North South Standing Committee
The North South Standing Committee on Irish-medium Education (CSTT) emerged from the Gaelscolaíocht Éireann project funded under the Peace Process. Gaelscoileanna Teo, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta and Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta were the initial partners in this project. The role and remit of Gaelscolaíocht Éireann was collaboration in the sector and improved service delivery along the border and in the six counties in the north of Ireland. Cooperation within the sector was clearly in the best interests of everyone involved in Irish-medium education, north and south. Therefore, we decided to establish a Standing Committee to promote cross-border cooperation and the sharing of best practice in the north and south. The founding organisations realised that it would benefit the sector to expand this cooperation to include all organisations involved in the Irish-medium education sector in the north and south. The North South Standing Committee on Irish-medium Education was established in 2009. The CSTT now has a wide membership comprised of the key partners in the Irish-medium education sector on a 32 county basis, in the Gaeltacht and elsewhere.
The North South Standing Committee (CSTT) is comprised of the following partners:
- Gaelscoileanna Teo.
- Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta
- Foras na Gaeilge
- Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta
- An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta
- An Foras Patrúnachta
- Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teo.
- Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge
- Comhar na Múinteoirí Gaeilge
- Comhar na Naíonraí Gaeltachta
- An Roinn Oideachais, Tuaisceart Éireann
- Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta
Role, remit and purpose of the CSTT
The role, remit and purpose of the CSTT is North-South cooperation with a particular focus on Irish-medium education and the future development of an informal forum. The CSTT will provide the informal forum with guidance and direction by way of recommendations and use of the resources of the member organisations at any given time. The CSTT comes together at least three times per year and the Chairman’s role is shared on a rotational basis among the partners.
Among the key objectives of the Committee:
- Raise the profile of Irish-medium education;
- add to contacts across Ireland, to develop support structures and mechanisms for the sharing and promotion of best practice;
- enhance cooperation and mutual understanding among the organisations involved in Irish-medium education in each jurisdiction;
- develop cross-sectoral links between the constituent organisations in the preschool, primary and post-primary sectors;
- share best practice in order to improve quality and benefits for stakeholders;
- develop strategic North-South collaboration;
- establish joint projects;
- demonstrate value for money in the context of government budgets through strategic North-South discussions on resource development, teacher training and support services for schools;
- focus on Irish-medium education as a specialist subject; and
- influence Government Departments, relevant organisations, and the wider community
One of the major goals achieved by the CSTT was the establishment of a Research Working Group which aims to identify necessary areas for research and to commission research accordingly, with appropriate funding support.