The Perennial Family without a School Place

In this episode of ‘If I Were the Minister for Education’, I delve into the struggles faced by families in securing school placements for children with additional needs, the inefficiencies of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), and the dynamics of religious education. I also look at what can be learned from Singapore’s education system, following a visit by John Boyle.

Show Notes, as always, can be found on:

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Hello? Hello. You're very welcome to if I were the minister for education from, a regular podcast, where I look into the world of primary education and that, what I would do if I were the minister for education, this is Simon Lewis. On this week's show. We are looking at it's yet the perennial picture of another year, a no place in schools for children with additional needs. Or another, a few schools, a reconfigure from Catholic to multi-denominational and finally John Boyle visits, Singapore. What can we learn from the visit? If you're interested in this podcast, you are very welcome to subscribe to it on any of your favorite podcasting platforms, whether that's Spotify, apple podcasts, or any of the rest of them. And it would be really great if you wouldn't mind doing so and telling your friends about it.

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And if you aren't doing so already, I also have a YouTube channel where you can watch along this episode watching me going through some of those articles, but you can also get some extra content. Because every couple of weeks I look for a new technology too. And I review that and show you what it can do this week. I'm looking at Ray ban, the matter Ray-Ban glasses, they're smart glasses and I'll be showing you what could be done with them in a primary school setting. So let's get on with it and let's look at the perennial story. I think everyone has probably. Sick to death of seeing to after. Looking at a family, looking a little bit like this and your average newspaper with the same headline. We can't find a school for our son and we're at our wits. And after a number of rejections, And some sort of, thrash that they're going to have to take drastic action, which usually involves one of them quitting their job to look after their child's. Or who knows what else? It's. It's just a complete failure on the department of education, on the NCSC who are letting down families like this. And so many others every single year on to, Isn't it awful that I'm sick to the teeth. Of talking about this story, I'm sure you're sick to the teeth. Of looking at these stories every year, where it's always a poor family and it's always a family. One of the things I suppose, from this that I suppose I. Kind of find really interesting is that while this is affecting thousands of families around the country, or at least hundreds of families around the country, that they can't go to place for their child in a local school or in a school that's whole. It is. There's always the one family. They always pick our family every year and it just happens to be this particular family, but this family can be mirrored every year. And it's always the story of this one family. And. The weird thing and I think. What I've noticed, over the last number of years is it's that family. So the family that appear in the newspaper. There's an arrangement made because it embarrasses some some local politician who sees the article and somehow places find for them. And so in some weird, messed up way. This particular family have almost won a lottery to be the face of this perennial story that comes up every single year. And. My, that might be fine for this family, the hundreds of other families who maybe weren't willing to share their story of. Why should they why should you have to go to a newspaper? And share your personal journey or your situation. Or you can't get a school for your kid, usually with additional needs. It's just, it's not right. It's just morally not right for this sort of stuff to happen. And the blame. Because there is blame. Has to go as always. And I suppose you're probably sick to the teeth. You'd be sick to the teeth, to some of these stories I cover every week, but the blame has to go with the national council for special education. Who couldn't plan their way out. Of an open door. I don't know if that's even an expression. It's just astounding. That every year, they managed not to be able to plan places for children. And I know why. The mounting. It's no mystery as to why, because they don't know what children need places from nutria. They carry no data on any child. So the agency that is responsible for organizing placements for children with additional needs in schools carries no data on any children on its. And you might wonder. That can't be true. It couldn't be true. But the fact of the matter it is, and it has a huge impact in so many ways. And there's a reason they don't have the data on children. I would imagine that because if you have the data, you have to do something about it. So if they have no data, for example, they don't have to, there's no pressure to supply the resources to those children because they don't know how many children there are. What they do is they provide the gas. I in fact, I think they are. They're just guessing because the data they use is absolute junk from 2017, they're still using the same data to allocate resources to schools on the. Basically schools have to make the best of it. And they've