The Government has announced the publication of a report on the Review of Out-of-School Education Provision.

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The out-of-school education sector relates to a small number of schools and education centres which operate outside of mainstream education provision.

This review focused on the education provision in the State for learners under 16 years of age who have encountered difficulties staying in mainstream education. The review also makes recommendations to inform future policy to provide a sustainable option within the education system to further serve this group of learners. It contains six recommendations, and an implementation plan.

The recommendations, based on the findings of the review, are:

  • To recognise the need for a framework of supports for students who are at risk of becoming disengaged from education.
  • While this review finds positively on the work which is carried out in out-of-school settings, it is important to provide stability to this provision and ensure settings are sustainable into the future.
  • A requirement to develop a standardised referral framework to provide clear structure, guidelines and accountability.
  • Further Improvement across the education system in the current level of the data recording and tracking of students who are expelled or absent from school.
  • Consideration should be given to the location and accessibility of short term and long term out-of-school education provision, to prevent the early leaving of students from education and training and
  • A mapping of all support services available to schools should be completed to support the educational and personal development of students such supports to include all cross departmental, agency and community services.

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Minister Foley said: 

While Ireland has one of the highest completion rates for second-level education in the EU, we know that there are learners who, having experienced difficulty staying in mainstream education seek an alternative. Out-of-school education settings provide these learners with a holistic educational service, using innovative and flexible approaches for students. The recommendations in this report aim to draw on these approaches and ensure out of school education provision can be sustained into the future and continue to play its vital role.

This review involved consultation with a range of stakeholders and interested parties and I would like to thank all who contributed to the review, in particular the young people and practitioners from out-of-school education provision settings. It is always hugely informative to engage with those who have direct experience, and their contributions into the positive impact that out-of-school settings can have for children and young people.

Welcoming the report Minister Rabbitte said:

Out-of-school education settings provide these learners with a holistic educational service, using innovative and flexible approaches for students.

The Minister further announced that an implementation group will be established to oversee implementation of the recommendations of the report.

A copy of the report is available here .

Background to the Review of Out of School Education Provision Report

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The Review of Out of School Education Provision report arose from Action 88 of the DEIS Plan which provided for a review of current out of school provision to best inform future policy in this area.

The review researched the current provision of out-of-school education to identify the range, volume and quality of the provision in the sector and how out-of-school education provision should ideally serve a specific cohort of students and to be a sustainable option within the education system into the future.

The report was compiled by a working group, chaired by the Department of Education, comprised of representatives from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Tusla, Solas, Education and Training Boards Ireland and the National Educational Psychological Service.

The review finds that out-of-school education settings are providing an important role in relation to maintaining contact with education for a key cohort of learners and play a key role in supporting the wellbeing of these learners through adopting a holistic approach based around the individual. However, approaches to the education curriculum, certification and education pathways for students are very dependent on what can be provided for in each setting. There is no consistent approach across the sector in relation to governance and funding.

Next steps

The review sets out an implementation plan in relation to its recommendations. The first step will be to put in place an implementation group to oversee the process and to progress each of the recommendations

It will oversee the development of a framework of support for students who are at risk of leaving mainstream education, it will develop standardised criteria for structure, governance and education provision in the sector and will develop a referral framework to retain students in education and training.

Out-of-School Education Provision – Background

While the Department primarily supports mainstream schools, it does provide funding for a small number of special schools/ centres of education, that provide education for the small number of young people who do not complete mainstream education.

These out-of-school services are typically a provision of education, outside of the mainstream school setting, for children who have encountered difficulties staying in mainstream education. This provision is an alternative option within the education system, when all other supports have not proved successful in maintaining the student’s engagement with mainstream education. These settings vary in structure and design but provide an important service for a small cohort of students who have had difficulty continuing their education in the mainstream system.

Since the establishment of the Youth Encounter Project schools in the 1970’s there has been an education sector which operates outside of the traditional mainstream school system. This has expanded since this time, often as a response to a local of specific need. Out of school settings have been established in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and other, mainly urban, areas.

 


 

Government launches Report on the Review of Out-of-School Education Provision and outlines plan to implement its recommendations 1
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Preas Ráiteas 12 Bealtaine, 2022

 

Seolann an tAire Foley Tuarascáil ar an Athbhreithniú ar Sholáthar Oideachais Lasmuigh den Scoil agus leagann sí amach plean chun a moltaí a chur i bhfeidhm

 

D’fhógair an tAire Oideachais Norma Foley TD inniu (12 Bealtaine 2022), foilsiú tuarascála ar an Athbhreithniú ar Sholáthar Oideachais Lasmuigh den Scoil.

Baineann an earnáil oideachais lasmuigh den scoil le líon beag scoileanna agus ionad oideachais a fheidhmíonn lasmuigh den soláthar oideachais príomhshrutha.

Dhírigh an t-athbhreithniú seo ar an soláthar oideachais sa Stát d’fhoghlaimeoirí faoi 16 bliana d’aois a raibh deacrachtaí acu fanacht in oideachas príomhshrutha. Molann an t-athbhreithniú eolas a thabhairt do bheartas amach anseo d’fhonn rogha inbhuanaithe a sholáthar laistigh den chóras oideachais chun freastal ar an ngrúpa foghlaimeoirí seo a thuilleadh. Tá moladh ann, agus plean feidhmithe anuas ar sin.

Is iad seo a leanas na moltaí, bunaithe ar thorthaí an athbhreithnithe:

• Aithint go bhfuil gá le creat tacaíochta do mhic léinn atá i mbaol éirí as an oideachas.

• Tá sé tábhachtach cobhsaíocht a sholáthar don soláthar seo agus a chinntiú go mbeidh suíomhanna inbhuanaithe amach anseo, cé go n-aithnítear san athbhreithniú an obair dhearfach a dhéantar i suíomhanna lasmuigh den scoil.

• Ceanglas creat atreoraithe caighdeánaithe a chur chun cinn d’fhonn struchtúr soiléir, treoirlínte agus cuntasacht a sholáthar.

• Feabhsú breise ar fud an chórais oideachais ar an leibhéal reatha de thaifead sonraí agus de rianú na mac léinn a dhíbrítear nó a bhíonn as láthair go rialta ón scoil.

•  Ba chóir breathnú ar shuíomh agus ar inrochtaineacht ghearrthéarmach agus fhadtéarmach an tsoláthair oideachais lasmuigh den scoil, chun cosc a chur ar luathfhágáil na mac léinn ó oideachas agus oiliúint agus

• Ba chóir mapáil a dhéanamh ar na seirbhísí tacaíochta go léir atá ar fáil do scoileanna chun tacú le forbairt oideachasúil agus phearsanta na mac léinn lena n-áirítear gach seirbhís tras-rannach, gníomhaireachta agus pobail.

 

Dúirt an tAire Foley:

Cé go bhfuil ceann de na rátaí críochnaithe is airde d’oideachas dara leibhéal san AE ag Éirinn, is eol dúinn go bhfuil foghlaimeoirí inár tsochaí a bhfuil deacrachaí acu leis an oideachas príomhshrutha, agus bíonn siad sa tóir ar rogha eile. Soláthraíonn suíomhanna oideachais lasmuigh den scoil seirbhís iomlánaíoch oideachais do na foghlaimeoirí seo, ag baint úsáide as cineálacha cur chuige nuálacha solúbtha do mhic léinn. Tá sé mar aidhm ag moltaí na tuarascála seo leas a bhaint as na cuir chuige seo agus a chinntiú gur féidir soláthar oideachais lasmuigh den scoil a choinneáil sa todhchaí agus leanúint dá ról ríthábhachtach a chomhlánú.

Bhí comhairliúchán le raon páirtithe leasmhara agus páirtithe leasmhara i gceist leis an athbhreithniú seo agus ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le chuile duine a chuidigh leis an athbhreithniú, go háirithe na daoine óga agus cleachtóirí ó shuíomhanna soláthair oideachais lasmuigh den scoil. Bíonn sé thar a bheith faisnéiseach i gcónaí dul i dteagmháil leo siúd a bhfuil taithí dhíreach acu, agus an méid a chuireann siad leis an tionchar dearfach a d’fhéadfadh a bheith ag suíomhanna lasmuigh den scoil ar leanaí agus daoine óga.

D’fhógair an tAire freisin go mbunófar grúpa feidhmithe chun maoirsiú a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm mholtaí na tuarascála.

