Gaeltacht Education

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Gaeloideachas provides support for Gaeltacht schools at primary and post-primary level. The latest information on issues specifically concerning Gaeltacht Schools will be posted on this page.

Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022

The Gaeltacht Education Unit in the Department of Education and Skills is responsible for overseeing and supporting the staged implementation of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022. The Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme is being implemented under the Policy since April 2017.

105 Primary Schools and 29 Post Primary Schools are participating in the Scheme.

Language Criteria for Primary Schools and Post Primary Schools to fulfill to obtain Recognition as a Gaeltacht School.

The following supports are provided to participating schools:

For Primary and Special Schools

  • Irish Language Support Hours
  • Grant Allocation
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) co-ordinated by COGG
  • Good-Practice Guidelines on Immersion Education for Primary Schools
  • Inspectorate Support

For Post Primary Schools

  • Irish Language Support Hours
  • Grant Allocation
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) co-ordinated by COGG
  • The E-Hub Pilot project
  • Forás – The Pilot Irish Language Development Programme

Teacher Training

To ensure teacher supply fluent in Irish for Gaeltacht/Irish medium schools, additional teacher training programmes through the medium of Irish have been established in 3rd level institutions under the Policy on Gaeltacht Education. They are:

Evaluation

A three-year Research and Evaluation Study plan has been developed by the Gaeltacht Education Unit in collaboration with the Educational Research Centre (ERC) and Inspectorate to evaluate the impact of the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme to inform future policy and practice.

Additional information pertaining to The Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 is available on the DES website at https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Policy-on-Gaeltacht-Education-2017-2022/

Language Planning

The Gaeltacht Act 2012 covers legislation for the Language Planning Process and allows for the Gaeltacht to be divided into 26 areas which are called Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas (LPT). A lead organisation is appointed in each LPT by Údarás na Gaeltachta with the remit to prepare a language plan in consultation with the community. The Language Plan has to be approved by Roinn na Gaeltachta before the plan is implemented.

To date, plans have been approved in 18 LPTs and Language Planning Officers (and Assistant Language Planning Officers, in some areas) have been appointed.

Each lead organisation has been provided with the same language plan template. The template includes a chapter listing the planned activities in the education sector in the LPT at preschool, primary, post-primary, 3rd level and continuous education levels.

Gaeloideachas would love to share on this site any activities that your primary or post-primary schools are organising in conjunction with your local LPT. Information and photos can be forwarded to peigi@gaeloideachas.ie.

All information about the Language Planning Process is available at https://www.udaras.ie/en/our-language-and-the-gaeltacht/language-planning/process/. 

Language Planning Areas and Lead Organisations

Details of the Language Planning Areas can be found here:

https://www.udaras.ie/en/our-language-and-the-gaeltacht/language-planning-areas/

The Lead Organisations for each area are as follows: 

  1. Tuaisceart Dhún na nGall – Céim Aniar Teo & Pobal Eascarrach Teo
  2. Cloich Chionnaola, Gort an Choirce, An Fál Carrach & Machaire Rabhartaigh- An tSean Bheairic Teo & Coiste Pobail Ghort a’ Choirce
  3. Toraigh – Comharchumann Thoraí Teo
  4. Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir – Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair
  5. Na Rosa – Forbairt na Rosann Teo, Machaire le Chéile Teo & CDP na Rosann Teo
  6. Árainn Mhór – Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhóir Teo
  7. An Ghaeltacht Láir – Gleann Fhinne faoi Theorainn Ráthaíochta
  8. Dún na nGall Theas – Lár-Chomhairle Paróiste Ghleann
  9. Maigh Eo Thuaidh – Comharchumann Ionad Deirbhile Teo (Gaeilge Iorrais)
  10. Maigh Eo Thiar – Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla
  11. Dúiche Sheoigheach & Tuar Mhic Éadaigh – Comharchumann Dhúiche Sheoigheach Teo
  12. Conamara Láir – Forbairt Chonamara Láir Teo
  13. An Cheathrú Rua – Comharchumann Mhic Dara
  14. Ceantar na nOileán – Comhairle Ceantar na nOileán
  15. Oileáin Árann – Comhar Chaomhán Teo
  16. Cois Fharraige – Fóram Chois Fharraige um Pleanáil Teanga
  17. Maigh Cuilinn – Forbairt Pobail Maigh Cuilinn
  18. Bearna & Cnoc na Cathrach – Plean Teanga Bhearna & Chnoc na Cathrach
  19. Oirthear Chathair na Gaillimhe – An Bruach Thoir
  20. An tEachréidh – Coiste Stiúrtha an Eachréidh
  21. Ciarraí Thiar – Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Duibhne
  22. Ciarraí Theas – Comhchoiste Ghaeltacht Uíbh Ráthaigh
  23. Muscraí – Comharchumann Forbartha Mhúscraí Teo
  24. Cléire – Comharchumann Chléire Teo
  25. Na Déise – Comhlacht Forbartha na nDéise Teo
  26. Ráth Chairn & Baile Ghib – Comharchumann Ráth Chairn

