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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT EDUCATION Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD Winter 2012 EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!
EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE REPORT
Dear Resident Labour Party have a Since entering government the s in the education been working on a series of reform sector. ble thanks to the These changes are only possi dedication of our continuing commitment and greater respect than teachers, who deserve much society. I know this they are often afforded by and principal for 11 because I worked as a teacher years in the North Inner City. t I am also delivering As you can see from this leafle ally which may be of many educational initiatives loc nity. interest to you and your commu these issues further, If you wish to discuss any of t me as your new please do not hesitate to contac Dáil representative.
WHITEHALL INCLUDED AS PILOT AREA FOR DIVERSITY IN EDUCATION SURVEY
Last July I hosted a one-day seminar in Drumcondra attended by representatives 30% of children in disadvantaged areas have from Barnardos, Young Ballymun, NALA and basic literacy difficulties and the huge Northside Partnership. vocabulary gap between children of different I am continuing to visit schools and youth socio-economic backgrounds is evident from groups across the city to listen first-hand to the age of three. those who are most affected by educational Early intervention is the only way to help disadvantage. communities and families combat this issue. If you have an interest in this issue, please feel As Vice-Chair of the Education and Social free to contact me to help inform the report Protection Committee I am compiling a that I am compiling.
WORKING WITH NALA TO SECURE ADULT LEARNER REPRESENTATION ON EDUCATIONAL TRAINING BOARDS The Education and Training Boards Bill is an exciting reform of the Further Education Sector and one that I am delighted to see passing through the Houses of Oireachtas. I am introducing an amendment at Committee Stage to have an Adult Learner included as a Board Members of the Education Training Boards.
PROTECTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AT SCHOOL
I am also supporting the new Educate Together North Central movement who are trying to get recognition for a new Educate Together School in our area. You can contact the group at www.educatetogethernc.com
l At present, the state can only intervene to address school attendance problems when a child is over the age of 6. If a child aged 4 or 5 is failing to attend school on a regular basis, the authorities have no powers to address the problem. l On Thursday 17th May 2012, I introduced my Education Welfare Amendment Bill to Dáil Éireann. l With this Bill, I am seeking to change the law to include 4 and 5 year old children as well – so the root cause of educational disadvantage is tackled at a much earlier stage. l The Bill is supported by many children’s rights groups, including Barnardos.
Constituency Office: 203 Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, Dublin 3 t: 01 857 4020
e: email@example.com @AodhanORiordain
I was delighted that my constituency is one of the first in the country to get the opportunity to take part in this process. The vision for education is that parents get a choice regarding the ethos of the school that their children attend. The survey concluded on November 9th and further developments will be made known to all stakeholders in due course.
Dáil Éireann: Leinster House, Dublin 2 t: 01 618 3209
report dedicated to identifying strategies to combat educational disadvantage at the earliest stage of a child's development.
The inclusion of an adult learner was a recommendation from NALA (The National Adult Literacy Agency) and is an important recognition of the respect that those who are overcoming literacy difficulties deserve.
On October 22nd, Whitehall including Kilmore and Beaumont was chosen as a pilot area to be surveyed as part of the diversity of educational options for parents iniative run by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn.
My experience as a teacher and principal in a disadvantaged primary school in the North Inner City has made me determined to do what I can to eliminate the underlying causes of educational disadvantage:
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JUNIOR CERT REFORM & STAFF DISCUSSIONS
ACCESS TO TEACHING PROJECT WITH MARINO
Junior Cert reform was announced in September of this year with a school-based model of continuous assessment replacing the old 100% end of year exam structure.
I am currently working closely with The Marino Institute of Education to devise a proactive plan to encourage more students from disadvantaged students into primary school teaching as a profession.
The new programme will see 40% of examination marks being based on coursework and 60% being based on a final written assessment. Examination papers will be set by the State Examination Commission (SEC) but will be administered and corrected by teachers.
I am convinced that there are hundreds of excellent potential teachers in our more disadvantaged of areas whose schools need extra support to help them over the line. More information on this project will be made available to individual schools in the coming months when the scheme is formally launched.
However, English, Irish and Maths examination papers will be corrected by the SEC for the first couple of years
LITERACY IS THE GREAT LIBERATOR
The reform package has sparked debate across many secondary schools and I have spent the last number of months speaking to principals, staff and students across North Dublin, taking feedback and responding to their queries.
