NEWS

Donegal ETB welcomes report on island schools

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills has made seven recommendations

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Donegal ETB Schools will not be affected by ASTI strike action

 The Donegal Education Training Board has welcomed the publication of the report and recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills ( JOCES ), on offshore island schools.

The report makes seven recommendations, covering a range of issues, including the reinstatement of the island allowance for teachers in island schools as an incentive for accessing and retaining teaching staff; an annual increase of €20,000 per post-primary island school; and that the formula for teacher allocation be amended and increased to reflect the needs of offshore island schools.

The report also recommends that the minister investigates the possibility of extending the scholarship scheme and removing the exclusion of Gaeltacht pupils from the eligibility criteria; that DEIS staff supports are extended to Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Arranmore Island; that a specific policy to address the needs of island schools is drafted and implemented; and that a system of ‘island proofing’ be implemented for legislation, policies and initiatives produced by the DES in the future.

Donegal ETB said today it would welcome a deputation from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and Islands and from the JOCES to its two island schools Colaíste Phobail Cholmcille, Tory Island and Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Arranmore Island.

Donegal ETB’s Chief Executive Anne McHugh thanked the Joint Committee on Education and Skills for inviting it to attend its hearing on 19 December 2017 and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh for preparing the material in this report which ultimately enabled its publication today.

Donegal ETB said it "trusts that the Minister for Education and Skills will act on the recommendations of this excellent report and, by so doing, reverse the inequalities in the current system, for the future of all our island schools and their island communities".