• The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has granted funds under the Additional Accommodation Scheme to Ballyvary National School.

    The Additional Accommodation approval is for 2 x 80m2 Mainstream classroom including en-suite toilet 1 x 10.5 m2WC for assisted users.

    The Additional Accommodation Scheme is an important programme which improves the quality of school buildings and helps them to expand their capacity.

    An additional benefit is the local employment created during the works on schools through this Scheme.

    Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says this is fantastic news ahead of Christmas.

    Senator Mulherin says she has lobbied both Minister Bruton and Minister McHugh in getting this funding over the line for Ballyvary National School.

    She says this will all be complimented by the funding secured from Minister Michael Ring for a looped walk near the school which will connect up with the path to the school from Ballyvary village again opening up these shared facilities and making them more accessible.

    Senator Mulherin says she believes this school and its community is a model of excellence for cooperation and best practice in rural areas which are determined to remain vibrant, to provide community facilities and ensure their school is well supported. 

  • The Education Minister says additional time is needed to ensure that the calculated grades system is operated rigorously.

    Grades will not be made available until September 7th, three weeks later than usual.

    They will be followed by course offers four days later.

    Minister Norma Foley says all parties have agreed to meet the new deadline for course offers.

  • Fianna Fail's education spokesperson has welcomed news that five Educate Together schools have been given the green light to expand to normal size.

    Deputy Thomas Byrne says it's good to hear agreement has been reached with the Department over the schools in Tramore, Trim, New Ross, Tuam and Castlebar.

    But he's concerned that site restrictions are still in place at some of the schools.

    Deputy Byrne says the Government 'spins' a lot about increasing multi denominational education, but he's worried the reality of the situation is completely different.

  • Four schools in the West are among the 80 schools nationally that will be the first to study PE as a Leaving Cert subject.

    The Education Minister Richard Bruton has published a list of 80 schools that will partake in the first phase of the implementation of the new Physical Education for Senior Cycle programme.

    St Mary’s Secondary school in Ballina is the only Mayo school included on the list of 80 schools, along with Abbey Community College in Boyle, Co Roscommon and two schools in Co Galway – Gort Community School and the Dominican College at Taylor’s Hill in the city.

    The 80 were chosen from 369 schools that had applied to participate in the roll-out of PE at senior cycle.

    This announcement is part of the Government’s emphasis on encouraging healthy lifestyles, and is a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education.

    Students taking the new Leaving Cert subject from September 2018 will sit the first LCPE exam in 2020 – the subject can be taken at both higher and ordinary levels.

    And the new Senior Cycle PE Framework will provide a modern curriculum for teachers to teach PE to all students at senior cycle.

  • The Education Minister needs to lift the restriction on the number of junior infants that can be taken into Educate Together schools next September.

    That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who says the restrictions could mean parents are faced with splitting up their families into different schools.

    The Department of Education has directed a number of Educate Together schools – including Castlebar – that their intake of junior infants for the next school year is limited at 13.

    Education Minister Richard Bruton came into the Seanad this week at the request of Senator Conway-Walsh to discuss the matter, and confirmed that his Department is currently carrying out a review, but he could not provide a timeline for the completion of the review.

    Senator Conway –Walsh says the restriction makes no sense given the demand for places in Educate Together schools.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary is calling on the Government to reinstate history as a core subject in the Junior Cert cycle immediately, otherwise he says he risk a significant decline in the number of second-level students across Mayo studying the subject.

    A review on the optional nature of history has now been finalised and is currently being considered by the Department of Education.

    Deputy Dara Calleary is calling on the Minister for Education Joe McHugh to reinstate history as a core subject for the Junior Cycle, and says it's important for young people to study the subject so they can discern what's real and what isn't in an era of fake news and right-wing rhetoric.


    Mayo Sinn Fein deputy says thousands of students have been left behind as a result of the Leaving Cert calculated grades process.

    Students were downgraded by up to 70 points as a result of the standardisation process by the Department of Education.

    The student portal, which also showed the teacher's initial mark opened this morning.

    The party’s higher education spokesperson, Erris based Rose Conway Walsh, says the system was not fair to everyone.

  • Primary school students may only return to school one day a week if the 2 metre social distancing rules are kept in place.

    It would also mean students in secondary could only attend school twice a week.

    If it was reduced to one metre primary school students could go to class 50 percent of the time while some secondary schools could return almost at a full-time basis.

    Education Minister, Joe McHugh, says the figures show the need for all children to return to the classroom full-time, which may come at the expense of social distancing.