Schools on Gaeltacht Islands

There are 8 primary schools and 5 post primary schools situated on our Gaeltacht Islands.

Island Primary schools Post-primary schools

Árainn Mhór, Co. Dhún na nGall

Árainn Mhór 1

Áráinn Mhór 2

Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada

Toraigh, Co. Dhún na nGall

Scoil Náisiúnta Cholmcille

Coláiste Pobail Cholmcille

Inis Mór, Co. na Gaillimhe

Scoil Náisiúnta Eoin Pól II

Scoil Náisiúnta Rónáin

Coláiste Naomh Éinne

Inis Meáin, Co. na Gaillimhe

Scoil Náisiúnta Inis Meáin

Coláiste Naomh Eoin

Inis Oírr, Co. na Gaillimhe

Scoil Náisiúnta Chaomháin

Coláiste Ghobnait

Cléire, Co. Chorcaí

Scoil Náisiúnta Chléire

The survival of island communities is completely linked to the survival of their schools. This is why island school communities, staff and management are constantly campaigning for state policy and legislation which recognises the needs and challenges of island education provision.

In December 2017, The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education & Skills held a public hearing on the challenges that face island schools and in February 2018 published a Report on this hearing.

The report recognises all the challenges outlined to the committee. The Committee at its meeting on 20 February 2018 formally adopted this Report together with its recommendations which are:

  1. That the allowance for teachers in island schools be reinstated to recognise the additional pressures and constraints of the model
  2. That school budgets should be increased by at least €20,000 for each post-primary secondary school on an offshore island, to reflect the actual running costs of that school
  3. That the formula for teacher allocation on island schools be amended and numbers increased to reflect the unique needs of island
  4. That the Minister investigates the possibility of extending the scholarship scheme for island schools and removing the exclusion of Gaeltacht pupils from the eligibility criteria, including liaising with cabinet colleagues where necessary to make this
  5. That independent school status be granted to Coláiste Naomh Eoin, Inis Meáin
  6. That DEIS status to be awarded to the five post-primary island schools
  7. That a specific policy to address the needs of island schools is drafted and implemented
  8. That a system of ‘islandproofing’ be implemented for legislation, policies and initiatives produced by the Department of Education and Skills in the future

 On 17 June 2017 the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. announced an additional package of supports to support island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht areas. The package of fulfils to a certain extent recommendations 2,3,5 above.

  • 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
  • The establishment of Coláiste Naomh Eoin, previously designated as a Language Unit (Aonad), as an independent stand-alone school on Inis Meáin, Co Galway

In February 2020, Gaeloideachas submitted  Aighneacht chuig Coiste Idirrannach TrasRialtais  ar Polasaí Uilechuimsitheach do na hOileáin  to  the Islands Policy Consultation Paper (November 2019). The submission was made in support of the need to ensure that the Consultation Paper would cover education requirements on the islands.

Gaeltacht Development Officers

Peigí Ní Chonghaile | peigi@gaeloideachas.ie | 01 8535141 | 087 9452452 | Gaeloideachas, Uimh 4, An Ghorlann, Na Forbacha, Co. na Gaillimhe

Cormac Ó Feinneadha | cormac@gaeloideachas.ie | 087 9155114 | Gaeloideachas, Halla Naomh Pádraig, Institiúid Oideachais Marino, Ascaill Uí Ghríofa, Baile Átha Cliath 9