The Department of Education has opened a public consultation process, seeking the views of interested stakeholders, to inform the development of a new policy for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht.
Members of the public and interested stakeholders, including young people, parents/guardians, teachers/early years educators, school leaders, members of school boards of management, school management bodies, education stakeholders and Irish-language stakeholders are invited to have their say on this important topic.
The insights and information on key issues gathered during this process will serve as a valuable resource to inform policy-development.
The department encourages representative bodies or umbrella bodies to share information relating to this consultation with their members to help gather as many views as possible.
Consultation – Phase 1
Online consultation: online questionnaires and written submissions – closing date 16 January 2023
The new policy for Irish-medium education outside of Gaeltacht areas will identify actions to achieve the following key objectives:
the provision of a framework for the delivery of high-quality Irish-medium education in Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí and in Irish-medium early learning and care settings (for example, naíonraí) outside of the Gaeltacht
increasing the proportion of children and young people attending Irish-medium schools, including by building on the foundations laid in Irish-medium early learning and care settings (for example, naíonraí)
exploring how opportunities for the establishment of Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí can be increased as part of the patronage process
developing a clear policy on the establishment and sustainability of Aonaid/Sruthanna (Irish-medium units/streams) in existing English-medium post-primary schools to strengthen Irish-medium education provision
examining how the supply of teachers and other staff with a high standard of Irish can be increased to meet demand in Irish-medium education settings
looking at ways to deepen community engagement around Irish-medium schools and early learning and care settings
Report on school provision for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht
A report on provision for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht has been published as an important reference point to inform the consultation and the policy development process. Stakeholders are welcomed to explore this document before taking part in the consultation process.
An Overview of Provision for Irish-Medium Education outside of Gaeltacht Areas: Current Provision and Future Projections
Composite reports on inspections in Irish-medium schools outside of the Gaeltacht
Two composite reports were published by the Department of Education in spring 2021 based on inspection findings on the quality of educational provision in Irish-medium primary and post-primary schools outside of the Gaeltacht. These reports covered the period 2017 to 2020. These reports provide a helpful insight into practice in Irish-medium schools, which may be of interest to those participating in the public consultation process.
Composite Report: Irish-medium primary schools outside of the Gaeltacht
Preliminary Report to Inform the Development of a Policy for the Irish-medium Sector Outside of the Gaeltacht
A review of national and international literature on Irish-medium and minority language education is currently underway and will inform the development of the policy. The results of this review will be published in due course.
Outline of consultation process
The consultation process consists of three interrelated phases which are outlined below.
Phase 1: Online consultation – questionnaires and written submissions
An online questionnaire is available to complete until 16 January 2023