If I were the Minister for Education...

Here is my project to suggest ways for our education system to be the best it can be. I have a few ideas, which I’d love help fleshing out.

Latest Episode
Anseo.netIdeaThemePodcastcategories_hfilter
001. Separate Church and State
001. Separate Church and StateEquality, Religion

equality-ideas-2 religion ideas-2
002. Give equal funding to primary and second level
002. Give equal funding to primary and second levelEquality

equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
003. Fund ICT properly, not as part of minor works
003. Fund ICT properly, not as part of minor worksFinance, Technology

finance technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
004. Make a decision on Gaeilge - all Gaelscoils or none
004. Make a decision on Gaeilge – all Gaelscoils or noneEquality

equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
005. Scrap the NCSE
005. Scrap the NCSEDES, SEN

des sen ideas-2
006. A Fully-Resourced NEPS to take over Assessment of Need
006. A Fully-Resourced NEPS to take over Assessment of NeedDES, SEN

des sen ideas-2
007. Scrap the patronage system
007. Scrap the patronage systemReligion

religion ideas-2
008. Ban spelling and tables tests
008. Ban spelling and tables testsCurriculum, Uncategorised

curriculum-ideas-2 uncategorised ideas-2
009. Should we scrap school uniforms?
009. Should we scrap school uniforms?Equality

equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
010. Guarantee Minor Works Funding
010. Guarantee Minor Works FundingFinance

finance ideas-2
011. Reboot the School Completion Programme
011. Reboot the School Completion ProgrammeEquality

equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
012. Scrap single sex schools
012. Scrap single sex schoolsEquality

equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
013. Simplify the salary scale
013. Simplify the salary scaleDES, Finance, Union

des finance union ideas-2
014. Rethink Croke Park Hours
014. Rethink Croke Park HoursDES, Union

des union ideas-2
015. Centralise and Standardise ICT
015. Centralise and Standardise ICTTechnology

technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
016. Allow Teachers to use Social Media as They See Fit
016. Allow Teachers to use Social Media as They See FitTeaching Council, Technology

teaching-council-ideas-2 technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
017.	Remove all Union Involvement from Teaching Council
017. Remove all Union Involvement from Teaching CouncilTeaching Council, Union

teaching-council-ideas-2 union ideas-2
018. Ensure that classes for children with ASD are properly supported
018. Ensure that classes for children with ASD are properly supportedSEN

sen ideas-2
019. We need far more special classes to cater for all needs
019. We need far more special classes to cater for all needsSEN

sen ideas-2
020. Replace small schools with “hubs”
020. Replace small schools with “hubs”DES