come up with this slogan, this phrase. Where you have to provide the supports to the highest level of need. Which is an entirely meaningless. Phrase, I don't understand. I hear people saying this without laughing. Or without, at least, I dunno, rolling their eyes. They say it as if this is, I find it's one of those funny things that if you say something enough, it cert it somehow becomes, acceptably. True. And what I find mad about the NCSS mantra is that you're hearing naps saying it you're hearing actually representative body saying it. And you're hearing even principals saying, oh no, I am, giving the highest level of support, the highest level of need my school. What we are saying when we say that, I think I've said this every week on. On this podcast is you're basically saying we are. We are. Yes you're applying the Mo. The norm at the highest level of support to the height, to the highest level need. But it means that you're not providing support to children who also have needs children with additional needs should receive. Whatever support they need. We shouldn't be messing around. By giving some children's support and some children, no support it makes no sense. And the NCSE are absolutely to blame for this. And they, rather than making things easier. They're constantly adding layers and layers of bureaucracy to make it more and more difficult. For example, when it comes to giving resources to schools, they gave schools. As we, as I probably covered a number of weeks ago, their Sasha allocations. The national principal's forum did a survey. I think something like three quarters of schools didn't get an adequate number of. Of supports. Most people didn't bother applying for extra supports because they knew they wouldn't get them because they know that only 8% of appeals are sucks are successful. And so you don't really have much of a chance, but. If you were one of those schools and I was one of them, and then there's a few, and there's quite a number of others who were. D, if you put in. Your appeal, which in my case was 26 pages long. It, lots of other cases. It was seminars, but the bigger the school, the longer they are the number of pages. And then. Most schools iSanctuary told. No. With no explanation and there's no appeals mechanism for the appeal. Ready? But even if you did. Succeed at getting to the next round. You have to then do a full review of your needs. Desktop review. I hate that phrase. It's meaningless. And you still might not get anything. So I think what they're doing is they're layering. Larin red tape of red tape. And it just annoys me a lot because I'm in the job over 15 years. And 15 years ago, this worked, it worked easily. Children got the support, they needed the roof. Wasn't perfect. But you actually got the supports you required. If you were a child, all you needed was a particular diagnosis and you were given a number of hours to be supported. Has it, it wasn't perfect. But it certainly wasn't, it's certainly not as bad as it is now. And. That's warning impact of it.

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If you look at this poor family here that can't even get into a school. And even if they, even, if some politician came along and said, oh, I have a school for you. And they get a place some high, because again, this is this lottery of being in the newspapers to embarrass the politicians. They D they was sent they go to the NCSE and say, how can I have the place? My child has a diagnosis of autism. It's not enough anymore. Oh, no. You now have to prove that not only do you have a diagnosis of autism, you also have to prove that you need. As a special class for autism. And not only that you have to also now as of this year, there's an added layer have complex needs on top of that, that would prevent you from being able to access the mainstream class. The layers of bureaucracy are stunning and it goes on and on. And. Principles around the country are sick of it. Absolutely sick of it. A survey after survey from the national principal's forum. Have shown that this is becoming. One of the biggest stressors for principals around the country. It's the second biggest stressor in the job. Trying to get resources for children with additional needs. And it's absolutely shocking that the blocker here is the is the NCSE the national cancer special education, whose job it is to make sure that every child with an additional need receive the support they have, but they don't actually have any data on the children. There's so many layers. There's so many ways this happens. I haven't touched on the Aon debacle. That stuff carries on. The NCSC can't fulfill their obligations to provide reports for children, for the AOM, because they have no data on children. So they're forcing schools to. Some wash. To somehow be able to give it an educational assessment we're not qualified to do essentially, schools are using school support plans, which are absolutely inappropriate for this. To provide information on for children and, again, it just makes a mockery of the system, because again, it doesn't provide children with any supports. I could go on and on about the NCSC and I've done episodes of this podcast about how inapt the organization is, and it's getting worse and worse. And, there's a, I often quote the Simpsons. I'm not lying. Where, when I cannot, I can't remember the scene, but the line has stopped. Stop. He's already dead. It could be said about the NCSE we need to. They keep pumping. They're pumping money into it. They've Norma voting made