11 September, 2018 - Minister Bruton launches Guide on Immersion Education for schools participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D. today (11 September 2018) launched the Guide on Immersion Education: Indicators of Good Practice to assist Gaeltacht schools in implementing their action plans, in reviewing them regularly, and in extending their various actions to provide high quality education through the medium of Irish.

The aim of the Guide is to provide practical support for primary and post-primary schools on indicators of good practice in immersion education. The Guide will help schools to:

  • reflect on teaching and learning practices through the medium of Irish
  • guide professional dialogue in regard to learning and teaching, and management and leadership
  • identify the strengths pertaining to school practice
  • set out priorities and targets to meet language-based criteria.

These Draft-Guide and Indicators of Good Practice arise from the Gaeltacht Education Policy published by the Department of Education and Skills in 2016 and from the research project conducted with teachers in various contexts on behalf of Gaeloideachas: I dTreo Barr Feabhais: Dea-Chleachtais san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta i 2017.

Minister Bruton referred to the hard work undertaken already being undertaken by schools participating in the Gaeltacht Schools’ Recognition Scheme. He strongly commended the cooperation between schools and their surrounding communities in creating and implementing action plans based on language criteria. He emphasised the importance of using Irish as the main language of Gaeltacht homes and communities.

The publication of this Guide marks another step forward on the journey towards achieving the overall objective of the Gaeltacht Education Policy 2017 – 2022 in ensuring that young people living in Gaeltacht areas receive a high quality educational experience through the medium of Irish.

The Minister wishes to thank many people who have contributed greatly to the publication of this guide, in particular An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) that commissioned the work, Dr. T.J. Ó Ceallaigh, Mary Immaculate College and Aoife Ní Shéaghdha, Gaeloideachas, and other representatives of the Gaeltacht Education Policy Advisory Committees as well as members of the Gaeltacht Education Unit, who did excellent work to bring this Guide to completion.

The Draft-Guide will be available for schools on the website of the Gaeltacht Education Unit from today onwards and hard copies are being issued to schools.

Indicators of Good Practice in Immersion Education: Draft-Guide for Gaeltacht Primary Schools

Indicators of Good Practice in Immersion Education: Draft-Guide for Gaeltacht Post-Primary Schools

 Editorial Notes:  

  • The Guide is being issued in draft form so that it can be used in schools and that there will be an opportunity to improve it when schools provide feedback on their experience of implementing their action plans for immersion education.Feedback on the draft-Guide will be welcomed.
  • Of the 134 primary schools and 29 post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht, 106 primary schools(79%) and 28 post-primary schools (97%) are participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme.
  • The other schools in the Gaeltacht (28 primary schools and one post-primary school) will have another opportunity to participate in the Scheme in 2019.
  • Additional information on the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme for the school year 2018/19 is available in Circulars 0021/2018 and 0022/2018 and on the Department of Education and Skill’s website at https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Policy-on-Gaeltacht-Education-2017-2022/