Where do unbaptised children fit in?

I’ve been following the recent discussions about unbaptised children accessing primary education over the last number of weeks. In order to enrol in a Catholic school, often one has to produce a Baptismal Certificate. If a child hasn’t been baptised, schools must enrol the child anyway unless they are oversubscribed. Once a school is oversubscribed, they can enforce an enrollment criteria. This is a list of who gets preference to the school. You might be surprised to learn that Irish schools are allowed by law to discriminate according to two criteria: gender (as there are boys’ and girls’ schools) and religion.

All Catholic schools will prioritise children baptised into the Catholic faith first. All Church of Ireland schools will do the same for children baptised in their faith. After that, it can vary and it can get very complex. Here is an example from one CoI school (other denominational schools’ criteria that I have seen are similar).


If a parent does not baptise their child, it is likely that they will be on the bottom of the list and will almost certainly not be able to enrol in the school. A petition from a parent and barrister, Paddy Monahan, has gained over 10,000 signatures, which asks the government to repeal the legislation that allows schools to discriminate against a child on the basis of their religion or lack of one. It has gained a lot of support from politicians too and it looks like there is a possibility that it will succeed if the momentum continues.

However, what happens to the unbaptised child who does access a denominational primary school? In most schools around the country, there is no issue with accessing the local national school. However, in the vast majority of cases, the local school will be, by default, a denominational school.

The ethos of a denominational school must permeate throughout the school day and the curriculum supports this. “Religious education specifically enables the child to develop spiritual and moral values and to come to a knowledge of God.” (p58 Primary Curriculum) and even the Rules for National Schools insist that “a religious spirit should inform and vivify the whole work of the school,” (Rule 68).

Generally, prayers are said throughout the day. Religious symbolism is in almost every classroom. Many subject areas integrate religion, two simple examples being Easter art or Christmas music. On top of this, every school patron gets 30 minutes per day to deliver their own message. In denominational schools, this tends to be discrete religious instruction.

Parents are entitled by law to opt their children out of this class but schools are under no obligation to provide alternative work or accommodation for these children. From reports I have heard from parents in this position, in all cases, the child sits at the back of the room doing different work.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons: Taken on August 16, 2006 Some rights reserved https://www.flickr.com/photos/15267290@N03/2083329049

Before I continue, I’m not saying that this is any school’s fault. Schools must follow their ethos and while the current system is in place, they can do so unapologetically, if they wish. In fact, I know that any school I have heard about do their utmost to ensure the opted-out child does not feel excluded. In fact, some schools do provide different work or try to keep things as inclusive as possible.

However, is it right that a child (whose parents have decided their belief system) should not be able to access every single part of a school day? Is it right that a child would have to be in a school where their family beliefs are potentially in opposition to the ethos of the school?

While many people are unhappy with this situation, there have been other responses to these issues and it’s worth exploring them. The following 8 points have been said or written on the comments of various web sites reporting this issue, e.g. The Journal, Broadsheet, Irish Times, etc.

1. The most popular response is along the lines of: if parents don’t believe in a school’s religion, why are they sending their children to a religious school?

I think this would be a fair question if there was choice. With 96% of schools run by the Catholic church, often there is no alternative school for a family. For example, if you happen to live in Belmullet or Bantry, you’re one hour from your nearest non-religious-run school. If you live in certain counties, there isn’t one school available that isn’t under religious control. What choice do these parents have and should their right not to practice a particular religion be respected?

2. This is a Department of Education issue, as there are not enough places. It is not a religion issue.

In some ways, one can only agree with this except for the fact that the department have tried to work with the various churches to divest control to other providers. Thus far, only one Catholic school has divested (and there seems to be all sorts of strings attached) and any others that are in the process seem to be making life very difficult, e.g. the school offered by the Catholic church in Killarney is 18km from Killarney and was in the news recently as there were no primary school-aged pupils in the area and thus closed down. Educate Together have suggested that an immediate divestment of 300 schools (that’s less than 10% of schools) would be enough to curtail demand for the moment. The Iona Institute agree with the 10% divestment, which they believe should happen immediately. Who is halting progress here? What have the various churches been doing to move the issue on?

