have never run a conference solely for its teachers. That is until now. For those of you not in the know about Educate Together's Ethical Education Programme, here's some information from the conference web site. Governed by the Educate Together Charter, all Educate Together schools are: Equality-based, i.e. all children having equal rights of access to the school, and children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected, Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to achieve...