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Segregating children with special needs not good

Ministers Foley & Madigan risk health and education with their proposal to segregate children with special educational needs: Dr. Fidelma Healy Eames Jan 18th, 2021 ‘I am dismayed at the risks to which Ministers Foley and Madigan are prepared to expose children with special education needs (SEN), teachers, special needs’ assistants and ancillary staff by insisting on a return to...
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Big Fish Little Fish: Preparing your Child for Transition to Second-level school in September

Fidelma Healy Eames, PhD Change can be daunting at the best of times. Given the uncertainty about school plans for September, it will require an extra dose of flexibility on the part of 6th class pupils finishing school this week. The absence of face-to-face school for the past three months took many teachers off-side and the...
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Leaving Cert 2020 – To Be Or Not to Be?

Published in Sunday Independent on May 29th, 2020 under the title‘Covid19 : Tales from the Virtual Classroom – teachers and students battle on. Fidelma Healy Eames ‘Change comes as a result of cataclysmic events like this’ was one rural Galway principal’s conclusion this week when I asked him how his teachers and Leaving Cert (LC)...
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Riley’s struggle for a school place exposes how families face an unfair system

The anguish of Mark O’Keeffe over his autistic son Riley is shared by many other parents, writes Fidelma Healy Eames I was deeply moved by Mark O’Keeffe’s devastation at the lack of a school place for his son Riley – and angered at so many levels by this real-life story. I have spent the last...
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Early School Leaving Report: Radical re-think needed to provide some equality

The main difference between young people who stay in school and complete their Leaving Cert (LC) versus those who leave early is parental motivation for education, and money. This is the main conclusion I’ve drawn after completing the Oireachtas 18 months’ study Staying in Education: The Way Forward: School & Out-of-School Factors Protecting Against Early...
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Rural schools are in jeopardy from staffing cuts

My Case for Small Rural Schools I am respectfully asking the Minister for Education to review his position on small rural schools. From a total of 1,000 small schools the Minister in 2012/13 is seeking to find 100 teaching posts by increasing teacher retention numbers based on last September’s enrolment. This puts some small rural...
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