3. All primary schools welcome children of faith and of none. This isn’t an issue.

This statement is also true. From listening to parents and teachers, all schools welcome all children once they are enrolled. However, as stated above, there are certain parts of the school day where a child does not have equal access to what is going on in the classroom. While no one is abusing them or being nasty to them, to be segregated on the basis of their families’ beliefs, I believe, cannot be justified.

4. Ireland is a Catholic country. If we were in [insert Muslim country here] you’d be told where to go with yourself.

Firstly, Ireland is not a Catholic country. It is a secular, democratic republic. The Constitution of Ireland states that the State guarantees not to endow any religion. Almost all aspects of living in this country have laws to protect human rights including equality based on religious beliefs, except in schools. Can you imagine being in a waiting list for an operation in a hospital in Ireland and being pushed further down the list because you happen to not believe in the existence of a god? Could you imagine waiting for a bus and being screened for your religion before being allowed to take your place in the queue? Furthermore, could you imagine having hospital or bus services specifically for one religion?

Secondly, if one does end up in a country that is run by Islamic teachings, then, yes, one has to follow those rules. These countries do not hide their beliefs and whether we agree with them or not is irrelevant.

5. You can’t just come to this country and try to change our system. We’re happy with it and if you don’t like it, go back to your own country.

I’m sure the above is said more politely but the message is clear: This is how we’ve always done things around here. The problem of telling these people to leave the country if they don’t like the way things are, is that very many of the people that are referred to here, were born in Ireland and are fully Irish. In fact, many of these people go back several generations in their Irishness. There are many Murphys and O’Sheas who do not subscribe to a particular faith and they are not happy with the system. What country do we suppose they go to?

6. We can’t forget all the good that Catholic schools have done for this country. In fact, they were the ones to step in when the government couldn’t/didn’t want to run the schools.

I don’t think anyone would debate that both Catholic and Church of Ireland churches did step in to run schools and there are various reasons for this. However, Ireland was a very different country then and it was not secularised in reality. (It has to be pointed out that many of these schools and churches did untold horrific things too, e.g. Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin, Ferns Report, Ryan Report and Murphy Report.) However, whatever way we look at it, in a modern democratic country, we cannot allow children to be second class citizens based on belief systems. Even if one child is excluded from any part of a school day because of this, it can’t be correct.

7. There is demand for Catholic schools because they are good.

This statement really annoys me as it implies that all non-Catholic schools are not good. It seems to stem from the fact that there is huge demand for Catholic schools in the UK for some reason. However, countries differ. In Ireland, we do not have a culture of rating schools. With 96% of schools in Ireland under Catholic patronage, even if we did have a rating system, when you have 48 times more schools than your nearest patron, you’ll have 48 times more chance of landing a “good” school. If I were a betting man, I’d take those odds any time!

8. I don’t know what the fuss is. I don’t see any problems.

For this, I ask the question that I asked during the Marriage Equality debate. Is inequality ever right no matter how many people it doesn’t affect? If we look back to the campaign, many of us voted in favour of two people of the same sex having the same right to marry. Many of us voted for this even though it didn’t affect us personally. I believe this is a similar issue. While the vast majority of people in Ireland feel that they are unaffected negatively by denominational education, does it make it right?

So, what is the solution?

Most parties seem to agree that divestment is the answer. How this will happen is where things get tricky.

I would think that the first step is to start with schools that are directly under the patronage of the Department of Education. There are a small number of these schools around the country. I believe that the Department could divest these schools immediately and sanction a small committee to help these schools change to their new patronage system.

Once this has happened, we will have a model for successful divestment (and I’m sure some lessons to learn) so we can start divesting any of the areas where this was recommended, using the same model.

It seems like the agreed figure is 300 schools by 2030 is the target and this would mean that an equality-based school would be no more than 30 minutes drive for any family. With a bus service, this seems like a reasonable start.

