What we do
Gaeloideachas is a national, voluntary organisation supporting the development of Irish-medium education.
Founded as Gaelscoileanna in 1973 to support Irish-medium schools, primary and post-primary, outside of the Gaeltacht, the organisation’s remit now includes the provision of support services for Irish-medium schools in Gaeltacht areas, and for Irish-medium preschools outside of the Gaeltacht.
Gaeloideachas provides advice, assistance and support to people who wish to have their children educated through Irish, as well as support services and advocacy for those working in the sector.
Irish-medium schools can register as members of Gaeloideachas, allowing them to elect a representative Board of Directors and to inform the work of the organisation.
Gaeloideachas has a team of nine executive staff, and is funded by Foras na Gaeilge.
Gaeloideachas will provide advocacy and support for quality immersion education to be available to everyone.
An exemplary immersion education system, from naíonra to primary school to post-primary school, to be available to everyone.
Gaeloideachas is the national advocacy and support organisation for the Irish-medium education sector. Our organisation works with naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht and with Irish-medium primary and post-primary schools both in the Gaeltacht and outside Gaeltacht areas. Gaeloideachas receives funding from Foras na Gaeilge as the lead organisation for immersion education in the sector.
Gaeloideachas acts as an autonomous voice for the sector, independent of State departments, agencies and school patrons. Our independence is important, and ensures that we can contribute to a healthier and more holistic approach to the sector’s development. Alongside our autonomy, we recognise the vital importance of our partnerships with other stakeholders, and we make every effort to ensure that we achieve a good balance between independence and interdependence, for the benefit of all naíonra and school communities.
We seek to ensure that we understand all the pertinent issues related to the development of naíonraí and schools and we act on them, as much as possible, within the capacity of our organisation. We provide support and advice with the aim of enabling the wider public to understand the benefits and importance of the Irish-medium immersion education system, and we provide services for naíonraí and schools to support them in their work to serve all those who want an Irish-medium or Gaeltacht education.
We strive to ensure that an optimal immersion education environment is available to everyone across all three levels of the Irish-medium immersion education sector – naíonra, primary and post-primary – to ensure a first-class education and to foster active speakers of the Irish language. The strategic priorities, objectives and actions we have identified in this plan will guide our work in this area.
This strategy was developed in collaboration with our members, our voluntary Board of Directors and our executive staff. We are very grateful to all who have helped with the process and we look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that we always keep our sights firmly on what we have set out to do as an organisation.
We are fully committed to the work ahead because we believe in it. We believe the immersion education system is a truly effective method and we believe that each and every child deserves the opportunity to attend a naíonra and that each and every student deserves the opportunity to attend an Irish-medium primary school and post-primary school. Together, le spiorad láidir, we will continue to strive towards this goal.
Is sinne, le meas,
Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO agus Mícheál S. Mac Donnacha, Uachtarán
- Representation & Advocacy
- Increasing Provision & Raising Awareness
- Professional Development & Standards
- Organisational Development
- Support Services for the Sector
- The common good will always be at the heart of Gaeloideachas’ work.
- Gaeloideachas will recognise and will work to realise the right of each and every person to Irish-medium education, from naíonra to primary school to post-primary school.
- Gaeloideachas will continue to learn and evolve, and will be an agile facilitator of the development and growth of the sector.
- Gaeloideachas will always be professional in its actions and will celebrate the professionalism of the sector.
- Gaeloideachas will demonstrate understanding and will give the best possible support towards a strong, progressive and inclusive sector.
- Gaeloideachas will be ambitious and enthusiastic in its work to expand and develop immersion education in Ireland.
- Gaeloideachas will create and ensure opportunities to further excellence in naíonraí and Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools.
Our Functions and Scope
Overall: Irish-medium education, immersion education and Irish-medium early-years services
- Irish-medium education and immersion education in the south, including Gaeltacht areas;
- Irish-medium early-years services in the south, outside Gaeltacht areas; and
- A collaborative approach with partners in the north in the Irish-medium education, immersion education and Irish-medium early-years sector.
Click the tabs below for more information on our specific functions as agreed with our funder, Foras na Gaeilge.
Representation and Advocacy
- Support, represent and advocate on behalf of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht school communities. Recommend appropriate structures and supports to the State and relevant parties in order to support full Irish-medium provision that meets the needs of the communities and facilitates the delivery of excellent education through the medium of Irish.
- Support and advocate on behalf of the naíonra community outside the Gaeltacht. Recommend appropriate structures and supports to the State and relevant parties in order to support full Irish-medium provision that meets the needs of the communities and facilitates the delivery of excellent early-years services through the medium of Irish.
New Immersion Education Provision
- Plan for and actively support the establishment of new immersion education provision in the early-years sector (outside Gaeltacht areas) and in the Irish-medium and Gaeltacht primary and post-primary sectors, where appropriate and in a collaborative and coherent manner.
Support Services for the Irish-medium Sector
- Facilitate the promotion of Irish as a living language of communication in all aspects of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education at all three levels. Support Irish-language development projects aimed at those communities, in close cooperation with lead organisations as identified by Foras na Gaeilge, and other relevant parties.
- Provide a comprehensive and authoritative information and support service to the wider community and to Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education communities at all three levels in relation to the immersion education system as a whole, and access to educational provision through Irish.
Professional Development and Standards
- Work in cooperation with State bodies and other relevant stakeholders to support the availability of Irish-medium early-years services and Irish-medium and Gaeltacht primary and post-primary schools, in accordance with regulation and quality assurance standards.
- Work in cooperation with State bodies and other relevant stakeholders to provide appropriate professional development for staff in the Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education sector at all three levels to facilitate a high standard of immersion education. Work in cooperation with stakeholders in the north to share best practice between immersion institutions.
- Support the sharing of best practice by organising an annual conference and seminars to serve the Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education community at all three levels, in conjunction with other organisations.
Strategic Planning and Partnership
- Prepare strategic and operational plans and complete of partnership projects with other members of the Partnership Forum as identified by Foras na Gaeilge.
- Submit timely applications for funding to Foras na Gaeilge based on the above functions.