The Department of Education has opened a public consultation process, seeking the views of interested stakeholders, to inform the development of a new policy for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht.
Members of the public and interested stakeholders, including young people, parents/guardians, teachers/early years educators, school leaders, members of school boards of management, school management bodies, education stakeholders and Irish-language stakeholders are invited to have their say on this important topic.
The insights and information on key issues gathered during this process will serve as a valuable resource to inform policy-development.
Outline of consultation process
The consultation process consists of three interrelated phases which are outlined below.
Phase 1: Online consultation – questionnaires and written submissions
Online consultation: complete an online questionnaire questionnaires and written submissions – closing date 16 January 2023
Written submissions may be sent by email to POLG@education.gov.ie
Closing date for submissions under Phase 1 is the 16th January 2023.
Phase 2: Focus groups
Focus groups will also be held in 2023.
Information on focus groups will be made available here in due course.
Phase 3: Engagement with stakeholders
Further engagement with certain stakeholders will be undertaken as the consultation process progresses.
Key objectives of the new policy
The new policy for Irish-medium education outside of Gaeltacht areas will identify actions to achieve the following key objectives:
- the provision of a framework for the delivery of high-quality Irish-medium education in Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí and in Irish-medium early learning and care settings (for example, naíonraí) outside of the Gaeltacht
- increasing the proportion of children and young people attending Irish-medium schools, including by building on the foundations laid in Irish-medium early learning and care settings (for example, naíonraí)
- exploring how opportunities for the establishment of Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí can be increased as part of the patronage process
- developing a clear policy on the establishment and sustainability of Aonaid/Sruthanna (Irish-medium units/streams) in existing English-medium post-primary schools to strengthen Irish-medium education provision
- examining how the supply of teachers and other staff with a high standard of Irish can be increased to meet demand in Irish-medium education settings
- looking at ways to deepen community engagement around Irish-medium schools and early learning and care settings
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. Stakeholders are welcomed to explore this document before taking part in the consultation process.
An Overview of Provision for Irish-Medium Education outside of Gaeltacht Areas: Current Provision and Future Projections – Download
Léargas ar Sholáthar don Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht: Soláthar Reatha agus Réamh-mheastacháin don Todhchaí – Download