BACK TO SCHOOL COSTS REPORT SUBMISSIONS In October I began a consultation process through the Education Committee relating to Back to School Costs for parents. Having invited the Management Bodies of primary and secondary schools to address the committee, I am more convinced than ever that more can be achieved at a local and national level to curb the costs of sending children to school. I am interested to hear your views on the matter.
l For Ireland to be truly
democratic, I believe that each citizen needs to be given the skills of reading and writing in order to have the chance to fully participate in society. l Literacy is fundamentally a
matter of equality and empowerment. As a Deputy Lord mayor of Dublin in 2006 I launched the “Right to Read” campaign which succeeded in achieving increased investment in the City’s library service and in creating new ‘learning zones’ for school children.
Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and place 'Back to School Costs' in the subject line.
l A recent OECD report revealed that in this country, one in four adults of working
Your submission can deal with any of the following issues: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
age have problems with even the simplest of literacy tasks.
School books & materials Book Rental Schemes School Uniforms Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Voluntary Contributions Communions / Confirmations / Graduations Extra expenditure e.g. Christmas presents for teachers
l The National Literacy Strategy launched last July is a strong statement of priority
from Labour in government as to what we want to achieve for our young people. l I am continuing to work closely with Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn to embed
this strategy throughout all government agencies to create a national movement on literacy that is the responsibility of all to implement.
ANTI-BULLYING STRATEGY / YELLOW FLAG PROJECT
AUTISM BILL I was happy to support my colleague, Micheal McCarthy in the Dáil last month with his private members bill to provide for a national adult autism strategy. The aim of the bill is to ensure that the needs of adults with autism can be met by service providers in terms of access to health services, education, employment and social inclusion. It also addresses issues such as a lack of awareness about autism among the public and the absence of available data on the condition in Ireland, which could make for more efficient future planning. People in Ireland with autism deserve to live rewarding and fulfilling lives and this Bill is a huge step forward in ensuring a brighter future for those affected by this serious and lifelong condition.
Ruairi Quinn's Anti-Bullying Forum continues to meet and to assess strategies designed to effectively tackle bullying in Irish schools and will report before Christmas. The forum is discussing identity-based bullying such as racist or homophobic bullying, but is also focusing on other areas. I was delighted last month to attend and to speak at the award ceremony of the Yellow Flag Project, an initiative of the Irish Traveller Movement aimed at encouraging cultural awareness and tolerance in secondary schools. I am encouraging Minister Ruairí Quinn's Anti-Bullying Forum to actively engage with the project as it has potential to have very positive effects right throughout the education system. Bullying, and most particularly cyber-bullying, is of huge concern to parents. Excellent information is available from www.spunout.ie in relation to this important issue.
CONVENTION IN YOUR CLASSROOM
In September, I launched the Convention in Your Classroom initiative that I am running over the next several months. I will be travelling to schools in my constituency and meeting with Transition Year Students, and other year groups, to hear their views on the upcoming convention.
I was delighted earlier this year to address the IMPACT conference for Special Needs Assistants in Cavan. It was a valuable experience where I engaged with some of those working on the frontline in our education sector. I know as a former teacher and principal the valuable work done each day by SNAs across the country and the delegates were keen to impress on me what they really want from school authorities and the Dept. of Education is respect.
Unfortunately there will be no one under 18 as part of the convention despite the fact that any proposed changes will affect generations into the future. I believe it is important to engage with young people about this issue so that we create a culture of political awareness in our schools.
Since then I have continuously engaged with SNA representatives and I am determined to aid them in their development of a sustainable career path in the education system.
It is my hope that a representative sample of the students I meet will be invited into the Dáil in the new year to finalise a set or proposals. Over the coming months I will be reporting my interactions, with these pupils and I have asked people to like the page I have setup on Facebook for this project and to tweet their views to me using the hash tag #classconv.
YOUR LOCAL LABOUR TEAM
Dáil Éireann: Leinster House, Dublin 2 t: 01 618 3209 Constituency Office: 203 Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, Dublin 3 t: 01 857 4020 e: email@example.com @AodhanORiordain
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Cllr Brian McDowell
Cllr Andrew Montague
Cllr Paddy Bourke
Seán Kenny TD
Cllr Jane Horgan Jones
01 618 3744 firstname.lastname@example.org
087 222 1628 087 908 0409 087 286 2558 086 837 5219 087 283 7160 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Cllr Peter Coyle
Cllr. Cian O’Callaghan 086 286 6631 firstname.lastname@example.org