Initial Thoughts about NCSE’s Total Inclusion Solution

The NCSE Annual Research Conference took place today which basically asked the question, is a fully inclusive school system right for Ireland? Teresa Griffin said before the conference: “We want Irish children with additional complex needs to have the best education outcomes from our schools. Children with additional needs can attend mainstream schools or special … Read more

Categories SEN

016. Allow Teachers to use Social Media as They See Fit

Back in 2012, the Teaching Council released a final draft for consultation regarding out Professional Standards. At that time, I was extremely worried about a particular section: 3.3.7. which states that teachers should ensure that any communication with pupils/ students, colleagues, parents, school management and others is appropriate, including communication via electronic media, such as … Read more

011. Reboot the School Completion Programme

Recently, DEIS schools around Ireland woke up to a new dawn. The School Completion Programme, which aims to target children at risk of early school leaving, has been renamed thanks to a big rebrand from Tusla, who are now in charge of the programme. School Completion Programme will now be known as the Form Completion … Read more

008. Ban spelling and tables tests

Hangovers are never a positive experience and some are harder to shake than others, especially when it comes to education. We have so many bad (pedagogically speaking) ideas that seem to persist in the system. The crowning glory, of course, is the Leaving Cert, which is a terrible way to judge someone’s educational attainment, yet … Read more

046. Ban Rote Learning of Tables

I think that learning tables off by heart is rubbish. When I say this, it is usually met with general disagreement and in some cases, complete contempt. Typical responses included: There is no other/better way to teach tables Learning tables off by heart did me no harm Call me old fashioned but… So  I tried … Read more

060. Set the same insurance rates for all schools

Many people wouldn’t realise that there is only one insurance company in Ireland that covers schools. It’s called Allianz. They used to be known as Church and General. This might explain why. However, in the post church-run world of school insurance, you might be surprised to learn that schools do not all pay the same … Read more

072. School transport to be completely free

Currently, for some odd reason, families have to pay for a bus to bring them to their nearest school. The service should immediately become free to all families. I can’t think of a single reason why families are financially punished for living far away from their most local school.  I’d also extend this to families … Read more

027. No tolerance for violence

Think back to your own primary school experience and ask yourself: do you ever remember your teacher being hit by a pupil? The likely answer is that it absolutely never happened. Now ask yourself if one of your colleagues was struck by a child in the last few years.  Violence (physical and verbal) towards adults … Read more

074. State Money Should Not Be Given To Private Religious Bodies

How does one start an article on such an emotive topic? The best advice is usually to stick to the facts, but as with anything relating to religion, facts are not necessarily the most important thing. However, whatever way one wants to colour it, the Catholic Church stood by idly while hundreds of their clergy … Read more

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