des ideas-2
021. Scrap the new Primary Language Curriculum
021. Scrap the new Primary Language CurriculumCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
022. Change the Curriculum Structure
022. Change the Curriculum StructureCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
023. The DES should develop curriculum content
023. The DES should develop curriculum contentCurriculum, DES, Technologycurriculum-ideas-2 des technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
024. Try to become paper-free in terms of content
024. Try to become paper-free in terms of contentCurriculum, Technologycurriculum-ideas-2 technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
025. Free School Lunches for All Pupils
025. Free School Lunches for All PupilsDES, Equalitydes equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
026. Ban Fundraising
026. Ban FundraisingFinancefinance ideas-2
027.	Ensure every town has adequate and fully funded provision for swimming
027. Ensure every town has adequate and fully funded provision for swimmingEquality, Financeequality-ideas-2 finance ideas-2
028. Have a Maximum Class Size
028. Have a Maximum Class SizeDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
029. Principal Benchmarking Should Be Awarded
029. Principal Benchmarking Should Be AwardedDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
030. No more Teaching Principals
030. No more Teaching PrincipalsDES, Uniondes union ideas-2
031. Each enrollment to a school should come with a grant for miscellaneous items
031. Each enrollment to a school should come with a grant for miscellaneous itemsFinancefinance ideas-2
032. Provide Mental Health Services to Pupils
032. Provide Mental Health Services to PupilsSENsen ideas-2
033. Reassess Positions of Responsibility
033. Reassess Positions of ResponsibilityDESdes ideas-2
034. Change Infants structure
034. Change Infants structureDESdes ideas-2
035. Classroom Assistants instead of SNAs
035. Classroom Assistants instead of SNAsSENsen ideas-2
036. Bus Escorts to be employed by Bus Eireann
036. Bus Escorts to be employed by Bus EireannDESdes ideas-2
037. Replace Boards of Managements
037. Replace Boards of ManagementsDESdes ideas-2
038. Reduce the number of stakeholders in primary education
038. Reduce the number of stakeholders in primary educationDES, Teaching Council, Uniondes teaching-council-ideas-2 union ideas-2
039. Scrap Homework
039. Scrap HomeworkCurriculum, Equalitycurriculum-ideas-2 equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
040. All Special Schools to come under one system
040. All Special Schools to come under one systemSENsen ideas-2
041. Rule: Add an Initiative, Remove an Initiative
041. Rule: Add an Initiative, Remove an InitiativeDESdes ideas-2
042. Outsource obesity to parents
042. Outsource obesity to parentsCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
043. Scrap Section 29s
043. Scrap Section 29sDESdes ideas-2
044. "Trademark" the title of Teacher
044. “Trademark” the title of TeacherTeaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
045. Diversify the profession
045. Diversify the professionEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
046. All schools should have provision for hot lunches
046. All schools should have provision for hot lunchesEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
047. Have properly resourced sub panels
047. Have properly resourced sub panelsDES, Teaching Councildes teaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
048. Abolish the Supplementary Panel
048. Abolish the Supplementary PanelDES, Uniondes union ideas-2
049. Provide specialised teachers for Irish
049. Provide specialised teachers for IrishCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
050. Scrap drama
050. Scrap dramaCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
051. Cluster OTs and SLTs to Schools
051. Cluster OTs and SLTs to SchoolsDES, SENdes sen ideas-2
052. Have specialised qualifications for Infant teachers
052. Have specialised qualifications for Infant teachersCurriculum, DEScurriculum-ideas-2 des ideas-2
053. Scrap private colleges of education
053. Scrap private colleges of educationTeaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
054. Provide a Principal Step Down Facility
054. Provide a Principal Step Down FacilityDES, Teaching Council, Uniondes teaching-council-ideas-2 union ideas-2
055. Set contract of hours for teachers
055. Set contract of hours for teachersDES, Teaching Councildes teaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
056. Abolish favourable entry to Teacher Training for Protestants
056. Abolish favourable entry to Teacher Training for ProtestantsDES, Religiondes religion ideas-2
057.	DES should Provide Online Payslips
057. DES should Provide Online PayslipsDES, Technologydes technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
058. Reduce circulars to maximum 1 per term
058. Reduce circulars to maximum 1 per termDESdes ideas-2
059. Pay grants based on current Enrollment rather than the previous year
059. Pay grants based on current Enrollment rather than the previous yearFinancefinance ideas-2
060.	No more paper based communication
060. No more paper based communicationDES, Technologydes technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
061. There should be a Transparent consultation process including a democratic response
061. There should be a Transparent consultation process including a democratic responseDESdes ideas-2
062. Teachers should no longer be legally able to be fired due to their religious values
062. Teachers should no longer be legally able to be fired due to their religious valuesEquality, Religionequality-ideas-2 religion ideas-2
063. Remuneration for Principals for managing all positions in the school
063. Remuneration for Principals for managing all positions in the schoolDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
064. Caretakers should be paid directly by the DES
064. Caretakers should be paid directly by the DESDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
065. Replace some grants with local companies who compete to get tender
065. Replace some grants with local companies who compete to get tenderDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
066. Secretaries to be paid a standard wage directly from DES
066. Secretaries to be paid a standard wage directly from DESDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
067. Cleaners should be contracted by the DES and paid directly by them
067. Cleaners should be contracted by the DES and paid directly by themDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
068. Any school with special classes must be given extra administrative support
068. Any school with special classes must be given extra administrative supportSENsen ideas-2
069. Re-imagine the tendering process for building schools
069. Re-imagine the tendering process for building schoolsDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
070. Make primary education actually free
070. Make primary education actually freeFinancefinance ideas-2
071. All schools to be sustainable
071. All schools to be sustainableDESdes ideas-2
072. Outsource Physical Education
072. Outsource Physical EducationCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
073. All schools to have Student Councils
073. All schools to have Student CouncilsEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
074. All schools to have websites
074. All schools to have websitesTechnologytechnology-ideas-2 ideas-2
075. POD to be scrapped
075. POD to be scrappedDESdes ideas-2
076. Scrap privately run online summer courses
076. Scrap privately run online summer coursesCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
077. Teaching council should provide a phone mentoring service
077. Teaching council should provide a phone mentoring serviceTeaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