However, I believe that if there is a situation where an equality-based school becomes over-subscribed, another school must be divested in order that no child would have to be excluded from any part of a school day. This would also ensure that denominational schools would not have to compromise their beliefs and no child would be excluded from their school day.

On top of this, legislation needs to change too. It is offensive to people of different belief systems to insist that all children must leave school with a knowledge of God and that religion is the most important subject in a primary school. These must be removed from the curriculum and Rules for National Schools as soon as possible.

In this article, I have attempted to be as respectful as possible to all parties in this debate. I am cognisant of teachers who have to deal with these issues, many of whom do not have any problem with the current system. I am also aware that while this article focuses on children, there are a growing number of teachers who do not subscribe to a school’s denomination and this can cause problems in terms of respect and also in terms of any attempts to diversify the teaching profession.

I hope all this makes some sense and I hope it comes across in the manner in which it is meant. It is not an attack on anybody. It is a defence of equality.

Comments (38)

  1. Michal Szpak August 12, 2015 at 7:52 am Reply

    Thank you for this post. As a father of two Irish/Polish young girls i feel very emotionally about the subject at hand. Both my children are not and will be not baptised until they express a mature and honest desire to do so. It makes me very angry that a secular republic is allowing and sanctioning such blatant discrimination of its youngest citizens. I feel that the state is in fact afraid to take more decisive action, and the parties intrested in maintaning the status quo are stalling the process. One of famous polish statesmans, Jan Zamoyski, once have said these words: Takie beda Rzeczpospolite, jakie ich mlodziezy chowanie. Which translates more or less into: how will we raise our youth will shape the face of the country. I wish for Irish politicians to take their heads out of the sand and provide its people with fully inclusive system as well as end the embarrasment of structural disciminatory practises.

    1. admin August 12, 2015 at 7:26 pm Reply

      An excellent response.

  2. peter Hinchliffe August 12, 2015 at 9:06 am Reply

    Great Article and you articulate the problems as well as many of the responses well. However I disagree with the solution at the end.
    Divesting schools so that no child is more than half an hour from a secular school is not the answer, it will mean either greater segregation of children from the age of 5 based on parents faith or even less accommodation for the child attending their local school which is run by a faith based patron.
    My child currently walks to his school, it is the village school and all his friends attend- leaving the village to go to the nearest educate together school, outside his community and separating him through the basis of faith from his peers was never an option. (even if places had been available).
    The solution is to make the state education service (because that’s what it is) a service that meets the needs of all the children in the catchment area of a school irrespective of parental ideology, be it political, religious etc. This can only be accomplished by the school teaching about these subjects in a neutral fashion.
    No Child from any background should have to get on a bus to avoid indoctrination, if a parent wishes for a particular ethos over a secular one then it is they who should have to make the hard choices, the most sensible and fair non divisive choice should be the norm.
    On my 1st point- if we actually managed to create a system that allowed us to separate our children by parental faith it would be a betrayal of their future, underpinning a sense of separation and divided community that has undermined society’s across the world.
    Educate the children together, teach about faith, non belief alongside civics, philosophy etc and let the churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and homes be the places for their practice of their or their parents chosen faith. Division of children on ideological lines is not the solution, I challenge anyone to show where it has created a more cohesive society.

    1. admin August 12, 2015 at 7:25 pm Reply

      I agree with you but we have to start somewhere.

  3. steve white August 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm Reply

    “I would think that the first step is to start with schools that are directly under the patronage of the Department of Education. There are a small number of these schools around the country. I believe that the Department could divest these schools immediately and sanction a small committee to help these schools change to their new patronage system.”

    can you expand on this

    1. admin August 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm Reply

      Sure, Steve. The DES say they cannot force schools to divest because they are not the patron body. However, they are the patron of some of the Model schools. All the Model schools (for some reason) are either under Catholic or Church of Ireland control yet are 100% funded and patronised by the DES. Therefore, the DES can step in easily and remove the religious control, therefore divesting a number of schools.

