The first Action Plan for Education was launched by Minister Bruton in 2016. It aims at making the Irish education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.
Ireland already has a top 5 position in Europe in several important spheres (for example, post-primary literacy, third level participation, take up of STEM at third level) and a top 10 position in others (educational attainment, innovation, low dropout from school).
Being the lead in Europe means an ambition to be the best at:
- Harnessing Education to break down barriers for groups at risk of exclusion
- Delivering a learning experience to highest international standards
- Equipping learners of all ages and capacities to participate and succeed in a changing world
- Allowing Ireland to be a leader across a broad range of fields, scientific, cultural, enterprise and public service
Excellent and innovative education and training are the pivot around which personal fulfilment, a fair society and a successful nation should revolve. It is central to sustaining economic success and in converting economic success into building a strong community.
The Action Plan five goals:
- Improve the learning experience and the success of learners
- Improve the progress of learners at risk of educational disadvantage or learners with special educational needs
- Help those delivering education services to continually improve
- Build stronger bridges between education and the wider community
- Improve national planning and support services
The Action Plan will be implemented across 2016-2019, with timelines and lead responsibility assigned. At the start of 2017, and in each subsequent year, we will publish an updated annual Action Plan for Education which will contain further actions to be implemented in that year. Publication of quarterly implementation reports and continuous consultation with stakeholders and members of the Oireachtas will remain central to the process.