078. Church properly compensates pupil victims for abuse
078. Church properly compensates pupil victims for abuseDES, Religiondes religion ideas-2
079. Do not allow external agencies teach RSE
079. Do not allow external agencies teach RSECurriculum, Religioncurriculum-ideas-2 religion ideas-2
080. Should We Collapse Droichead?
080. Should We Collapse Droichead?Teaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
081. Ensure that RSE is standardised
081. Ensure that RSE is standardisedCurriculum, Religioncurriculum-ideas-2 religion ideas-2
082. Provide one year of mentoring to any teacher starting in a new position
082. Provide one year of mentoring to any teacher starting in a new positionTeaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
083. Replace the inspectorate with a mentoring system
083. Replace the inspectorate with a mentoring systemDESdes ideas-2
084. No tolerance for violence
084. No tolerance for violenceDES, Uniondes union ideas-2
085. Ensure the use of technology remains a methodology, not a subject
085. Ensure the use of technology remains a methodology, not a subjectTechnologytechnology-ideas-2 ideas-2
086. Scrap VAT for schools
086. Scrap VAT for schoolsFinancefinance ideas-2
087. Scrap standardised testing
087. Scrap standardised testingDESdes ideas-2
088. Lose Long Division from the Maths Curriculum
088. Lose Long Division from the Maths CurriculumCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
089. Scrap the NEWB or get rid of the unnecessary paperwork
089. Scrap the NEWB or get rid of the unnecessary paperworkDESdes ideas-2
090. No faith formation should be provided in school buildings during the day.
090. No faith formation should be provided in school buildings during the day.Religionreligion ideas-2
091. Any faith formation must be provided in parish centres or religious-owned buildings.
091. Any faith formation must be provided in parish centres or religious-owned buildings.Religionreligion ideas-2
092. No priority to be given to native Irish speakers for enrollment in Gaelscoileanna.
092. No priority to be given to native Irish speakers for enrollment in Gaelscoileanna.Equalityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
093. All schools must have access to a hall for PE
093. All schools must have access to a hall for PECurriculum, DES, Financecurriculum-ideas-2 des finance ideas-2
094. All schools need a Parents' Room
094. All schools need a Parents’ RoomDESdes ideas-2
095. SPHE to be given more time allocation
095. SPHE to be given more time allocationCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
096. Introduce philosophy as a module
096. Introduce philosophy as a moduleCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
097. Scrap Music Generation
097. Scrap Music GenerationCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
098. Ban competitions in schools from commercial entities
098. Ban competitions in schools from commercial entitiesFinancefinance ideas-2
099. Financially reward schools that have low energy usage
099. Financially reward schools that have low energy usageDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
100. Centralise photocopying management
100. Centralise photocopying managementFinancefinance ideas-2
101. Teach Irish like EAL
101. Teach Irish like EALCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
102. Scrap Creative Ireland
102. Scrap Creative IrelandDES, Financedes finance ideas-2
103. Infant classrooms should be designed differently
103. Infant classrooms should be designed differentlyCurriculum, DEScurriculum-ideas-2 des ideas-2
104. Increase resources for EAL
104. Increase resources for EALDES, Finance, SENdes finance sen ideas-2
105. E Charging points for all schools
105. E Charging points for all schoolsFinancefinance ideas-2
106. All Healthy Eating programmes must be backed by dieticians
106. All Healthy Eating programmes must be backed by dieticiansDES, Equalitydes equality-ideas-2 ideas-2
107. Bullying outside of school shouldn't be the responsibility of the school
107. Bullying outside of school shouldn’t be the responsibility of the schoolDESdes ideas-2
108. Create opportunities for schools to network
108. Create opportunities for schools to networkDES, Teaching Councildes teaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
109. Ensure teachers have a recognised voice in all consultations.
109. Ensure teachers have a recognised voice in all consultations.Curriculum, DES, Teaching Council, Unioncurriculum-ideas-2 des teaching-council-ideas-2 union ideas-2
110. INTO need to reform their communication with members
110. INTO need to reform their communication with membersUnionunion ideas-2
111. Schools to be given free ICT Technical Support
111. Schools to be given free ICT Technical SupportDES, Technologydes technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
112. School transport to be completely free
112. School transport to be completely freeEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
113. Ban all voluntary contributions and donations
113. Ban all voluntary contributions and donationsFinancefinance ideas-2
114. All technology should be ordered through a centralised system
114. All technology should be ordered through a centralised systemTechnologytechnology-ideas-2 ideas-2
115. Create centres for pre and after school care
115. Create centres for pre and after school careDESdes ideas-2
116. Schools shouldn't responsible for parental choices around purchasing smart devices
116. Schools shouldn’t responsible for parental choices around purchasing smart devicesDES, Technologydes technology-ideas-2 ideas-2
117. Increase the number of social workers
117. Increase the number of social workersEquality, SENequality-ideas-2 sen ideas-2
118. Ensure all libraries are stocked with books that speak to all children
118. Ensure all libraries are stocked with books that speak to all childrenCurriculum, Equality, Religioncurriculum-ideas-2 equality-ideas-2 religion ideas-2
119. DES should provide standardised policies to all schools
119. DES should provide standardised policies to all schoolsDESdes ideas-2
120. (re)Introduce MFL into primary schools
120. (re)Introduce MFL into primary schoolsCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
121. Reform the PDST
121. Reform the PDSTCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
122. Schools need Sports Facilities
122. Schools need Sports FacilitiesCurriculum, Financecurriculum-ideas-2 finance ideas-2
123. Set the same insurance rates for all schools
123. Set the same insurance rates for all schoolsDES, Equality, Financedes equality-ideas-2 finance ideas-2
124. All Fitness to Teach cases should be held privately.
124. All Fitness to Teach cases should be held privately.Teaching Councilteaching-council-ideas-2 ideas-2
125. There should be a Teaching Assistant in every 2nd classroom
125. There should be a Teaching Assistant in every 2nd classroomDESdes ideas-2
126. Primary and Secondary Principals should be on the same pay scale
126. Primary and Secondary Principals should be on the same pay scaleFinancefinance ideas-2
127. Restoration of the 15% cut to Resource Hours to schools
127. Restoration of the 15% cut to Resource Hours to schoolsSENsen ideas-2
128. Automatically Cluster SET Allocations
128. Automatically Cluster SET AllocationsDES, SENdes sen ideas-2
129. Ban Rote Learning of Tables
129. Ban Rote Learning of TablesCurriculumcurriculum-ideas-2 ideas-2
130. All pupils should go to their nearest geographic school
130. All pupils should go to their nearest geographic schoolEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
131. Start calling teachers by their first names
131. Start calling teachers by their first namesEqualityequality-ideas-2 ideas-2
132. Centre Broadband Hubs around Schools
132. Centre Broadband Hubs around SchoolsTechnologytechnology-ideas-2 ideas-2