      1. steve white August 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm Reply
  4. Niamh Connolly August 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Hi Simon, Fantastic article. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions – unfortunately the contact page appears to be down. I’d really appreciate it if you would drop me a line a the above address to talk further. Kind Regards, Niamh

    1. admin August 26, 2015 at 7:08 pm Reply

      Hi Niamh, you can email me at simon @ anseo . net and I’ve left a message for you in your email with other contact details.

  5. Sharon August 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Am in full agreement with you, Simon and welcome paddy’s campaign. However, I don’t agree with the use of the phrase unbaptised. My children are not baptised: nor have they had the testimony of faith recited, the Namkaram not a Brit Milah performed (ref: Wikipedia!). I understand why the phrase is used as over 90% of our schools use the verb baptise In their policies, but let’s try to move away from this verb as in some ways it normalises the ‘process’ further.

    1. admin August 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm Reply

      Hi Sharon, I agree in many ways with you but I guess the reason why these children are being refused school places is because they are not baptised, therefore being unbaptised is the problem. It isn’t the nicest term but I can’t think of a better one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting

Related Posts

A Look at the Action Plan for Education

The Action Plan for Education was published today by Minister Richard Bruton. The government

Different points to enter Teacher Training College

RTE revealed that DCU's newly formed Teacher Training course, which amalgamated 3 previous colleges of

Twitter and Droichead

There was a lot of talk about Droichead on social media over the last

Education Equality: Gathering for Change March

I was delighted and honoured to have had the opportunity to speak at the

What are the best Summer Courses for 2016?

Every year we scour the Summer Course list. This year there seems to be

What is the biggest issue for Community National Schools?

The Community National School model is being lauded as the ideal solution for primary education

What Vehicle will get us over the Bridge?

With the overwhelming majority of teachers voting to not cooperate with Droichead in its

Droichead: The People have Spoken

Yesterday, the INTO revealed the results of the ballot regarding non-cooperation with the Droichead

What’s the difference between the CNS model and the Catholic model?

Another government, another disappointing day for education. Jan O'Sullivan has left her mark and I

Why Ticking “No Religion” Shouldn’t Matter in Schools

For people without a religion, the census always draws up conversation. Mostly, it's to do

INTO Congress: A Lesson in how to do Congress

The INTO congress was on this week. You might have missed it because you

How to make denominational schools more inclusive

Around 96% of Irish primary schools are under the patronage of a religious body,

Primary Schools: Inclusive or Tolerant?

As most people know, there are a number of parents in Ireland who have

Infographic of Survey on Inclusiveness

I developed an infographic based on the data received from my survey on how

How inclusive are Catholic Schools?

Recently, The Irish Independent carried an article with the headline, Catholic Schools are as inclusive

#GE16 and Primary Education: Religion in Schools

As we come up to the General Election, I'm looking at the various parties

Is it ethical to publish League Tables?

The Irish Independent published, what they called, a definitive league table of the best schools

The Mathematics of Patronage and Pluralism

Between 96% and 98% of Irish primary schools are denominational in patronage, which means

2016 Predictions

As we come to the last day of year, it is traditional at Anseo.net to make predictions

What will removing Rule 68 actually do?

One of the rules of National Schools that has been causing much debate over

Multidenominational: A long word, long-abused

The education landscape used to be an easy one to maneuver. Between the 1920s

Which dark stain will be removed in 2016?

Ask most teachers who the best education minister was and you'll most likely hear

Can the new NCCA Ethics Curriculum work in Ireland?

It always strikes me as odd the stories about primary education that get noticed

What are teachers for?

Michelle McBride writes about healthy eating in schools in her article called “It is

Why Pluralism in Education Doesn’t Work

I was listening to a debate on the radio about the Angelus last week.

Media Focuses on Religion during Maths Week

There were a number of stories in the newspapers and media this week surrounding

Thoughts on the Digital Strategy

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 is the latest attempt by the government to

Should we be Celebrating the 1916 Rising?

