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Category Archives: Opinion

May 2017

Droichead is back but have too many bridges been burned?

Droichead 2.0 arrived today and the INTO almost immediately lifted the directive against cooperation. It’s obvious that the INTO aren’t knee-jerking in their reaction. They have known about this for months. It raises the question about the involvement of the INTO in the Teaching Council. I don’t believe unions have any place in the Teaching Council. They should be outside of the Council and fighting for teachers’ rights from that perspective. Given the timing of the Teaching Council announcement and Read More...

December 2016

Anseo.net Predictions for 2017

Every year, I try to predict what the big stories will be in primary education in Ireland. 2016, for me, will be best remembered by being forgotten. It was a very disappointing year on all fronts with very little happening – almost as if someone had hit the pause button on the sector. Nothing seemed to happen and anything that seemed to be happening in 2015 didn’t get started in 2016, see Droichead, new Primary Language Curriculum, Divestment of Schools, etc. It Read More...

September 2016

A Look at the Action Plan for Education

The Action Plan for Education was published today by Minister Richard Bruton. The government aims for Ireland to have the best education and training system in Europe by 2026. Given that the government has spent the last 10 years tearing the education system apart through budgetary cuts, I’m not entirely sure how they are going to manage to do this. However, I’ve decided to go through the 70-page document to see if there’s any chinks of light hidden in Read More...

April 2016

INTO Congress: A Lesson in how to do Congress

The INTO congress was on this week. You might have missed it because you probably didn’t hear much about it in the media. This was probably because it was a massive success on all fronts. One could almost hear Katherine Donnelly’s disappointment that she couldn’t use words like “whinging.” Sometimes, we have to look at ourselves and pat ourselves on the back and this year was one of them. The only person that made the headlines was the acting Minister Read More...

February 2016

How to make denominational schools more inclusive

Around 96% of Irish primary schools are under the patronage of a religious body, with around 92-93% of schools under the the Catholic Church. This means that anyone who does not identify themselves as Catholic has very little chance of getting into a school that fully respects their religious identity. There is little appetite for change in Ireland. While most people don’t agree with stopping a child from enrolling in a school because of their faith or lack of Read More...

Primary Schools: Inclusive or Tolerant?

As most people know, there are a number of parents in Ireland who have been in the media lately claiming that they cannot enrol their children in their local school as they do not have a Baptismal Certificate. However, in the vast majority of schools, this is not the case. The Catholic church claim that most of their schools do not have a Catholics-First enrollment policy and that they welcome and include all children of all and no faiths into Read More...

Infographic of Survey on Inclusiveness

I developed an infographic based on the data received from my survey on how inclusive are Irish Catholic Primary Schools. I’ll be publishing my thoughts in the coming days. Read More...

How inclusive are Catholic Schools?

Recently, The Irish Independent carried an article with the headline, Catholic Schools are as inclusive as any other type by Father Tom Deenihan, during Catholic Schools’ Week. However, not everyone would agree with this sentiment. What does being inclusive mean in the 21st century? We surveyed Irish primary teachers to ascertain exactly what happens in their schools. The questions were based on a number of issues faced by people from minority and non-faith backgrounds and asked schools how they coped with Read More...

January 2016

Is it ethical to publish League Tables?

The Irish Independent published, what they called, a definitive league table of the best schools in Ireland, based on 7 years of data. It was based on the percentage of students that went on to third level from secondary school. Schools where close to 100% of their students went on to third level over the 7 years, were deemed to be the best schools in Ireland and today’s newspaper was full of little vox pop articles from the schools explaining how they Read More...

The Mathematics of Patronage and Pluralism

Between 96% and 98% of Irish primary schools are denominational in patronage, which means that one or two particular religions are taught as truth as part of the school day. There is a lot of focus in the media about Catholic schools and non-baptised children. I believe this is very unhelpful as it pitches Catholic schools against everyone else. I do not believe the whole discussion on patronage is a Catholic vs non-Catholic debate. For me it is about the current model of Read More...

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