Category Archives: Opinion

Minister Bruton launches 2018 Digital Plan for Schools

Somehow, I missed this announcement last week even so it contains 80 actions and sub actions to be completed before the end of 2018. I had a quick look through it. The trouble with these documents is that they are exceptionally waffle-ridden and really difficult to read. Themes, subthemes, actions, subactions, etc. etc. It would be great if they just divided them into primary / post-primary and then broke them into categories. At primary level, despite almost everyone in the world Read More...

How organisations like the INTO can use technology to garner membership

The INTO, like many organisations, was formed in a time before the advent of technology. In order to ensure large organisations like them could make decisions on behalf of their members, a number of layers needed to be established so that leadership could ensure the message of its members could be heard. For example, the leadership would have a smaller group of district representatives, who in turn would meet with representatives of local groups who in turn would have Read More...

Anseo.net Predictions for 2018

Every January I try to predict what’s going to happen in primary education for the rest of the year and what the big issues and big stories will be. I’ll focus on a number of areas of interest to me. Please add your own guesses by commenting at the bottom of this post. For me, the most eery of my predictions last year was about the Droichead programme. Last year, I said: I also think the Droichead debacle will finally come Read More...

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...

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...

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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