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Education and Training Boards Ireland

National Network: 
Piper's Hill
Kilcullen Road
Naas Co Kildare
E-Mail (2): 
Mobile Phone: 
Organisation Type: 
Public Institution
Year of Establishment: 
General Information: 

Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) represents Ireland's 16 Education and Training Boards. Education and Training Boards. ETBs are statutory authorities which have responsibility for education and training, youth work and a range of other statutory functions. ETBs manage and operate second-level schools, further education colleges, multi-denominational community national schools and a range of adult and further education centres delivering education and training programmes.

I am the support officer for Community National Schools (CNS) which were established in 2008 as Ireland's first State-operated multidenominatioanl schools. My role is in supporting the existing 12 CNS schools and working with ETBs and the Department of Education and Skills on the development of the model nationwide. I am on secondment from my role as principal of Citywest and Saggart CNS (www.cscns.ie). 

Mission and Objectives: 

1) Strucutre of organisation - There are currently 12 Communiity National Schools under 5 different ETBs. The schools range in siize from 9 pupils (our newsest school) to over 900. The staff employed ranges from 1 teacher and secretary in our smallest school to over 70 staff in our largest schools. 

2) Budgetary resources - Each school receives grants from the Department of Education and Skills based on the number of pupils they have.

3) Sources of Funding - The Department of Education and Skills

4) The current minister wants to grow the muliltdenominational schools in Ireland from 100 - 400 by 2030. My role is working with the Department of Education to achieve this. A big part of my project is solidifying the characteristic spirit of the CNS model and defining our philosophy. To achieve this, I have been running workshops with existing CNS schools and organising conferences with internal and external speakerrs. We are beginning to arrive at a very strong educational philosophy that I can then use to promote the model across the country. 

5) Main partners - Education and Training Boards, Department of Education and Skills 


Main Projects / Activities: 

The main project I am concerned with is the CNS model. My main activities are:

- working at policy level on the State's approach to  multidenominatioanl/interculatural education in State primary schools

- developing and implementing a communications plan around the model, including doing lectures and workshops with trainee teachers in all Initital Teacher Education colleges in Ireland

- working with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on the development of the 'Goodness Me! Goodness You! programme which is the multi-belieff and values education curriculum being used by CNS schools. www.gmgy.ie)

- working with the Directors of over 200 post-primary schools on approaches to religoius education and characteristic spirit of their schools 

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

As a principal of a Community National School, I have experience in bringing very diverse communities together to work together for their children. The area I was principal in was relatively newly established area and was used to house many international newcomers. A major part of my role as principal was to build the school community so that everyone had a sense of belonging. This was one of my biggest successes as a principal. I feel I would be able to share these experiences with others working towards achieving something similiar. 

I have used my Masters in Intercultural Education to inform my work as both a principal and now in my current role. My thesis focussed on how the religoius/belief identity of children was catered for in multidenominatioanl contexts. I feel I have a lot of knowledge and experience to bring to the network on my experiences of this. 

I am very fortunate to have direct access to 12 amazing schools. I feel that this access to amazing people and initiatives could benefit the network here in Ireland when considering variious concepts, initiatives, strategies etc. 

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?: 

I know a number of people who are involved in the AFL network and they have recommended it to me as they feel that I would benefit hugely from the learning to be gained from it and that I could bring this learning to a growing network of schools. 

I am always eager to share ideas wiith like-minded people and also be challenged by those who hold different views than me. I have learnt that one of the most important things for me in this challenging role is to be open to the perspectives of others and try and see thingsi from their point of view. I am sure that being part of the ALF network would bring a huge amount to my liife both professionally and personally.