Additional support package for island post-primary schools

The Government has announced an additional package of supports to support island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht areas.

The government launched the Policy on Gaeltacht Education in 2016, which was the first ever targeted strategy for education provision in Gaeltacht areas, as part of the Minister’s Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s Education and Training Service the best in Europe by 2026.

Making the announcement today, Minister Bruton said: “I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. I am acutely aware of the challenging environment in which island post-primary schools operate, which is why, as part of our Policy on Gaeltacht Education, we are supporting these schools with additional resources to meet their unique circumstances.”

All island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht have opted into the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme, meaning they are striving to operate as Irish-medium schools. Under this Scheme, which is a key action in the Policy on Gaeltacht Education, these schools already receive a number of additional supports such as, additional funding for Irish-language teaching materials, extra training for their teachers and additional language-support hours.

Today’s ring-fenced package of supports for island post-primary schools is in addition to these resources.

The package of additional supports includes:

• Increased teacher allocation for each of the island post-primary schools from its present allocation of 1 whole-time equivalent post to 1.5 whole-time equivalent posts from September 2018
• An additional ring-fenced budget of €15,000 per annum for each post-primary island school to cover their additional operational costs