this a nice that they were pumping. More and more money into this for more and more, more people, but the peop why are the people doing. I like one of the things that I find really, I nerdy find it funny because it's so pathetic looking and I can't wait for this app. I've got nerdy. Can't wait for this to happen to me because I won't be able to help laughing at the situation if you need. If you've got a review for special needs assistance or sat, allocations, whatever it is. You go through the first stage. You, maybe you get through the second stage and then what you get is a visit from the CNO. Now, back in my day. You didn't have those two layers. You rang the CNM. He said, listen, I have these kids with these needs. Ah, here's the paperwork and the senior will go, no problem at all. They do a little bit of paperwork and you would get the resources. Now after the two layers, they send it not one center. They send three CNOs into your school and they come in dressed as inspectors and they have. From what I've heard from. You have friends of mine. Who've had this, they come in. It's like Halloween in a way that, these are regular people, but they put on power suits and they come in, not smiling and they're interview people very importantly. And they're probably where briefcase is now a black cars and things like that. Like it's a joke. It's it's I just find it funny. These are like, Module promoting people to think that they're really important. Just give the resources. Here's the evidence, give the resources. Don't be. in a way it's designed deliberately to be intimidating. And it does intimidate people. Imagine having three inspectors coming into you, going through every scrap of paper you have just. The amount of money. They're putting into preventing putting the resources in is, will be far outweighed by the amount of help they could give for the money they're actually spending. It's amazing. I've never seen. Such an aptitude. And silliness. It's almost Monte Python ask. The way they're running the system and it's fast becoming. I don't know. It's already a nonsense. But it's almost becoming, parody it itself, but it was a sad, this poor family and hundreds, more like them. It's no solace to them. Me laughing at CNAs. They don't have a school place, but now you've got maybe if you didn't know why, maybe you know why now it's it's amazing. The ocean depended also go for the story this time they didn't pick on a family, but they picked at the children's ombudsman, non Lil. Dude who talked about this as a bit of a crisis as well, but look, we will move on to other ad discrimination and that is the discrimination on religious grounds. I haven't covered religion. For awhile, but it's a, I suppose it's a good news story in some ways this time, because a few weeks ago I talked about the very, very first educate together school that emerged from a Catholic school. So a Catholic school reconfigured, or like vested to educate together for the first time. After 13 years of the pluralism and patronage forum. The first functioning Catholic school. But three more schools multi-denominational schools will be opening open this September. All three of them are former coffee or our Catholic schools who've as, nor. Back to normal, back to normal. They feared they'd been reconfigured to the ETB in a carry, keeps coming up. This is the fifth. Ah, multi-denominational school that has been a hundred from Catholic to add. To the community and our school by the Bishop of Kerry. And it's this is Kerry is an interesting what now? Cork in Limerick, our last interest in cork on number, car cities they need. It's amazing how few places are for multi-denominational schools in these cities. You think in cities, it will be different times. A number of weeks ago, you can look back on some of the statistics I have. But a Limbrick has one of the lowest population of non-religious Placer multi-denominational places in the county. Cork is in the top. In the top six, I think I'm out. I had a lowly three and a half percent of schools are multidimensional. But Carrie. Is this puzzling. Em. Outlier in monster in that. It's not quite the highest, but it's one of the highest number of multi-denominational number of multi-denominational schools. I think Kerry has about 70 odd schools. I now have six of them. RM. Our multi-denominational, which is a tiny figure. Obviously it's still under 10% way under 10%. And people are going there you go. So now Carrie is brilliant. Look at the number of skills they're divesting every year. Th the truth though, is that all of the schools that have been divested to the ETB, almost all Bush. One, I think have had fewer than 50 children in it. So the schools that have been moved over from Catholic to community national school were generally schools. The rider. Closing at risk of closing or about to close. So you're talking about skills that may be, fewer than 20 children, most cases, the only, there's only two schools that move to the. Community national school model that were functioning pretty well. That was when a Nina. I'm wanting an outside Ross common, which is again a small enough school. So I think it's really the only the one in Nina that was at least big enough. And. But all the rest of the 30 odd schools are tiny little schools. So I, it was interesting to me in a way. Because. I did as as some of you might remember, I did a bit of a data analysis. Of the percentage of multi-denominational schools in each county. And we found that Dublin was the only one with more than 10%.

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But somebody very clever said to me, Simon now it's all well and good saying the number of schools that are multidimensional, but how many pupils are there as a percentage in multi-denominational schools? Because the school's only tells some of the story. So if you remember from before. We said there's something a dash. Dublin was the only county where there was more than 10% of schools that were multidimensional, but how many pupils? And I thought that was a very interesting question. So I did the analysis and if you're watching on YouTube, you'll see that. Here I've done it. Per county. And when you glance at the percentages, you'll find the Dublin still is there over 10% and still is the only county where more than 10% of children go to attend to multi-track. 10 multicast multigenerational education and notes that includes educate together. A community nationals goes onto a lot of Google scholar. Now so that's not about 16% of all children in Dublin. Go to multi go to a multi-denominational school now, Dublin. Is a county where I think it's something like is. 59 or something like that. I did there's 59% of people are Catholic. Anyway. Th that doesn't really matter. It's still very low, but then you look at Wicklow caldera Maeve at about eight and 9% cork despite having three and a half or three, just under 4% of schools. 6% of children got to go to a multidimensional school. This is around the same in Westmead of all places. This is a, some surprises. I guess in, in places like, for example, Cardo, there's only one school in Carlo it's my school that's multi-denominational but that accounts for 5% of all children in the county duh. come to my school. We say Westmead who also has, I think just two multi-denominational schools that accounts for 6% of all schools.

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So we can see really that. The different schools it like, it's more let's say accurate picture of, the number of children who've got access to multi-denominational school. It's tiny still. Less than 10% in every county except Dublin. And it's when you go to the, like 13 of the counties. Here are less than 3%. It's pathetic in some cases. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 counties have less than 1% of children. That's temporary that have one multi-denominational school Sligo with one multi-dimensional school, Russ common with one multidimensional. Let's go to need your mafia monument. No multi-denominational schools, but interestingly, Carrie with its massive six. Multi-denominational schools. W within the six schools in their entirety, it's only 192 children. So 1% of children get to go to a multidimensional school. So it's tiny and a bit pathetic. I was actually surprised to see Mayo at only 1.47. Presentive schools because they've three multi-denominational schools. And we're high up for want of a better verb. Don't go alone. Surprisingly, I was lo Kilkenny, a city, a place of the city, 2% awfully with it's one school, 2% Limerick there again. And three are formal digital foundational skills. I don't need 2.6, 7%. Of at the children go to multi-denominational schools. It's it's bad reading, whatever way you look at it. It's really poor. It's really poor when you have 14% of the country of people living in our, in Ireland. I have no religion just as a, as an entity. And if you add other religions but let's just pick 14%. There's only Dublin is about the only place occasionally that data people with no religion. But obviously that doesn't count people to do have a lot. Who do have other religions Catholic, like Catholic Catholics that came to for what is it about? Is it. It is a gun that to 69 at 60 odd percent. But even at that, most of them don't believe in God. Anyway, I, according to the research site there, weddings, I think is like 30% of weddings are now. Our now Catholic, it's it. Doesn't it doesn't paint a good picture. And I suppose it leads me on to the next story, really in a way. It was a story that I was going to go over. Sorry. I'm not comfortable. But I'll tell you about it in a way. Was one from the Irish Catholic. I will converse actually, because I think it's an interesting story. Effectively there. The Irish Catholics think that this means that young people are desperate for the church to offer them faith and meaning despite rejecting their teachings after 14 years. Of them being forced upon them. The Irish Catholic has an article from Owen McCormack, who is blaming the Catholic church for not doing its job properly. In terms of providing faith formation in schools. And he criticized, I. I agree with what, a lot of what she says apart from the headline, which is that the young people are desperate for the church softer than faith and meaning. I think the young people aren't desperate for the church to offer them faith and meaning. I think young people have. Are walking away from organized. Faith, I think. If you talk to a young people these days they seem well. And the studies have shown this and actually the Catholic church's own studies have shown this more than half of them don't believe in a personal God. They may have a spirituality and they seem a lot of people seem to have a spirituality. They seem to believe in something but not particularly a God. And they're certainly rejecting Catholic dogma. And I know this might be bad news for people in the Irish Catholic who I feel are being a little bit belligerent there in terms of what they're saying in their headline. Though they are. Probably correct. And criticizing the faith for me. No, maybe not the faith formation program. But I think they need to be looking at who are they? Who are they? They're forcing non-believers. So the, most of the teachers working in Catholic schools don't really believe in the Catholic faith all that much. And we know that began from that grace report. But we're asking them, we're forcing them to be mission reason. And what kind of missionaries do you think they're going to be if they don't believe in the mission themselves? And, As I go back to my to my. A friend or my Robert who said this. Faith is not a subject. You, if you want someone to pass on the faith to people. They need to have that Dave. It's not like maths. Or you just learn a bunch of stuff. You know, it's more than, It's more than that. It's believing in something you can prove. And it's very difficult to do that. With people who just don't buy in it to themselves. And I think if I were the Irish Catholic. One thing I would love to do is I would love to talk to people. It who are providing Catholic education? And I keep trying to meet people in this regard. And I'm actually not anti-Catholic at all. In fact, I would say I'm more pro Catholic than most conflicts, because I believe if you have a true faith, if you believe in. God, if you believe in something. That's a wonderful thing. I, I used to be jealous. Ah, I've that? I know my mom, for example, she died very young. She was only 53. And she had a real faith that she was going to go to heaven. And in a way I'm jealous of that fact that I don't have, I don't share that. I'm comfortable with the fact that I don't believe in an afterlife. As I get older I'm becoming more and more comfortable with it. But there is that jealousy, slight jealousy that I have, that she really believed she was going to go to heaven or hell. But I think she, I think having. When she died and isn't that very peaceful that she believed she was going to be able to look down. On us and continue her life. In a different way. And I don't have the Asha. Not that many people that had a religion, don't talk that. And it's, it can be a very scary thing. For people and I think, I'm not saying that's the only reason for religion though. I do believe most of the success is religion. It lies in what happens when you die. But, I think. Religion can bring so much good to. To, to people who really believe the messages. I need to have those messages who may need that for their ethical way of life to give them direction. I don't think people necessarily do in my view, Busch, those who do need it. I feel that should be respected and I do respect it. Especially when they don't try and push it on me Hab, I think. I do think there've been let down by their leaders. I really do people who have a strong faith. I've been let down, particularly in Catholicism by their churches and have been let down for a long time, so much. Dosh, I think unfortunately the Catholic church has focused so much on power property. They have lashed there. Their congregations. They've devastated effectively. Lost their flock. To, to use their own words. It's it's very sad. I actually don't think they're in a position to make bullish articles. Like this one But yet they persist in thinking they deserve to, or that, yes, the people are wrong. Not them. They really need to take a good, long, hard look at themselves. Anyway, I move on to lighter and lighter story, which is the visit to Singapore. From John Boyle, the general secretary of the I N T O. And he visited Singapore to find out why it's the top education system in the world. According to Piza, it doesn't necessarily mean to do the top education system in the world, by the way. But PS, I believe they are. The a top education system, but don't because they have low people, teacher ratios, they're well-equipped classrooms and dedicated teachers to contribute to positive learning atmospheres in modern school buildings. And I think that is. He's he went, so let's find out what he learned when he went there. So basically John Boyle. Wrote the article. He went as part of a conference to look at us. And Singapore has, because it's been independent for a very short. A matter of time, much shorter than Ireland. 