Earlier this week, two army officials came to my school to present us with

An Alternative to Droichead

Following my blog post on Droichead last week, I thought I might expand on my

Droichead: A bridge too far

Droichead is a new model of induction and probation for newly qualified teachers, which

No wishes for pay equality from INTO

This week an email went out to all INTO members to welcome them back

Burren National School: A symbol of the divestment process

Today, Educate Together announced that the proposed new Educate Together school in Castlebar was

Lansdowne Road Agreement: Vote Yes or No?

I usually have strong convictions about issues affecting the education system but I am

Who are the role models in primary schools?

Last weekend, I was part of a panel at the Excited Festival of Learning

Anything to Gain from Gain Time? #DojoChatEU

I find it difficult to attend ClassDojo's chats every week so when this week's

Why We’re Voting Yes to Marriage Equality

Commenting on referenda is not something that we generally do at Anseo.net but the

Should schools be allowed to discriminate?

The headline grabber from the INTO congress was Jan O'Sullivan's announcement that new enrollment

Ten Things to Keep in Mind at INTO Congress

Every year, during the spring holidays, the media takes an interest in education as the

Swapping Books for iPads?

The Irish Independent reported recently  that an anonymous donor had given a school in Fermoy, Co

Is all well with the new well-being guidelines?

In the last week, primary schools all received their first paper-based document from the

Why the INTO need to support Marriage Equality

The campaign for marriage equality in May seems to be overwhelmingly supported by teachers

Safe Internet Day: Can one day save our children?

Today is Safer Internet Day and Webwise as usual are doing brilliantly, positive things

One School’s Plea to the NCSE

The new proposed NCSE model is likely to be sanctioned very soon. I wrote

IPPN 2015 Review

The annual IPPN conference, the largest educational conference in Ireland, where over 1,200 principals

Denominational Schools and the Upcoming Marriage Referendum

The upcoming referendum on marriage equality has sparked some conversation among teachers who work

Why we don’t need to start teaching coding in primary schools

Ciaran Cannon is one of the most innovative politicians I know and he is

2014-11-06 15.50.56
Overwhelmed and Underwhelmed: Web Summit

I was delighted to get the opportunity to go along to the Web Summit

Creative Commons Some rights reserved (https://www.flickr.com/photos/cell105/142887353/)
Primary Schools and Broadband: The biggest issue in education today?

Following on from a conversation on the wonderful CESI list, I thought I would

beginning teaching
10 Educational Books that have stayed with me

Facebook is awash with challenges from ice-buckets to listing how you're grateful for the

A short guide to religion in primary schools

Over the last number of years, the population of Ireland has changed. One of the

Why we should care about Ireland’s Human Rights Record in Education

Last week, the Irish government was given a major slap on the wrist for

Who Jan O’Sullivan shouldn’t Hire as her Advisor

Jan O'Sullivan is our new Education Minister and, as a new member to the cabinet,

Five more things the new Minister for Education should do…

Following on from Fintan O'Mahoney's excellent article, "Ten things the new Minister for Education

From Irish Independent
What will Ruairi Quinn’s Legacy be?

Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, announced his resignation today. The announcement was met with mixed

Is the NCSE reform even less equitable?

With much fanfare, the NCSE are reforming how resources are given to schools for

What does the end of XP support mean for Irish schools?

If you walk into most primary schools, you'll find a vast array of different

Draft Primary Language Curriculum Consultation:Your input needed!

Draft Primary Language Curriculum Consultation:Your input needed!I posted about the draft primary language curriculum

INTO Congress: How should teachers behave?

