New minister wants to hear how you think education should be improved

Funding expected to be linked to afterschool care in new plan

New minister wants to hear how you think education should be improved

Photocall file photo

Disadvantage, diversity and early years services are among the key issues under consideration in a new education strategy being drawn up by Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

Stakeholders have been invited to contribute to the three-year action plan, which is due for completion within the first 100 days of government.

The online consultation questionnaire asks respondents to evaluate how education services currently meet the needs of children and students, and how success in achieving strategies should be measured.

Participants are asked to assess and suggest improvements in eight areas, including special needs education, promoting creativity and meeting future skills needs.

Mr Bruton said the strategy “aims to advance the transformation of the education system” by supporting measures outlined in the new programme for government.

"In no area of the government’s work do we have more capacity to improve our society and make people’s lives better – most importantly, for the children, students and life-long learners who depend on our services," he wrote in a call for consultation.

"I look forward to working with you to help achieve that."

Afterschool care

The Fine Gael-led administration has already committed increasing the number of non-denominational and multi-denominational schools, with a view to reaching 400 by 2030.

Additional capitation funding has also been linked to the availability of afterschool care options, including homework clubs and other community activities.

The mandatory schooling age will be increased to 17 alongside plans to introduce a second free pre-school year.

As part of the new programme, the government is also set to examine the adequacy of current special education access and funding provision, in particular for children with Down syndrome.

The consultation paper is available to download here and the closing date for submissions is June 8th.