Gaeloideachas elects new Board and hosts seminar on Special Educational Needs

Apr 22, 2024

Clodagh Ní Mhaoilchiaráin elected as President at Gaeloideachas AGM in Athlone last week, seminar held for teachers at naíonra, primary, and second level, and new resources launched in partnership with Middletown Centre for Autism

Gaeloideachas, the national lead organisation supporting and advocating for Irish-medium education, held a half-day conference in Athlone last Wednesday, 17 April, for teachers in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools and naíonraí outside of Gaeltacht areas. The day consisted of a programme of events focusing on supports for children with special educational needs in the Irish-medium education system, and a new Board was elected at the Annual General Meeting of Gaeloideachas during the day.

Clodagh Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Principal of Gaelscoil Bhaile Brigín, was elected as President of the organisation for the coming year. “It’s a huge honour for me to be elected by members of Gaeloideachas. I’m looking forward to taking part in the very worthwhile work being carried out by the organisation, and particularly to building on the work currently being done to provide services and supports in the area of special educational needs,” said Ní Mhaoilchiaráin.

“Additionally, we will be looking forward to the publication of the new Policy for Irish-Medium Education outside of the Gaeltacht and Gaeloideachas is keen to ensure that our work is to the fore on this essential issue. We are hoping to achieve a policy that ensures a comprehensive supply of high-quality Irish-medium education at every level. This can be achieved by building on the number of Irish-medium schools, particularly at second-level; providing adequate supports for early years education through Irish; and addressing the recruitment crisis to ensure that there will be enough teachers to support all of our students.”

As part of the day’s events, there were a number of sessions focused on the ways in which teachers at all three levels can support their students who have special educational needs. Representatives of the Department of Education, the NCSE, and NEPS answered questions from teachers at the morning session and additional workshops took place during the day, including a panel discussing neurodiversity.

In addition, Gaeloideachas was delighted to launch new resources developed in partnership with Middletown Centre for Autism, including a new guide to supporting autistic students, Treoir Tacaíochta don Uathachas: Acmhainn d’Oideoirí ag Tacú le Foghlaimeoirí Uathacha san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge. “I wish to congratulate and commend colleagues at Gaeloideachas for their work in meeting the needs of teachers working in Irish-medium environments with autistic pupils,” said Dr Fiona McCaffrey, Head of Research and Development at Middletown Centre for Autism. “This resource, which was written in partnership between Middletown and Gaeloideachas, highlights the importance of a strength-based and neuroaffirming way of supporting pupils in Irish-medium education.”

The new resources are available to teachers across the country on the Gaeloideachas website, www.gaeloideachas.ie.

Ends

 

Contact

Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO| blathnaid@gaeloideachas.ie | 01 8535195 | 086-8050335 

Clodagh Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, President | clodaghni@gmail.com | 087-6232191

 

Notes for the Editor

Gaeloideachas 
Gaeloideachas is a national lead organisation supporting the development of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education at primary and second-level.

Gaeloideachas provides advice, help, and support to parents who want to give the opportunity of Irish-medium education to their children, as well as support services and advocacy on behalf of schools within and outside of Gaeltacht areas, together with naíonraí outside of the Gaeltacht.