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Revealed: The 18 Northern Ireland schools which will share £173m cash pot

June 29, 2012

Eighteen schools will receive new facilities as part of a £173 million investment, Education Minister John O’Dowd has said.

The money includes payments for five special schools. A total of 17 of the schools will be rebuilt.

Foyle College in Derry and Victoria Park primary school in Belfast are among those granted funding, Mr O’Dowd added.

He said: “This will be good news for the pupils and communities directly affected. A world-class educational environment will help us deliver the improvements in educational outcomes we are working so hard to achieve.”

It is the first money made available for major projects since August 2010 when capital spending was frozen. Some schools have been waiting years for urgent rebuilding or refurbishment.

Plans were cancelled while administrators decided where new schools were needed.

Almost two years ago, then education minister Caitriona Ruane released £23 million for 13 schools.

All those projects have been built or are nearing completion.

Mr O’Dowd said there was a clear need for considerable investment in infrastructure.

He added: “The need for investment far exceeds the funding available. While I would like to be in a position to fund everything that needs doing now, I must work within the budget available. This means difficult decisions on future investment plans.”

He said the schools were identified as the highest priority projects following a rigorous selection process.

“No-one visiting our special schools could remain unmoved by the needs of the children attending these facilities. I would dearly like to be able to advance every deserving case immediately,” he added.

“However, within the limits of the funding available to me, I am determined that we make progress with a number of cases at this time.”

In addition to plans for St Gerard’s Resource Centre in west Belfast to occupy a former school and Arvalee Special School to be part of the redevelopment of the former Lisanelly army camp in Omagh, the list of projects to proceed is:

  • Colaiste Feirste, Belfast – £11.9 million
  • St Clare’s Convent & St Colman’s Abbey Primary School, Newry – £6 million
  • St Joseph’s Convent Primary School, Newry – £5.8 million
  • Dromore Central Primary School – £11.4 million
  • Eglinton Primary School – £2.5 million
  • Tannaghmore Primary School, Lurgan – £6 million
  • Ebrington Controlled Primary School, Derry – £4.5 million
  • Foyle College, Derry – £19.6 million
  • St Teresa’s Primary School, Lurgan – £3 million
  • Victoria Park Primary School, Belfast – £4.9 million
  • Enniskillen Model Primary School – £5.7 million
  • St Mary’s Primary School, Banbridge – £5.1 million
  • Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain, Belfast – £2.5 million
  • Belmont House Special School, Derry – £7.4 million
  • Rossmar Special School, Limavady – £6.4 million
  • Castle Tower, Ballymena – £21.8 million.

Alongside the immediate commencement of these new builds, Mr O’Dowd announced funding to progress a number of additional projects through the planning process.
This will allow building work to commence more quickly when future funding becomes available. In the autumn the minister will unveil a further list of projects to be taken forward.

Mr O’Dowd also announced the establishment of a new Schools Enhancement Programme.

This programme will make available funding of up to £4 million for any individual project refurbishing or extending existing schools. Priority will be given to those supporting amalgamation or rationalisation.

Initially up to £20 million will be available for this programme in 2013-14 with the option of increasing this in 2014-15 depending on the number and quality of proposals.


INTO task force seeks meeting with minister on small schools

June 29, 2012

Donegal teachers have contributed to an Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) task force report that seeks to protect two-, three- and four-teacher schools from cuts that will hit small rural schools particularly hard.

Michael Weed, a teacher at Meenagowan National School in Lettermacaward, and a member of the INTO Central Executive Committee for Donegal and Leitrim said the task force recommendations look to protect Gaeltacht, minority-faith and other smaller schools.
“We’re not looking for a total reversal of schedules, but we’re saying staffing schedules should not be the only criteria by which a school loses a teacher,” said Mr. Weed, who also served on the task force.
He said the INTO will contact the Department of Education and Skills to seek a meeting with Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD, to discuss the recommendations.
The task force presented their 10 recommendations to 700 delegates at a special INTO Congress on Saturday, June 23rd, in the Aviva in Dublin. The task force has been meeting on the matter since Easter.
The report comes in response to government proposals to increase the number of pupils a national school must enrol to maintain current staffing levels. The INTO recommendations seek to prevent changes in the staffing schedule being implemented in schools with three or four teachers.
In addition, the INTO believes that a minimum enrolment should not on its own determine whether a school appoints or retains a second teacher. Among the other factors the INTO believe should be considered are: geographical remoteness, distance from other schools of the same ethos, special consideration for schools serving Gaeltacht communities and the fabric of the school building.
Delegates to the special INTO Congress, in discussions that lasted more than three hours, also discussed possible arrangements for incentivised voluntary amalgamations, shared services between smaller schools and the potential engagement with the department in the pursuit of the staffing objectives.
This is an issue affecting small schools across the country, not solely in Donegal. Mr. Weed said one of the delegates was the principal of a four-teacher school in Dublin, indicating that even urban areas are home to small schools.
“There aren’t many, but there are some,” he said. Still, the task force member said Donegal is particularly hard hit.
“We’re not putting it out as PR or propaganda,” Mr. Weed said. “Donegal is going to be badly hit.” The enrolment proposals increase each year for three years, so the impact on small schools will continue to be felt.
“Any time a family leaves or emigrates from a small school or rural community. The numbers will drop again,” he said www.donegaldemocrat.ie

A parental poll on school patronage

June 29, 2012

Sir, –

Regarding the proposed new school patronage, I am very surprised our Minister for Education has decided that no public meeting will be allowed and that town hall meetings and other activi ties which might whip up a “media frenzy” are to be prohibited (Seán Flynn, Home News June 21st).
How can a Minister deny parents their right to meet and discuss such an important matter? It would appear that he believes parents are not capable of calm and rational discussion concerning their own children.
It is sad to think that parents are held in such low esteem by our Minister for Education. I would have expected that this type of diktat is more reminiscent of former communist regimes rather than a modern democracy.
It would also be very interesting to hear from the present school patrons as to whether or not they agree with this approach.
– Yours, etc,
Gerry Curran,
Manor Kilbride, Blessington, Co Wicklow


Stiúrthóir Cúnta le haghaidh Naíonra

June 28, 2012

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Gaelscoil Ros Eo have a vacancy for a part-time secretary

June 28, 2012

Gaelscoil Ros Eo, Co. Dublin has a vacancy for a part-time secretary.


  • Competence in Irish (spoken and written)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Competence in Word and Excel
  • General office skills
  • Garda vetting

We welcome applications from flexible candidates who have a positive outlook and who are happy to contribute to our school as it develops.

We welcome applications from those who have experience in the field.

Applications can be sent to: An Cathaoirleach, “Carnally”, Bothar na Sean-Bhearaice, Ros Eo, Co. Átha Cliath

You must write ”Iarratais” on the outside of the envelope.

Information on the school can be found at  www.gaelscoilroseo.com.

Scoil Samhraidh – Ceatharlach 13ú & 14ú Iúil 2012 “Ag Cothú na Todhchaí: Forbart na Tíre agus na Teanga”

June 28, 2012

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Múinteoirí sna Scoileanna Eorpacha

June 27, 2012

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Múinteoir riachtanas speisialta páirt-aimseartha

June 27, 2012

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Cúntóir riachtanas speisialta

June 27, 2012

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Cúntóir naíonra á lorg ag Naíonra Ráth Tó

June 27, 2012

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