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 autonomy?

  • The concept of school autonomy is related to schools’ ability to self-determine relevant matters, such as objectives and activities to be conducted. It refers to domains such as governance, personnel, curriculum, instructional methods, disciplinary policies, budgeting, facilities and student admission .
  • School autonomy is a form of school management in which schools are given decision- making authority over their operations, including the hiring and firing of personnel, and the assessment of teachers and pedagogical practices.

The Programme for Government 2011-2016 envisages the following changes in respect of the work and management of schools:

  • Schools will have greater autonomy ‘to set their own staffing needs’
  • Principals and boards will have increased freedom to allocate and manage staff and to delegate management responsibilities to teachers
  • Parents and local communities will have more say in the patronage of schools
  • The devolution of an annual capital budget to schools will be piloted
  • Local communities will have more control over educational infrastructure
  • Curricula will be reformed to improve attainment in literacy, mathematics and science and to encourage greater innovation and independent learning


Alongside its proposals for changing certain decision-making responsibilities regarding education delivery, the Programme for Government sets out a number of related proposals for developing accountability:

  • The proposed increased autonomy of schools over staffing will be ‘within strict budgets and new accountability systems’
  • Schools will be required to draw up five-year development plans
  • Parents will have access to more information when choosing a school for their children
  • A ‘new system of self-evaluation’ requiring schools to evaluate their performance year on year will be introduced
  • Schools will publish annual reports.

Evaluation and assessment are key to both improvement and accountability in school systems.                          This can take a variety of forms:

  • Public reporting, which includes, for example, the publication of information such as that from school inspection reports, school annual reports, and system-level reports providing an assessment of the state of education
  • Evaluation and assessment results are increasingly used to reward or sanction the performance of individual school agents. This goes alongside the expansion of school external evaluation and the development of systems to review the work and development needs of principals and teachers. A number of countries have systems whereby either schools, school leaders or teachers receive rewards for good performance or are the subject of sanctions for underperformance.
  • Any progress on extending the autonomy of schools over the deployment of additional teaching resources (such as SEN resources as proposed by the NCSE) should be linked to specific accountability requirements, including greater inspection measures. These could require the school to demonstrate to the Inspectorate that it is successfully fulfilling the requirement to provide high quality SEN support, and the resulting published reports could describe specific levels of performance.
  • A move towards greater accountability poses challenges at both school and system levels. There are limitations to the engagement which schools and their principals and staffs can be expected to bring to accountability processes in a time when there has been an ever-increasing pace of change.
  • At the governance level, boards of management are composed of volunteers for the most part, and there is no assurance that the board will have the requisite skill-set to adopt and implement successfully accountability mechanisms, particularly in areas such as finance and budgeting.

Arguments advanced for and against greater autonomy for school communities in relation to governance include the following:

  • It can be argued that, in addition to making governance structures more democratic, decentralisation of control may result in better monitoring of teachers and schools by parents and local communities where there is real engagement with parents at the governance level. The assumption is that such oversight focusses attention on teaching behaviours and learning outcomes.
  • Gunnarsson and Orazem (2009) found that schools that are better equipped and with more involved parents have better outcomes.
  • Giving schools more autonomy over staffing allows schools to select teachers best suited to their needs and the needs of students.
  • Arguments are made by some researchers that schools are best placed to identify the staffing patterns and job descriptions which will result in the best outcomes for students.
  • It is also suggested that the flexibility to incentivise better student outcomes will generate greater teacher effort.


  • Gunnarsson and Orazem(2009) highlight that autonomy can give rise to undue pressure being brought to bear on local managers by those parents who have influence. This means that the role of principal can become more politicised and, as a result, more stressful by virtue of having to satisfy multiple stakeholders, each exerting influence.
  • Autonomy can result in schools providing an education which is shaped by the wishes of those who are most vocal, and who may not actually be representative of the entirety of the school population.
  • Devolving management responsibility to schools means schools need more supports and resources.
  • With the removal of higher-level agencies, which act as a type of bulwark in relation to a range of management and administrative issues, there is a significantly greater weight of work and of expectation falling on schools, and this requires significant additional resourcing to ensure that schools can cope capably.


Autonomy in the UK & other countries

  • Teachers’ and other school employees have their rates of pay and their terms and conditions of employment determined by each academy on an individual basis. Concerns have been raised in the UK about the effect of this on employee morale.
  • By way of balance, there is some merit to enabling individual pay rates as it means that individuals who make an outstanding contribution may be rewarded.
  • There is also a concern that academies seek to employ younger or unqualified teachers, where they would be able to offer lower rates of pay, and thus retain more of the funding allocation for the school by lowering costs. (It is noted that a similar concern has arisen in the context of autonomous schools in some Australian states).
  • In 2012, the Secretary of State for Education allowed academies to employ unqualified individuals as teachers if the academy believed that the person could perform in the role of teacher. The move was intended to foster innovation and flexibility but it has met with stern opposition from political parties, as well as parent and teacher groups.


  • It is worth noting that in Sweden, PISA ,(programme for international student assessment) identifies school choice as a contributing factor to falling achievement levels. Parents’ right to choose between municipal schools and independent schools was intended to increase quality by competition, but it has also led to the best students flocking to the same schools.
  • Sweden’s education minister, was quoted as saying that results were “the final nail in the coffin for the old school reform [i.e. free schools].
  • Swedish free-schools tend to enrol pupils not coming from the bottom tail of the ability distribution – less able children are suffering because of this system.
  • Spurred by concerns about decreasing levels of achievement and by inspection reports which indicate that goal-based curricula had become difficult for teachers to interpret and led to major inequalities in school academic requirements, autonomy over curriculum choice and student assessment has been lessened.
  • The PISA 2012 results published on 03 December 2013 revealed that, over the past decade, average performance in Sweden declined in all three core subjects, reading, mathematics and science, from a level around or above the OECD average to a level below the average. Dr Susanne Wiborg of London’s Institute of Education argues that, “the Swedish free schools have played an indirect role in the decline of the PISA scores over the last decade.”

Finland – Teachers play a key role in assessing students. Teacher-based assessments are used by schools to monitor progress and these are descriptive and used in a formative manner to inform feedback and assessment for learning. Finnish schools do not use standardised testing to determine student success.                                     ______________________________________________________________________________

  • In Ireland, Movement towards the Programme for Government’s objective of increasing the autonomy of schools to ‘set their own staffing needs’ is evident in proposals that have been put forward by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and which is currently being piloted in 47 schools. This policy advice proposes that language support, learning support and resource teaching hours should be brought into a single pot of special educational needs (SEN) posts for schools, thereby giving schools greater discretion in how best to meet the needs of their students.

Advantages and disadvantages of increased autonomy over curriculum, pedagogy and assessment


  • Individual schools know best about the needs of their students and can make better decisions regarding the curriculum they offer to students.
  • Failing schools can be improved more easily if schools have greater curricular flexibility – schools in difficulty will improve if they have the flexibility to make necessary changes to their staffing and curriculum.
  • Giving schools autonomy over curriculum and pedagogy fosters innovation – raising student attainment.


  • OECD research has shown, for example, that linking test outcomes with teacher performance and development review creates incentives for teachers to distort testing and test results and is regarded as unfair by many teachers and others as it ignores the impact of students’ socio-economic background on student learning.
  • There is evidence that more autonomous schools are more selective regarding their student intake yet show no evidence of better student outcomes – although more autonomous schools tend to admit pupils with educationally advantageous backgrounds, there are no clear performance benefits from autonomous structures, irrespective of pupils’ background.
  • The evidence about the beneficial effects of school autonomy over matters such as curriculum, pedagogy or assessment is limited.
  • New Zealand Council for Educational Research has shown that they cannot point to any great system-wide gains in student performance or learning, new approaches to learning, or greater equality of educational opportunity that have clearly arisen from school autonomy in that country. ________________________________________________________________________

Other points:

  • Qualifications and skills of teachers – Further work needs to be undertaken to strengthen the continuing professional development of teachers. The Teaching Council could consider making mandatory a minimum level of ongoing professional development as a condition of teachers’ registration (Cosán). This would help to embed a rigorous and in-depth pedagogical development of teachers in the school system and would also equip teachers to utilise more fully the autonomy that schools and teachers already enjoy over curriculum and assessment.
  • As the new reporting systems to parents are embedded, the possibility of introducing more formal guidelines regarding the frequency, duration and expectations around parent-teacher meetings could be explored
  • Schools could be required to report publicly on a number of issues annually. These could include public confirmation that the school is compliant with a number of key regulations (number of days opening for instruction, length of the school day, class size and deployment of teaching resources, admission policy, child protection policy and procedures, etc). The resources available to the school including, for example, total staffing resources available to the school, how these are deployed and the school’s effective pupil/teacher ratios, targeted resources available to the school and how these are used (for special education needs, etc.) and financial income from the state.
  • Consideration could also be given to making available certain information on the learning achievements of students. The mechanism by which this could be achieved and the resource implications involved would require further study.

Advantages and disadvantages of budgetary autonomy

Schools with autonomy over budgets and salary levels of teachers can provide incentives to attract higher performing teachers and to maintain high standards

  • Giving schools, especially schools in disadvantaged areas, autonomy to offer an allowance for teaching in struggling schools is one way of encouraging experienced and high-quality teachers to work with these settings.
  • Highly performing teachers and principals may be rewarded with a pay bonus or salary “top-ups”
  • Autonomy over staffing also means that schools have the freedom to fire inefficient or under-performing teachers.
  • School autonomy over budgets improves efficiency.
  • School managers find themselves addressing financial decisions rather than educational decisions; teachers and parents express concern that the funding allocation shrinks relative to the cost of service provision over time; and central governments are perceived to have side-stepped difficult decision-making.
  • Research suggests that there is no clear relationship between budgetary autonomy and school performance.

Autonomy over salaries

One option in relation to salaries is that schools could be given autonomy over all funding for pay expenditure and devolved responsibility to set pay rates for teachers.

  • Schools could determine the pay and conditions of teachers, so that management could use financial incentives such as recruitment bonuses and performance bonuses to recruit quality professionals. This would allow schools to compete to attract the highest quality teachers and would allow for the creation of differentiated career and compensation systems.
  • It would also facilitate the removal of teachers whose work is deemed by school management to be ineffective or unsatisfactory. This would provide additional incentives for excellent teaching and would bolster the performance management strategies available to principals and school boards.
  • Given the weight of evidence that the quality of teaching is the single- most influential factor in student outcomes, attracting effective teachers to low- performing and disadvantaged schools will make a difference in student achievement. Giving these schools autonomy to offer a pay bonus or “top-up” for teaching in these struggling schools is one way of encouraging experienced and high-quality teachers to work with these schools.


  • Implementing these options could lead to a constant upward trend in pay costs and would be likely to undermine public pay policy.
  • These options represent a significant departure from established industrial relations practices and could have a detrimental impact on the terms and conditions of teachers.
  • Another option with regard to salaries is that schools could be given autonomy over all pay- related expenditure but within the constraints of Government negotiated national pay scales.
  • As teachers grow older and progress up the incremental salary scale, these experienced teachers would become relatively more expensive when compared with younger and less experienced teachers. This could create an inequity between schools: those with younger staff would be able to afford to employ greater numbers of teachers, and it would create an incentive for schools to encourage the early exit of teachers who prove to be too expensive.

What do you think??

It is extremely important that we all share our views on this!!!

The consultation period will run from 04 December 2015 to 29 January 2016, a period of eight weeks. Submissions should be received before close of business on 29 January 2016 at the latest.

Please fill out the submission form and return it to room 13 and I will post them altogether or if you would prefer to post or email it yourself it can be sent to:


Autonomy Consultation
Central Policy Unit
Department of Education and Skills Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1

D01 RC 96


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 Seas Suas is a blog that myself and Nigel Lane (@NL_84) from Irish Teacher

CESI Meet: North East

A CESImeet will take place in Dundalk for just after the Hallowe'en break. Details

How I Learn

Over the last week, Helen Bullock, a teacher from Limerick has been running a

Screen Shot 2012-08-16 at 09.36.19 is back for the new school year

 Just like the Rose of Tralee reminds us that it's nearly time to go

The Blog Awards Ireland are Back!

Last year Damien Mulley announced that he was ending the Irish Blog Awards just

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Thank a Teacher

From my observations and from the various independent reports that have been published, in

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New NCCA Reports

The NCCA launched their new report templates last week providing schools with a nice

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Seas Suas

I'm delighted to be able to announce the launch of a new web site

Digital Art Week 2012

Digital Art Week 2012 was a fantastic success with almost 100 schools registered to

Competition: Pipe Up

We've teamed up with Gerry Lyons from Na Píobairí Uilleann to win a super prize!Pipe Up,

Digital Art Week Instructions

Digital Art Week starts next week so here is a simple step-by-step guide to

Pluralism and Patronage Report

The report from the forum on patronage and pluralism in the primary sector published

Google Teacher Academy: Reflection

I was one of fifty lucky teachers to be accepted on Google's Teacher Academy

Google Teacher Academy

So what are you doing for your Easter holidays? On 3rd April, I'm packing

ICT in Education Conference 2012
ICT in Education Conference 2012

With great pleasure and anticipation, it's coming near to the time for the ICT

Digital Art Week is Coming

After last year's great success, Digital Art Week will take place from 23rd -

Competition Time – Easi-Speak

Our friends at Liosdiore Computers have introduced a €200 trade in offer on old short

Edchat Ireland reaches 50

It's hard to believe that Ireland's weekly education chat on Twitter, Edchatie, has just

How is school leadership connected with Emotional Intelligence? Part 2

In part 1, I gave a brief summary of what emotional intelligence and how

How to add an absence form to your Smartphone app
How to add an absence form to your Smartphone app

At the CESI conference, I gave a workshop to show teachers how to make

new mobi
Fancy a free Interactive Device? have teamed up with IMEX to offer teachers the opportunity to get a

CESI 2012 – Teachnology

The Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) hosted their annual conference in Portlaoise

What are you doing this February 29th?

What are you doing this February 29th? Proposing to your future husband? If not,

Make an App

I have just released my second app called Targetboard Grids and I was surprised

Fizzbook Spin
Competition: Win an AGFA HD Waterproof Digital Camera

Our main sponsor, Liosdoire Computers, has very kindly given us another AGFA Waterproof Video

CESI Conference 2012

Mark your diaries - the CESI ceonference is back in Portlaoise this year.  With

It's oh so quiet..New draft document on Inspectorate handing probation to Principals

EmailI got an email today from the Teaching Council and I almost deleted it

Has Apple reinvented the Textbook?

Apple has unleashed iBooks Textbooks today, where they claim that they have "reinvented the

What to expect at the IPPN Expo

Before the Irish Primary Principal's Conference, I like to browse through the exhibition list

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5 Headlines about the ESRI report on 9 year olds in primary schools

The ESRI have just released a study about 9 year olds in Irish primary

BETT 2012

I am back from London after spending two amazing days at the BETT conference.

Imagination through Animation

Whatever some people say, I still believe children have great imaginations.  When I was

Why Irish Teachers should consider BETT?

Every year in London, the Kensington Olympia Exhibition Hall hosts the BETT conference.  For

Primary Blogs to Look Out for in 2012

I think that 2012 will see a continuation in the rise of Irish primary

ipadschoolbooks-300x169 Review of 2011

As is traditional at the end of the year, looks back at the

Liosdoire Competition Winner

A big thank you to our entrants to Liosdoire's first competition! We had a

School with an iPhone App

A few weeks ago, I reported that I had designed a smartphone app for

Budget 2012

There were a number of expectations in this year's budget from everyone.  Schools were

One Stop Shop for Christmas Resources

As most teachers know Seomra Ranga is the very best one stop shop for

Our Edublog Awards Nominations

The Edublog Awards are an annual event for celebrating, you've guessed it, educational blogs.

Competition: Win a Waterproof Video Camera!

Liosdoire Computers have teamed up with for a great competition.  To celebrate Liosdoire's

Have we witnessed the death knell for primary education in Ireland?

The long awaited plan for Literacy and Numeracy was published by the Department of

Primary School with its own App

This week, as its mid-term break, I decided to try and make a mobile

Ten Teeny Tips for ICT in the Classroom

This is a presentation I made using Prezi for a group of teacher in

Maths Week Tables Tips

Throughout Maths Week, teachers around the country were asked to give tips for learning

Maths Week Twitter Project 2011

This year Maths Week takes place in Ireland from 15th to 22nd October.  Already

Using Google as a Learning Management System (LMS)

St. Patrick's National School is a 76 pupil school in Co. Sligo with 3

Fizzbook or Intel Classmate?

Fizzbooks caused a bit of a storm in the world of education last year

Computerised Cúntas Míosúil (Version 1.1)

Computerised Cúntas Míosúil version 1.1Are you sick of all that paperwork when it comes

Irish Language Software for Schools

While technology has engulfed the world of education in the last five years, the

Review: Starboard Link EZ system

The last year in Ireland has been reasonably quiet in the world of Interactive

MOVERS & SHAKERS ... Fine Gael TD Frances Fitzgerald. pic:  BILLY HIGGINS
Child Protection:Keeping it simple

Last week, The IPPN hosted their annual Principal Briefing day. I always attend as

My take on the Maths Crisis

As with the Leaving Certificate results, the Junior Certificate's showed that there is a

What’s all the fuss with Scratch?

Scratch is a visual programming language suitable for children from the age of 8.

The Year of the Teacher Blog

Last week I was quoted in the Irish Examiner saying that this would be

New Site to help Substitute Teachers

With another year of cutbacks, teaching jobs are scarce again this year.  Last year,

Facebook beats Email

In a recent report, Data Solutions, an Irish IT distributor,  announced the results of a

6 Summer Updates about Interactive Whiteboards

This summer has been quiet enough in the world of Interactive Whiteboards.  However, there's

Review of the Emotions range:Flashcards&posters:Positive Press/Jenny Mosley

ReviewEmotions range:Flashcards&posters:Positive Press-Jenny MosleyThis new product from Positive Press and Jenny Mosely consists of

Trócaire: A Teacher's Visit to Kenya

In February a group of six teachers (including myself) and two Trocaire staff visited

Image Source:
iPads replace schoolbooks – great publicity, poor usage

The Irish Times recently reported about a secondary school in Co. Mayo who have

The "Scandal" in the Sunday Times
Missing the Point about Maths

I don't usually comment on second level education on  However, I'm fairly open

Competition Winner

Mick Foley was kind  enough to post us a photograph of himself with his

Tips on Building a School Web Site: Le Chéile Educate Together NS

Le Chéile Educate Together NS is a multi-denominational primary school based in Drogheda, Co.

Keep On Track

It greatly frustrates me when I read newspapers talking about education.  I don't take

Sensory, motor and relationship perspectives in Autistic Spectrum disorders or ASDs-Part 2

ResearchThere is a huge amount of research into the area of the difficulties of

The Targetboard Project

In our May edition of, I wrote about how I thought one could

Three schools linking together to pool resources

I stumbled upon a web site called, and was immediately impressed.  When I

Bloggers International

What are you doing on June 29th?  Are you winding down ready for the

Competition – Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA9 have teamed up with Mediascene with a great competition to win a Sanyo Waterproof

5 Must Have Pieces of Educational Software

Few people may know that my first venture into teaching started in a school

Editorial: June 2011

The final month of the school year has arrived already! The countdown to the

Tips on Building a School Web Site: Wandesforde School

One of the parents from Wandesforde School asked me to have a look at

Picks: 19 iPad Sites

This month we're looking at 19 iPad sites related to education.  They're divided in

mash Preview: June 2011

The final month of the Irish primary school year is an exciting yet busy

Mental Maths Project

Last month on, I reported on an idea I had to use Google

Another Tipp Top Weekend

The weekend of Friday 13th of May saw the return of the ICT in

5 Mobile Learning Tools

I'm not the first person to announce that technology has transformed the way we

Tips on Building a School Web Site: St. Corban's BNS

St. Corban's Boys' National School in Naas, Co. Kildare.  It is a school, which

Primary Planet Newpaper

Ireland’s first children’s newspaper is finally here. News, sport, music, entertainment, and dare

Flip Cam Competition Winner

We had 150 responses to our competition to win a HD Flip Camcorder, thanks

Editorial: May 2011

With Easter coming late this year, primary schools had longer term than usual.  In

Review: Genee Vision 6100 Visualiser

Visualisers are all the rage amongst teachers these days and I was asked to

10 Things School Management Systems Should Have

Over the last year or so, principals and teachers around the country have got

ICT in Education Conference 2011, Tipperary

One of my favourite annual conferences is the ICT in Education Conference in Thurles,

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Technology part 4

While there is a lot of software out there to run on PCs and

mash Preview May 2011

With the spring holidays making up most of April, there was very little activity

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Technology part 3

In the last article we explored how a digital projector could be used in

Designing a School Web Site: Part 3

Last month we introduced some ideas about designing a web site for a school.

Editorial: April 2011

After months of waiting for the moment of revenge, the general election was held

Google Apps: Online Absence Notes

I'm not a parent.  However, I can imagine if I was, and if my

facebook's Plans for its Facebook Page

At, we get dozens of queries each month.  We're delighted that teachers feel

This month's pick of the Web

Here are March's top web sites as found on my Twitter network (credit given

mash Preview April 2011

I thought that March might pass without a single addition to Mash but at

EdChat IE

A brilliant new initiative was set up in March for Irish teachers on Twitter.

Dissecting the March Sunday Business Post Supplement

On March 13th, the Sunday Business Post published a 16 page supplement called Best

Volunteer for Camara

Camara is an organisation that I admire greatly and I have worked with them

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Reflections from IPPN Conference: Why principals can't probate 2

...continued from February 26thIn my previous article, I started to look at reasons that

Promethean and SMART change the rules for everyone

One of the most common questions I'm asked when I meet teachers is "What

Grace And Lisa Domican in Saplings
Grace App for Autism

In celebration of World Autism Day on 2nd April, the Grace App for Autism

Tales of Disaster

Selina Quinn from Trócaire starts a quarterly series on using Trócaire's materials in the

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IPPN Conference: better than Christmas but Hislop is no Santa

My highlightThe annual Irish Primary Principal Conference is a highlight of the year for

rozz irish times
Hit Delete-Rozz writes about being a wired teacher:(Irish Times)

I am a principal teacher in Carlow town and I've been teaching for 11

iTouching us all – CESI 2011

Each year CESI, The Computers in Education Society of Ireland, hold a conference.

Managing stress workshop

I had the opportunity at the recent IPPN conference to attend 2 workshops, I

Editorial: March 2011

Welcome to the March issue of anseo! Its been an ultra busy month here in

Review: Promethean 500 Pro

So Promethean have finally entered the world of touch technology! The new Activboard

Image: Irish Times
Reflections from IPPN Conference: Why principals can't probate 1

This year's IPPN conference had the theme, "Our Children, Our Future" andwas attended by

This Month's Pick of the Web

This month was a very busy month for as we were at two

Positivity, SPHE and Bar-On in Irish primary schools

Happiness sellsWhen I attended the BETT educational conference in London recently, I

A Real Beginner's Guide to Interactive Whiteboards 4

In our final exploration of choosing an Interactive Whiteboard, we're going to look at

Anseo App: Scoil

This month brings you their second app, "Ar Scoil", an Interactive Whiteboard game

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Technology part 2

Welcome to the second part in our series of ASD and Technology. In our

mash Preview March 2011

February was a busy month on Mash with a couple of organisations jumping on

New Irish Education App

Press release: Wukomi Media have released a universal iPhone and iPad app 'Dr. Moku's Hiragana

Win a Flip HD Video Camera

MJ Technologies have kindly donated a Flip Video Mino HD Camcorder worth over €180.

IPPN Conference Exhibition Preview

The Irish Primary Principal Network (IPPN) annual conference will be held in Citywest Conference

rozz bett
My Top 5 of the BETT conference 2011

Wow!This was my first time at the BETT conference, the biggest technology in education

Twitter and Children's Hopes for 2011

Over the last 6 months, I've been trying to use Twitter to support different

Interactive Whiteboard Review – January 2011

It's been fairly quiet on the Interactive Whiteboard front over the last few months.

A Real Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Whiteboards 3

So far in our series on Interactive Whiteboards, we have looked at the different

Anseo Editorial: January 2011

Welcome to our January 2011 edition of  You may have been wondering where

January's Pick of the Web

A new feature for is our Pick of the Web. Each month we

mash Themes for Planning

Our sister site,, is becoming very popular with teachers around Ireland with about

roty5 Preview: Irish Primary Schools in 2011

2010 was the year that Irish primary teachers truly embraced technology in their classrooms. 

Review of the Year – October to December 2010

October was the month of the Irish Teaching and Learning Festival.  Simon was invited

Review of the Year – July to September 2010

With the end of the school year, summer time began with summer courses for

Review of the Year – April to June 2010

April was the month of Cloud Computing at  Simon had written an article

Review of the Year – January to March 2010

As we wrap up 2010 at, we'd like to wish everyone a very

Snow didn't disrupt learning

A colleague of mine near Crossmolina, Co. Mayo didn't let the current cold snap

Press Release: Liosdoire selling Epson Interactive Projector
Press Release: Liosdoire selling Epson Interactive Projector


Blindly Using an iPad

A great and inspiring video from Bernie Goldbach, Tipperary Institute. Although this article

A Real Beginner's Guide to Interactive Whiteboards 2

In our first article, we explored the parts of an Interactive Whiteboard.  I hope

The eBeam Debate

The eBeam is a boomerang shaped device that sticks to a traditional whiteboard and

Divali Flipchart for ActivInspire

A bit late in the year for this; however - one of the

Science Week Ireland and Twitter 3

Science Week in primary and secondary schools in Ireland was showcased a lot on

Technology helps schools get qualified sub teachers

For the first time in many years, qualified teachers are finding it difficult to

Fís iPhone and iPad App

Fís is a wonderful project in Ireland that allows primary school children to make

Science Week Ireland and Twitter 2

In the previous article, I introduced a Twitter project about Science Week and in

Science Week Ireland and Twitter

This week is Science Week in Ireland and I decided to try out another

Fís Film Festival Awards

Press Release from Fís Film Festival:The National FÍS Film Festival took place today in

Halloween Video Conference

Halloween is one of the most biggest festivals in Ireland.  In Irish primary schools,

Irish Teaching and Learning Festival

This weekend marked the first Irish Teaching and Learning Festival in Citywest Conference Centre

A Month in Aladdin’s Cave

I'm trialling a Management Information System (MIS) in my school called Aladdin, which gained

Maths Week 2010 – 9th – 16th October

Maths Week is on from the 9th to the 16th October this year.  Read

iPod Apps in the Classroom « Seomra Ranga

Read which iPod Touch apps  Seomra Ranga uses in his classroom with 2nd and

How to Sell the Cloud to your Staff

Since I wrote about our cloud computing service last year, I've been inundated with

Interactive Whiteboard Review August 2010

Love them or hate them, Interactive Whiteboards are the number one resource on most

Great Videos for Interactive Whiteboard lessons

Thanks to Russel Tarr (@russelltarr on Twitter) for sharing a link to over 100

Fáilte Romhat, iPad, go hÉireann

Today the iPad is being launched in Ireland. So while you are queuing

Press Release: New Camcorder from Liosdoire
Press Release: New Camcorder from Liosdoire

Liosdoire will be selling the KODAK Playsport camcorder ideal for the Classroom and outdoors

Toy Story on the iPad
Ipad available in Ireland

The iPad will be launched on Friday in Ireland. I've written some articles about

Promethean wins 3 awards for excellence

Promethean has won three prestigious awards from the Worlddidac Foundation for excellence in education. 

