A new support package has been announced today for five of Ireland’s post-primary schools located on islands in the Gaeltacht.
Secondary schools on Árainn Mhór, Toraigh and three in Co. Galway are to benefit from an additional €15,000 per post-primary school and extra teaching resources as part of the government Policy on Gaeltacht Education.
Making the announcement today, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. said:“I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. I am acutely aware of the challenging environment in which island post-primary schools operate, which is why, as part of our Policy on Gaeltacht Education, we are supporting these schools with additional resources to meet their unique circumstances.”
All island post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht have opted into the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme, meaning they are striving to operate as Irish-medium schools.
Under this Scheme these schools already receive a number of additional supports such as, additional funding for Irish-language teaching materials, extra training for their teachers and additional language-support hours.
Today’s ring-fenced package of supports for island post-primary schools is in addition to these resources.
The package of additional supports includes:
• Increased teacher allocation for each of the island post-primary schools from its present allocation of 1whole-time equivalent post to 1.5 whole-time equivalent posts from September 2018
• An additional ring-fenced budget of €15,000 per annum for each post-primary island school to cover their additional operational costs
• The establishment of Coláiste Naomh Eoin, previously designated as a Language Unit (Aonad), as an independent stand-alone school on Inis Meáin, Co Galway.
Donegal Minister Joe McHugh, Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said: “These additional €15,000 grants and extra teaching resources for Gaeltacht island post-primary schools will go a long way in supporting this Government’s ambitions to sustain and grow the Irish language among the next generation.
The islands are valuable communities and this money demonstrates a clear vision for their Irish language medium schools to be properly resourced and to expand and improve the teaching of key subjects such as the sciences.”
“I know this will make a huge difference to communities on the islands off Donegal and Galway and will be a welcome boost to the teachers, equipping children and teenagers with the skills they need for the future.”
There are five post-primary schools located on islands in the Gaeltacht in Counties Galway and Donegal. All five schools are under the patronage of Galway/Roscommon ETB and Donegal ETB.