1965 and it's become a, it basically had air was an impoverish island, impoverished island with no natural resources and a mostly illiterate population to a country on a 6 million people. Which is very similar to Arlen's population right now. And they decided that they would put a lot of importance on an education workforce to fulfilling ambitious economic goals. And it's paid off on their education system is now ranked as top of the international rankings in Piza. He went over to visit. And she said there was no surprise to him to witness excellence in their primary schools. And so at the summit that he was asked. Essentially, I'm going to read this paragraph. He each day of the summit began with an organized school visit to provide context for discussions in the afternoon. I was really impressed with the amazing infrastructure at all three schools well-designed classrooms, albeit smaller than where Irish people's typically are. And it's interesting and abundance of flexible learning spaces, which we don't have in Ireland. A suite of specialist rooms for music are on mother tongue language, earning, which we don't have many ribs to support children with additional needs. We don't, we have a few, but not enough, including those who need to behavioral support, which we don't have an Arnett school canteens, which we don't have all the weather outdoor spaces, which we don't have well-developed school gardens, which only some of us have. And. Energy efficient buildings, which only some of us had. So in that paragraph. Alone. You can see. How the Singapore. I've sat that physical layer. I've said this before. And when we were looking at Astonia, we were looking at Finland's what jumped out at me when I went to a Finland was the physical space and how that. To me. What's the difference between Ireland and Finland. We have so many things in common. I actually think we have better teaching methodologies in Ireland than they do in Finland, but the use of space, the physical layout of buildings, the outdoor spaces that they use. Andy wraparound infrastructures. They are the things that make the difference. It's not actually academics, it's wraparound services and the physical space that they have. That really did for me. Eh, I don't know about Singapore. They have a wide range of subjects. Like we do a broad based education where we do a crucial aspect of Singapore's. Was, it was the quality of its educators. I think we have a very high quality of education. I I D I they're saying that, they calculate the number teachers they need, and they open that number of place on teacher training programs. We don't do that. And I actually think, we have a teacher shortage. Do I always feel that when people go over to a country, they get a sort of a best case scenario of it. I think, there's a shortage of teachers is an international issue. But anyway student teachers are actually paid over in Singapore, which I see there and there's some stuff, bad leadership an online student learning space and is available. We have that, but it's not funded by the government. Parents at places, a strong emphasis on education and are active in the journey. I think Irish parents are still pretty good in that regard and they say they provide a wavering support. I don't necessarily buy into that. I think they parents or parents. A strong work ethic, similar to maybe art and DeVos, a little dish. I don't know if that's the same now, but again, culturally, these are cultural things. I'm not sure how much of this I would Lay a huge amount of emphasis on they're looking at the way they add critical thinking. Problem solving, I think is fair enough. And 80% of all students with special needs attend to mainstream schools, similar to Ireland. I think, I don't know what that means. But there are learning support specialists. We don't have specialists. I don't know if Singaporeans have specialists, but I, I can't, I don't know. I don't know. And I'm not going to deny that they have them, but there is, oh, here's the answer. They do have specialized training in special education. That's provided, which is clearly needed. For students that need more intensive or specialized assistance, there are government funded, special education schools, similar to ourselves over here, despite their success had to go through the criticisms are high stress levels among students and over emphasis on exams. Yeah. And I think that's why they do so well and pieces where we, pieces are based on literacy and numeracy exams. So the lack of creativity, critical thinking, despite the opposite being sad. So I don't know, it's a it's quite interesting to look at a very different education system, a non-European education system. And, it was really, I have to say it was really interesting. To hear John Boyle's experience of going to Singapore and the education system, to be honest after, reading it. And I'm going through this. I don't think we're, we have a lot of good things in place in our, and I say this all the time. I know I give out about the Irish education system, but I do always recognize. That there's a lot of good. I. And I'm going to say good. It's good. We have a lot of trust in our teachers still. Ah, we have good teachers. Our teachers are well are reasonably well-qualified. I think I could while that's gone down a little bit in the last 15 years or so but the privatization of our education system teacher training I do think. Still overall, we have a very good. Very good teachers. And I actually don't think it's funny. I think teacher training is an interesting thing. Because I. I think it's to do with the people that go into teaching rather than the teacher training.