Latest News

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

I don't usually share stuff from my business page, Mash.ie, but I think this will be worth it. #edchatie

ASDCreationStation is an Irish teacher working in a special class for children with Autism. She is going to go to her school on Thursday and spend the day setting up her classroom for the new year. She'll be recording all this on Mash.ie's Instagram Stories on Thursday and she said she will answer any questions you might have. This is particularly useful to anyone working in a class for children with ASD especially if you are starting off. Please tell anyone you think that might be interested. There's no charge and we're very grateful to ASDCreationStation for giving us her time.We're really excited to announce that this Thursday, one of our wonderful teachers, ASDCreationStation will be taking over our Instagram account. She is going to spend the day setting up her own classroom for children with Autism and talking through resources and practical strategies for anyone who is working in a special education setting. Whether you're a newbie or an experienced teacher, this day is not to be missed!
... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

I dont usually share stuff from my business page, Mash.ie, but I think this will be worth it. #edchatie

ASDCreationStation is an Irish teacher working in a special class for children with Autism. She is going to go to her school on Thursday and spend the day setting up her classroom for the new year. Shell be recording all this on Mash.ies Instagram Stories on Thursday and she said she will answer any questions you might have. This is particularly useful to anyone working in a class for children with ASD especially if you are starting off. Please tell anyone you think that might be interested. Theres no charge and were very grateful to ASDCreationStation for giving us her time.

Comment on Facebook

Niamh Martin Lisa Kelly

Laura Walsh

Aoife de Crúis

Kate Sarah

Emma McCready

Sarah Duff

Ronan

Dara Quirke

Noreen Lennon this could be helpful for Sept...

Jane-Marie O'Connell

Freda Ní Dhuibhir

Síle Ní Shionóid

Ciara Conroy are you on Instagram?

Carol Culloty, I know you’ve got it all under control but might be helpful 😘

Maria Cooney😀

Aaron Mc Grane you should follow on Instagram too.