Promethean partners with BLOODHOUND
Press Release: Promethean Partners with Bloodhound 1,000mph Supersonic Car Project

Promethean has become the official interactive education technology partner of BLOODHOUND SSC (Supersonic Car)

Kilkenny IWB Course

As some of you might be aware, for the last few years I have

Interactive Whiteboard Summer Courses

With only a few days to go before the summer holidays, I thought it

iFestival 2010

iFestival 2010 is taking place in the Central Library, Ilac Centre from the 9th

iPod Touch in the Classroom

Damien Quinn is one of Ireland's most innovative teachers. When he saw the

Our Twitter Experiment according to 6th Class

The following article was written by 2 sixth class pupils in St. Martin de

Twitter in Primary Education (3)

The first Twitter in Irish Primary Schools experiment was a success. With 120

Twitter and Primary Education (2)

The first week of the Twitter Experiment ended on Friday and a total of

Twitter Experiment 2 – Instructions

To everyone who joined us in our first Twitter Experiment, thank you for agreeing

Twitter and Primary Education (1)

Go to any search engine and type in "Twitter and education" and you'll get

Redesign of Promethean Planet

Promethean has today unveiled a new look Promethean Planet ( to provide members with

Toy Story on the iPad
Teaching with an iPad

So I gave in. My friend was getting married in Milwaukee and my

Small feature in Sunday Business Post

We were happy to see ourselves mentioned (albeit in a very small way!) in

Press Release from Irish Marine Development Office

The Minister for Transport, Mr. Noel Dempsey TD, announced the winning schools in the

A Step Closer to the Electronic Application Form

From the INTO Web Site:The INTO, CPSMA, Church of Ireland Board of Education and

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Junior Spiders Awards

Since 1996 the eircom Golden Spider Awards have honored Irish individuals and organisations for

Press Release: Fizzbook

Kerry-based company Liosdoire have announced they will be selling the Fizzbook Spin in the

From Tweet Valley
Some of the Twitterati I follow

As promised at a workshop I gave earlier today, here is a list of

Smartboard Training Tour

If you own a Smartboard, there's going to be some Smartboard training coming your

A Principal who reaches further

When I'm not writing articles for, I have a paid job which takes

Flúirse offering free 3G broadband to its participants this summer

Flúirse seem to be really stepping up their game this year in the now

A Case of Mistaken Identity

My Twitter username is simonmlewis - the "m" is my middle initial. I

New common file format for IWBs

From Teachnet Blog ( British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) have announced that

Why I'm Voting "Yes" to the INTO's recommendation

Last time the INTO recommended strike action, almost everybody agreed...except me.  This time, the

Interactive Whiteboard App

We've created an app to help you buy an Interactive Whiteboard. Simply select

Becoming an eTeacher

The CESI list is always worth keeping an eye on.  Out of the blue,

Ms. Leydon's Class Blog

Sometimes when browsing the web, you come across a gem of a web site.

INTO embrace Web 2.0

From the INTO Newsletter Issue 107: The INTO have launched a Facebook page to

New Minister for Education

Mary Coughlan is the new minister for education replacing Batt O'Keeffe. There has

INTO branch opens a Facebook page

The West Liffey INTO branch have launched a Facebook page, "Teachers Talking Back", to

3 more picture books – An Aimsir

My friend has sent me 3 more picture books for infants.  They are based

Interactive Whiteboard Irish Review March 2010

There are now 24 different interactive whiteboards available in Ireland being sold by lots

Wordle's Legal Hurdle

It took me ages to think of a headline for this.  In case you

Interactive Whiteboard Review

The March 2010 Interactive Whiteboard review will be published on Friday, March 5th at

Co-operative Learning Conference

Although arranged by the Second Level Support Service, some talks are being held later

Four great Gaeilge Books for infants

These Gaeilge books were sent to me by a good friend of mine to

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Photos from IPPN Conference

As well as recording our interviewees' voices, Rozz snapped some photographs of them too.

Clarification that CPSMA did not take part in Joint Patron Body Statement

In a pre-Budget statement issued today (Wednesday 2nd December), the National Alliance for Primary

At last, the voices of reason

This is  a press release I received today.  I was thrilled to receive it

Smart has the biggest market share in Ireland

The following press release confirms that Smart have the biggest market share in IWB

Oíche Shamhna Daoibh!

Download, print and laminate!Hi all!I spent ages making these flashcards as Gaeilge for my

SESE Interactive Free Trial Download has teamed up with Learning Horizons to offer you a free 21-day trial