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I still, I do believe that there is a vocational sort of sense still in Ireland for teaching that you don't go into it. Merely as just a job, you do have to really care about the job to succeed. And it's a very difficult job. If you don't love. Have that vocational aspect too, as you don't love teaching, if you don't really love children and helping them learn and done. It's still a very caring, professional. It, relationships are always a big part of I think of an Irish primary school at teachers taking that people might listen to this cringing and saying, you're talking non-synthetic, but I do think we still have that. And although we are paid professional and we are work professionally, I think where the big problem is in Ireland. Actually lies in structures. We have an absolutely over complicated. As I call them. I used to on the podcast, used to refer to the Christmas decorations, the. Eh, the Arctic just completely, not the bits. And we just haven't. Every time you try and unravel a, not a new knot comes along and then you add. At some point you just give up and you just throw it. Throw them up in the Arctic and hope, hope it all works out. We have, so we've way too many way too much bureaucracy way too many agencies, way too many quangos way too many interferences from external. People who don't talk to each other and don't carry data on each other and so on. And so on, we also lack. We have far too many schools, I would argue in Ireland. I think we we don't plan. For that. I think the fact that we have free choice to go to any school we want to is problematic. And I think that there's issues there because we can't plan. We essentially. Essentially overcomplicate things. I know school gets enough resources as a result that so we're under resourced. We're underfunded schools. Don't have wraparound services for children not getting the service that they need. And we also don't have enough physical space or good physical spaces in our schools, so it's all those things. It's a weird, it's a balance that we have really. We have a really high standard of teacher. We who work really well, vocationally in some ways to get the best out of a bad situation. And somehow right now it's succeeds. We are up there as one of supposedly the best education systems in the world. And yes, What it could be like. If with a little bit of extra money, we score the lowest in the amount of money that's spent on education in the OACD. And yet we still come out very well. And I think a lot of countries I remember covering. Scotland's ask, there is a Scotland we're looking at how is the Irish education so successful. Despite everything they add. The conclusions are absolutely. Nonsensical in many ways. I don't know. I don't I it's it's I always think we're lucky. We're just lucky we have good people and I think that's why we do so well, but very interesting to see John Bo's analysis of Singapore. And probably a nice way to end this episode. I cover lots of other stories in my newsletter. Just to run through a couple of them there, so you can see them at the cooktop. At the primary schools, books was actually covered. I thought it never, I thought it wouldn't be a there's the daily mile initiative, which I find to interesting you. Again, external agencies coming into schools to do to do things. This is as something about sex as sex education in the UK, and because of the changes there, and I was, I'd be interested in seeing people, what people think of that. An afterschool club in Dublin. Big 200 people protesting because it had to close because the school building. Is full and therefore there's no room for the afterschool club. I'd be interested in what people think of Mart. Smartphones are back. I haven't referred them in a couple of weeks, but they're back in the news, my own school and made the news. We won the nature hero award. Hurray. Better personally, is there, We look at what are we looking at? Hot school, white free school meals happened from an American point of view, which is interesting. And we look at class reunions just for a bit of fun. As well at the end, do they petrify you to cast reunion? I went on mine. A few years ago, we only ever had one. And I don't know what that says. And I enjoyed it. I have to say, I, I. I can't say I was very popular in school. I was never like treated terribly or anything like that. But I definitely wasn't cool. You be completely on surprised to hear. But I, as an adult, it was really interesting meeting my classmates at 20, 20 odd years later. And what kind of became of them and what they do and what they are. I didn't, I suppose I wouldn't say it was terrifying. I didn't find it terrifying. I definitely was anxious before I went in. Would that. All those teenage insecurities came back. And so on, but look. If you've enjoyed this podcast and I hope he did please do consider subscribing to it on your favorite podcasting episode, as well as subscribe and get whatever it is on YouTube. If you're on YouTube and if you've any thoughts or, Or please. Got to get onto me. I'm very active on ax or Twitter, Simon and Louis. Or you can subscribe to the newsletter. So this podcast and lots of other content come to you directly to your inbox every two weeks. I do not spam you. I promise you, but just go to onshore dot Nash slash. Subscribe, that's it for me for this time, this week. Thanks so much for watching or listening. And I'll catch you again in a couple of weeks time. All the very best bye-bye.

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