Teachers are professionals in the same way doctors and lawyers are. Society expects professionals

Screenshot 2014-03-06 22.34.32
4 Problems with the new Anti-Bullying Procedures

The government's anti-bullying procedures are to be ratified in all schools before the 11th

Are schools to blame for us not speaking Irish? (#edchatie)

This week's chat on #edchatie on Twitter was very interesting and the subject of

Fitness to teach is all about motivating teachers to love their job-Part 2

Self-actualisation and flowIn my first post on performance-related pay, I spoke about the process

From Irish Independent
Public Consultation for a new Digital Strategy for Schools

A couple of days ago, the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, launched a public

Creative Commons from Wikipedia
Cutting the cost of school uniforms? Why not cut them altogether?

Irish parents are to be balloted on school uniforms in the coming weeks in

Image taken from Coláiste Lurgan: http://lurgan.biz/2012/10/5-steps-to-secure-gaeilges-future-in-the-education-system/
How to save the Irish language

One of the most popular conversations I have with non-teachers is about the Irish

The Literacy Shed

In my free time, which isn't very much, I love, love, love writing and

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 15.15.38
Blog Awards show sharing breeds success

Last night I attended the Blog Awards in Naas. It was a glitzy affair,

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 21.34.06
Should Ask.fm be more socially responsible?

I'm currently asking some questions about social media in an attempt to see what

Image from Wikipedia
How will the new enrollment laws affect primary schools?

Ruairi Quinn has welcomed teachers back to school with new legislation surrounding enrollment in

Shouldn’t we ensure Web 2.0 is not anonymous?

I'm currently asking some questions about social media in an attempt to see what

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 22.47.23
A Step towards Paper-Free Roll Books

The Department of Education were busy during the summer making some more circulars and

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 21.34.06
Should we ban children from using Ask.fm?

I'm currently asking some questions about social media in an attempt to see what

Should we shut down Ask.fm?

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm asking some questions about social media in

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 00.12.24
JobBridge Controversy

JobBridge is a government internship scheme that that was designed to provide work experience

Should we be happy with Quinn’s U-turn on Resource Hours?

Today, the minister for education, Ruairi Quinn reversed the most recent cut he had

Cutting through the latest spin on cuts to education

A day or so after the majority of primary school teachers decided to vote

teacher alone-body
Irish Primary Classrooms according to ERSC study:Not the best!

StudiesYesterday, you may have heard about a study from the ERCS has found that

photo credit: albertogp123 via photopin cc
Why Standardised Testing plans are rubbish

Last year, as part of the government's literacy and numeracy improvement plan, primary school

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 23.34.31
Before you vote on Croke Park 2…

Croke Park 2 has caused a lot of discussion in the teaching community. The

Image from http://curtisagency.com
Textbooks, Post Holders and Teacher’s Autonomy?

I trained to become a teacher in the UK back in 2002 after "teaching"

The online rollbook is coming

Last week, at the IPPN conference, words that I never thought I would hear

Image from http://www.creditcards.com/
Wifi Warning or Scaremongering?

During the week, I received an email from an organisation called IDEA, with a

Predictions for 2013

Last year we predicted that 2012 was going to be the year of the

Anseo.net Review of 2012

Every December, we look back on the year and remember some of the highs

SSE: Shifting the Bell Curve

In my last article about the SSE (School Self-Evaluation), I wrote about how I

Image from: http://edusummit.info/
Couch Soundbite Doesn’t Sit Comfortably

There was something that grated on me when I saw the highly retweeted soundbite

Source: http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/education-cuts-item-copy
Primary Education and the 2013 Budget

Ruairi Quinn has to make around €100m of cuts to the education budget today.

A Day Without Technology

Camara Education set a challenge to see if we could live without technology for

Thoughts after absorbing SSE

I'm largely in favour of the new School Self-Evaluation, (SSE), that was launched a

Gabriel Byrne is not a fan of the Gathering but that doesn't mean you can't be!
The Gathering Letter writing project

We all heard about the Gathering and we all probably heard Gabriel Byrne venting

Do Teachers need Honours Maths?

 What does atan(y,x) do? If you did well in your Leaving Certificate Honours Maths

Should teachers be techies in 21st Century schools?

