The purpose of the Language Assistants Scheme is to strengthen Irish as a community and family language in the Gaeltacht in accordance with the central objectives of the language planning process and the Policy for Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 (DES).
The scheme provides additional language acquisition and enrichment opportunities for attendees of Gaeltacht schools. Responsibility for administering the scheme on behalf of the department lies with the two organisations Muintearas Teo and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne Teo.
Schools participating in the Gaeltacht School recognition scheme are available here:
Bunscoileanna atá páirteach sa Scéim Aitheantais Scoileanna Gaeltachta (Meitheamh 2018)
As a result of extra investment made by the Department in the scheme (Press Release) as recommended in the report in a review of the Language Assistants’ Scheme which was published in October 2020, all schools participating in an Pholasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta 2017-2022 can avail of an Language Assistant as well as getting extra hours sanctioned for the School.
This results in €1.2m being spent annually on the scheme where 113 Language Assistants are employed in 135 Gaeltacht Schools (113 Primary Schools, 21 Secondary Schools and 1 Special Needs School) facilitating 8,500 schoolchildren in total.
Circular 0010/2020: Primary Schools / Special School Involved in Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme: Ongoing Implementation of the Scheme (2020/21)
Circular 0011/2020: Post-primary Schools participating in the Gaeltacht Schools Recognition Scheme: Continued implementation of the Scheme (2020/21)
Circular 0012/2020: Invitation to primary schools in Gaeltacht language planning areas to participate in the Gaeltacht Schools Recognition Scheme in 2020.
An Irish and English version of the Circulars are available on the department's website at the links below: