If I were the Minister for Education...

How many times have you said to yourself, “If I were the Minister for Education…?” Well I do! Rather than grumble to myself, I decided to podcast my thoughts on ways I’d change the primary education system in Ireland.

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In September 2022, Nenagh will become the town with the first “thriving” school to reconfigure to the ETB and change from being a Catholic School to being a Community National School. John Gunnell is currently the principal of St. Mary’s Junior Boys’ National School, soon to be Nenagh CNS. I’ve covered the politics behind the...
I hate to bring the C word up again, especially so soon after we seemed, as a nation, to decide that COVID19 was all over and we could start shaking hands, giving each other hugs and having bonfires fuelled by hand sanitiser! Actually, I’m joking about the last bit – don’t try it, kids. While...
If I was the Minister for Education, I think I’d hire my guest this week as my deputy! If you don’t know Annie Asgard, you are in for a treat. Annie and I could talk about anything but we decided to focus on EAL (English as an Additional Language) teaching. It’s relevant always but in...
As I’m sure you’ve probably figured out by now, I could talk about the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism forever and I’m sure I’ll be coming back to it many times again. There are so many stories that blossomed from it, whether it was the struggle for Castlebar or the scaremongering in Malahide, and I’m...
The paradoxical relationship that most Irish people have with the church baffles me. I can’t understand why people care so little about the fact that religion permeates the entire day of 95% of primary schools in the country, even to the point of defending it when there are moves to change schools over to multi-denominational...
In this episode, we continue our exploration of why the Pluralism and Patronage Forum didn’t succeed as we move to Malahide, where the final nail in the coffin for divestment took place. 
In this episode we focus on one of the maddest sagas in the divestment process: Castlebar. If ever there was a school that didn’t think they’d see the light of day, Castlebar ETNS was it. From cowsheds to Cromwell, this was an example of why the Pluralism and Patronage Forum was never going to work....
Choice is always good, right? In this part I try to convince you that when it comes to schools, it is the root of all that’s wrong in the system. Furthermore, I try to prove to you that unless you tick the Catholic box in the census, it’s unlikely you have choice anyway.
On 10th April 2022, The Forum for Patronage and Pluralism Report will be 10 years old. In the first of a short series of episodes analysing its failure, I look at the history of the Irish Education System and question perceived truths about why everyone is so keen to run schools. 🎙Listen and subscribe to...
Part 2 of my recommendations from #BETT22. Some links to help: Original Blog Post COOL from Cloudwise ClassLink Tom Rogers Top Ten podcasts neal.fun FakeYou  Animated Drawings  Gaugan2  Reading on your Head Bookr Skewb Climate Impero  

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