Following a very interesting tweet on last week's #edchatie, a contributor said that teacher

Screenshot from Irish Times article
Killing Primary Education

Back in October, The Irish Times ran a feature outlining the most influential people

Interviews via Video Conference

A few years ago I was asked an interesting question about whether it would

Technology in Schools in the Dark Ages?

Great - another article damning schools and the Department of Education for failing the youth

Screen Shot 2012-04-10 at 12.54.49
INTO uses Social Media during Congress

It's good to see leadership in education. An example of this is in the

Do we need Teaching Council 2.0?

It hasn't been the best couple of months for the Teaching Council. Established six

Best Schools? Another missed opportunity.

Sunday newspapers often feature supplements on different topics. This week the Sunday Business Post

Technology and Pedagogy – not a chicken and egg

The IPPN conference is the biggest conference for primary school prinicpals in Europe with

Something to think about Ruairi Quinn (Part 3)

The final part of my letter to Ruairi Quinn... Has there been any mention of

Something to think about Ruairi Quinn (Part 2)

Continuing from my letter from the last day, here is part 2... Instead, in the

Something to think about Ruairi Quinn (Part 1)

After attending the BETT conference in the UK, I experienced Michael Gove for the

Thoughts on Ruairí Quinn's Plan for Literacy and Numeracy

Ruairí Quinn has figured out how we can improve literacy and numeracy standards in

Survey Results: Web 2.0 in Schools

As part of Anseo.net's competition to win a HD Flip Cam, participants answered some

Should Moodle be used in Primary Schools?

Moodle is a tool for creating online courses and virtual learning environments (VLEs).  When

A Wordle image of Fine Gael and Labour's Education Policies
Labour – Fine Gael Education Programme

With a new government in place, a few decisions between the two parties had

What do Jedward and Positivity Week have in common?

There is a link, trust me.I am a member of the IPPN but that

A Reaction to Falling Literacy and Numeracy Levels

I wanted to comment a bit on some of the proposals from the government

PISA reveals worrying results for Ireland

According to the research of PISA 2009, only 6.6% of students questions did not

We need an update on kids' safety.

Here’s a transcript of Rozz's recent article published in the Think Tank section of

ICT Grant = Demise of Gaeilge?

Recently, Irish primary schools were allocated a share of €25 million from the Department

Where do you like to sit when you are the teacher?

The Desk at the top of the classroom! (and organisational settings for you to

Technology Upgraded, Teaching Downgraded?

I remember my first day at school vividly because everyone laughed at me.  My

Douglas Adams, The Fourth R and Learning

I was happy to see that technology was on the agenda at the annual

12 reasons to have Computerised Roll Books

Imagine it's 11:30am on June 30th.  What are you doing?  Apart from trying to

International Study of Interactive Whiteboards

Last year I took part in an international study of Interactive Whiteboard use.

Saving Money for ICT

I came across a great article from Open Source Schools, a British web site,

Why don't VEC primary schools have web sites?

If I want to find out about a school for a particular reason, the

ICT in Education Conference 2010

Last year was the first year I attended the ICT in Education Conference in

A Case for Computer Rooms

Computer rooms were on top of every primary school's wishlist back in the late

Social Networking and Bullying

With the news that Bebo may soon be no more,  I asked colleagues was

My Twitterversary

I've been using Twitter for a while now and am about to tweet for

What have the Teaching Council ever done for us?

Have recently discovered Inside Education on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Simon introduced me to

Why IPPN works

I'm reading a fascinating book at the moment about how the net generation think,

The brains of Spain are mainly very sane

I was sent a press release from Promethean Ireland entitled "Promethean Wins Major Spanish

Talkin' 'bout iGeneration

I'm a big fan of Conor Galvin, from UCD's school of education.  I have

Technical Support in Schools (Irish Style)

We all know that primary schools are underfunded. We all know that the

€150m for Smart Schools isn't smart at all

I feel that I should reiterate that I have deep concerns about the €150m

Why Blogging is Best – a digiteach article

I was asked to write a follow-up article about my workshop at this year's