View more comments

Is it or will it be Game Over for Small Schools? #edhatie

I hope not but even in the last 50 years, every year schools with 3 or fewer teachers have been steadily declining. In 1965, 75% of schools had fewer than 3 teachers. Today it is under 40%. If you are in a very small school, are you doing anything to stop the decline? Please comment and let me know.
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Is it or will it be Game Over for Small Schools? #edhatie

I hope not but even in the last 50 years, every year schools with 3 or fewer teachers have been steadily declining. In 1965, 75% of schools had fewer than  3 teachers. Today it is under 40%. If you are in a very small school, are you doing anything to stop the decline? Please comment and let me know.

Comment on Facebook

On the flip side, I think it’s also legitimate to ask when is a big school too big? The push to grow a school at all costs and the restrospective funding model we have means that students and staff suffer overcrowding in the short term (which sometimes isn’t so short) for what they hope is long term gain but for how long and in whose interest? We never really discuss who is benefitting from school expansion and whether these benefits are fairly distributed or whether existing school management systems (principals and voluntary boms with no guaranteed financial or management training or expertise) are really enabled to manage the budgets and staffing levels of some of the ‘super schools’, which would be considered challenging even in the commercial sector. I get why economies of scale supports the idea of fewer and bigger schools but we know that applying business models to education is usually a disaster. If we insist on doing so, we should also establish where the point of diminishing returns is because it has to exist somewhere. I’d also question why the DES don’t apply economies of scale at their own end first and centralise school resourcing and funding to save money before taking the drastic measure of closing schools. Personally, I think there’s a niggling, natural instinct in most teachers and parents that questions the push for bigger school settings, particularly at primary level, and, as we’ve seen with various planning disasters in Ireland, we allow our gut instincts to be silenced by financial motives at our peril.

I have quite strong views on this one Simon. Every child should have the right to be educated in their locality, and accessing a school in their locality should not be difficult - either due to the physical lack of a school or the lack of sufficient provisions in the case of SEN on occasion. The DES needs to ensure provisions are made for all pupils in our schools- not by compelling but by consulting and resourcing these schools. The spin and optics around the truly chronic lack of supports is astonishing in reality - teachers have been doing more and more with less and less for far too long. The chickens are coming home to roost now in this regard as educators are burned out from constantly trying to make a silk purse of a sow's ear, and children are being shortchanged by an education system that cannot be as inclusive as it wishes to be without investment to properly support schools. The DES and government need to be held accountable for this. The number of small schools in Ireland may have fallen over the decades, mostly due to demographics, but a school is a school regardless of the number of pupils and provides an invaluable service to its community. One that is far too readily undervalued. Many small schools are very viable and vibrant centres of learning despite their small size. These schools are in many instances, the last vestiges of community spirit and connection in their areas, rooting children in their communities and helping to nurture social and civic responsibilities in children. We should be demanding proper supports, provisions and funding for small schools, valuing children above economics and LISTENING to the Principals and teachers in these schools. They know what is needed to sustain them. The demise of small schools, if that happens - will be death by a thousand cuts due to rotten DES policy that shows a blatant disregard for and ignorance of the value and realistic needs of small schools. These policies appeased and perpetuated will eventually pressure small schools out of existence. This has been going on for years and will ultimately come at a great cost to our society. Once upon a time children got an education behind a hedge - and were successful because the will was there and the respect for learning was there too. The sustainability of small schools has nothing to do with their size and everything to with how they are viewed, misunderstood, under-supported and under-valued. If small schools were not forced to struggle to survive by DES disregard and policy that mitigates against their success - this energy could be far better spent being creative and collaborative between clusters of small schools and engaging with far more productive and progressive projects than constant fundraising to pay the bills, etc, constant scrambling to keep teaching positions, etc. Not to mention the cruel level of bureaucracy keeping us from the actual business of TEACHING. It should not be GAME OVER for small schools - BUT it is time to look at the code behind them, rewrite and refine it and reboot. None of which can be done unless the powers that be start LISTENING to those of us on the ground and giving us what we need to lead and manage our small schools going forward. I understand in some cases a school must close or chooses to close, but those who wish to remain open should be supported in every way. Sadly some never miss the water till the well runs dry. In the case of a small school closure - it'll be too late to salvage what is lost.

Ask Me Anything

Ask Us A Question

You will get a notification email when Knowledgebase answerd/updated!

+ = Verify Human or Spambot ?

Ask Us A Question

You will get a notification email when Knowledgebase answerd/updated!

+ = Verify Human or Spambot ?