Friday 20 September 2019

Ireland's five island secondary schools to receive extra funding and resources

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Stock photo
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

Five secondary schools on islands in the Gaeltacht area are to receive additional resources from September onwards.

Located on islands in the Galway and Donegal areas, the schools will get an additional €15,000 in funding annually to cover additional operating costs.

There will be an increased teacher allocation for each of the island post-primary schools, an increase from one extra teacher per school to the equivalent of one-and-a-half. 

Coláiste Naomh Eoin on Inis Meáin, Co. Galway will also be granted independent stand-alone status. This will result in the appointment of a principal and deputy principal, as well as the establishment of a board of management.

The schools on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, Inis Oirr, Árainn Mhór and Toraigh are thought to have almost 230 students between them.

The additional package of supports was announced today by Minister for Education Richard Bruton. The policy on Gaeltacht Education was launched in 2015 as part of the Minister's action plan for education.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Bruton said he wants Ireland to have the best education service in Europe by 2026.

“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.”

Joe McHugh, Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said the additional resources will "go a long way" for the five island schools. 

"These additional €15,000 grants and extra teaching resources for Gaeltacht island post-primary schools will go a long way in supporting this Government's ambitions to sustain and grow the Irish language among the next generation.

"The islands are valuable communities and this money demonstrates a clear vision for their Irish language medium schools to be properly resourced and to expand and improve the teaching of key subjects such as the sciences.

“I know this will make a huge difference to communities on the islands off Donegal and Galway and will be a welcome boost to the teachers, equipping children and teenagers with the skills they need for the future.”

There are currently 12 primary schools and five secondary schools on Ireland's islands. The secondary schools are under the patronage of Galway/Roscommon ETB and Donegal ETB.

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