Policy on Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht

POLG EN

The Department of Education is asking anyone with an interest in Irish-medium education – parents, students, teachers and other stakeholders – to take part in the open consultation on a new policy for Irish-medium education (outside Gaeltacht areas).

The first step in this consultation is an online survey and a call for written submissions. Ahead of the January 16th deadline for these, Gaeloideachas wants to hear from you about what matters most to you in this new policy. This is a huge opportunity to build on the amazing work that naíonraí and schools have done over the years and to make sure that they will be properly supported to continue that work, and to grow our community.

Gaeloideachas’ vision is that high-quality Irish-medium immersion education should be available to every parent and guardian who would choose it for their child. We support naíonraí and Irish-medium and Gaeltacht primary and post-primary schools in their work to be fully inclusive and to cater for all children. 

On this page you’ll find resources to help you to engage with the consultation. If you have any questions, please contact us on 01 8535195 or eolas@gaeloideachas.ie.

The link to the Department of Education survey is at the bottom of this page. 

The Big Asks

We’ve put together notes on some of the main issues for each cohort – parents, naíonra teachers, primary teachers, post-primary teacher and learning support teachers. Scroll through the images below to view them.

Background Information

Gaeloideachas' recommendations

Gaeloideachas has put together a list of recommendations based on the Department of Education questionnaire, with accompanying notes to give context based on our experience and expertise. You can download it here in PDF form.

Moltaí Gaeloideachas do naíonraí agus scoileanna

Moltaí Gaeloideachas do thuismitheoirí

Gaeloideachas recommendations for naíonraí and schools

Gaeloideachas recommendations for Parents

Actions proposed by the Department of Education

Below is a list of actions proposed by the Department of Education, with 5 areas to be identified as priorities. Which actions do you think would have the most positive impact on the future of Irish-medium education? Is there anything else you would recommend, that hasn’t been included below?

  1. Raise awareness of the benefits of Irish-medium education
  2. Support parents who do not speak Irish but would like to choose Irish-medium education for their children
  3. Take action to support more diversity and inclusion in Irish-medium education
  4. Take measures to support young people in Irish-medium education who have special educational needs
  5. Develop and implement quality assurance standards for Irish-medium units/streams in schools operating through the medium of English
  6. Develop and implement quality assurance standards for Gaelscoileanna/ Gaelcholáistí
  7. Increase the resources (textbooks, online resources, etc.) that are available through the medium of Irish
  8. Teach some subjects from a digital distance learning hub to expand the range of subjects available through the medium of Irish
  9. More teachers and early years educators for Irish-medium education
  10. Financial incentives to attract teachers/educators to Irish-medium education
  11. Training for teachers/educators on the methodology of immersion education
  12. Irish language classes for teachers/educators who would like to work in Irish-medium education
  13. Establish new Irish-medium schools/settings where they’re not currently available
  14. Have a clear process to help English-medium schools become Irish-medium schools, if they wish
  15. Fund research on Irish-medium education
  16. Facilitate links between Irish-medium schools and Gaeltacht schools

You can download the list as a PDF here.

Full list of questions in the online survey

The Department of Education’s online survey is tailored according to the profile of the participant. To give a fuller overview of the consultation, the Department has provided us with a list of all of the questions that might be asked in the survey. You can download it in PDF form here:

Report on school provision for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht

A report on provision for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht has been published as an important reference point to inform the consultation and the policy development process.

You can download the report here. 

Events

Gaeloideachas is running a series of consultations in December to get further feedback from our community on the policy, which will inform our written submission to the Department of Education ahead of the January 16th deadline. You’ll find details of these consultations on our events page: https://gaeloideachas.ie/register/

Submissions

Would you like to put in a written submission to the Department of Education on behalf of yourself or your organisation? We’re happy to help in any way we can, just contact us on 01 8535195 or eolas@gaeloideachas.ie.

There is a limit to the number of words allowed in your answers in the Department of Education survey, so we recommend that anyone who is interested in answering these complex questions make a written submission. All you need to do is email polg@education.gov.ie before 16 January. You could include information based on the questions asked in the survey, or anything else you think they need to know. You don’t need to answer every question, just the ones most relevant to you. The list of questions is below. Don’t forget to include your contact details in the email.

  1. How could people be encouraged to choose Irish-medium education?
  2. What could be done to encourage pupils from Irish-medium primary schools to continue their education in Irish-medium secondary schools?
  3. What are the main challenges in providing a high standard of Irish-medium education?
  4. How might these challenges be addressed to reinforce and support provision in the sector?
  5. How do you think the provision of support for children and young people with SEN in Irish-medium settings can be improved?
  6. What do you think could be done to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in Irish-medium education?
  7. How could better links be created between Irish-medium education and the community in general in order to foster the use of Irish within the community?

The Survey

When you’re ready, here’s the link to the Department of Education survey: https://dessurveys.education.gov.ie/surveys/polg

The deadline is January 16th, 2023. 

Send us a Note

Share your suggestions to help to inform our submission, or to ask any questions you might have about it. 

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