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

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

045. Diversify the profession

Primary school teaching is most likely one of the least diverse professions in the country. A study in NUIG found that 99% of teachers identified as white and Irish and 90% of teachers identified as Catholic.  Looking at the following 1969 video of the UK’s first black headteacher, it seems shameful that 50 years later, … Read more

039. Scrap Homework

Being honest, this idea isn’t really as controversial as it used to be. I remember about a decade ago, the then CEO of the IPPN, Seán Cottrell, suggested that primary schools should do this and there was absolute uproar. I imagine if Pauric Clerkin said it today, he’d be met with a lot of support. … Read more

025. Free School Lunches for All Pupils

There is a School Meals Programme for a number of years, which provides schools (generally DEIS schools) with a €1.40 per pupil grant, which the school can use to provide each pupil with a sandwich, piece of fruit and a drink. The school receives a maximum of 90% of the money they apply for (seriously, … Read more

012. Scrap single sex schools

Similarly to idea 9, having single sex primary schools seems to me to be out of date and out of sync with 21st century (even late 20th century!) values. All single sex schools should either amalgamate or turn themselves into 2 separate mixed primary schools (maybe make one of the two schools a non/multidenominational model … Read more

131. Start calling teachers by their first names

Educate Together schools and many Gaelscoileanna have a policy where teachers are known by their first name to the pupils. It makes sense. What other profession do we use Mr and Mrs and Ms anymore? I don’t think there are any people in my life. I call my doctor by her first name; I call … Read more

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