Tá cóip den tuarascáil ar fáil anseo .

 

Cúlra na Tuarascála ar an Athbhreithniú ar Sholáthar Oideachais Lasmuigh den Scoil

D’eascair an tuairisc ar Athbhreithniú ar Sholáthar Oideachais Lasmuigh den Scoil as Gníomh 88 den Phlean DEIS a rinne foráil d’athbhreithniú ar an soláthar reatha lasmuigh den scoil chun an bonn eolais is fearr a thabhairt do bheartas sa todhchaí sa réimse seo.

Rinneadh taighde  san athbhreithniú ar sholáthar reatha an oideachais lasmuigh den scoil chun raon, méid agus cáilíocht an tsoláthair san earnáil a shainaithint agus conas ba cheart go ndéanfadh soláthar oideachais lasmuigh den scoil freastal go hidéalach ar chohórt sonrach de mhic léinn agus a bheith ina rogha inbhuanaithe laistigh den chóras oideachais sa todhchaí.

Chuir meitheal oibre, a raibh an Roinn Oideachais ina cathaoirleach air, an tuarascáil seo le chéile. Bhí ionadaithe ann ón Roinn Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Imeasctha agus Óige, Tusla, Solas, Boird Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann agus an tSeirbhís Náisiúnta Síceolaíochta Oideachais.

Chruthaigh an t-athbhreithniú go bhfuil ról ríthábhachtach ag suíomhanna oideachais lasmuigh den scoil maidir le teagmháil a choinneáil le hoideachas do phríomhchohórt foghlaimeoirí agus go bhfuil ról lárnach acu i dtacú le folláine na bhfoghlaimeoirí seo trí chur chuige iomlánaíoch a ghlacadh bunaithe ar an duine aonair. Mar sin féin, braitheann cur chuige i leith an churaclaim oideachais, teistiúcháin agus conairí oideachais do mhic léinn go mór ar cad is féidir a sholáthar i ngach suíomh. Níl aon chur chuige comhsheasmhach ar fud na hearnála maidir le rialachas agus maoiniú.

 

Na chéad chéimeanna eile:

Leagann an t-athbhreithniú plean feidhmithe amach maidir lena moltaí. Is í an chéad chéim ná grúpa feidhmithe a bhunú chun an próiseas a mhaoirsiú agus gach ceann de na moltaí a chur chun cinn.

Maoirseoidh sé forbairt creata tacaíochta do mhic léinn atá i mbaol an t-oideachas príomhshrutha a fhágáil, forbróidh sé critéir chaighdeánaithe le haghaidh struchtúr, rialachais agus soláthar oideachais san earnáil agus forbróidh sé creat atreoraithe chun mic léinn a choinneáil san oideachas agus san oiliúint.

 

Soláthar Oideachais Lasmuigh den Scoil – Cúlra

Cé go dtacaíonn an Roinn go príomhúil le scolaíocht phríomhshrutha, cuireann sí maoiniú ar fáil do scairt scoileanna speisialta/ionaid oideachais a sholáthraíonn oideachas ar mhaithe leis na daoine óga nach gcríochnaíonn oideachas príomhshrutha.

Soláthar oideachais is ea iad na seirbhísí seo lasmuigh den scoil go hiondúil, lasmuigh de shuíomh na scoile príomhshrutha, do leanaí a raibh deacrachtaí acu fanacht in oideachas príomhshrutha. Is rogha eile é an soláthar seo laistigh den chóras oideachais, nuair nach bhfuil ag éirí go maith le gach tacaíocht eile chun rannpháirtíocht an dalta san oideachas príomhshrutha a choinneáil. Bíonn éagsúlacht ag baint leis na socruithe seo ó thaobh struchtúir agus dearadh de ach cuireann siad seirbhís thábhachtach ar fáil do chohórt beag de mhic léinn a raibh deacracht acu leanúint lena gcuid oideachais sa chóras príomhshrutha.

Ó a bhunaíodh scoileanna an Tionscadal Teagmhála don Aos Óg sna 1970idí tá earnáil oideachais ann a fheidhmíonn lasmuigh den chóras scoile príomhshrutha traidisiúnta. Tá sé seo méadaithe ón tráth seo, go minic mar fhreagra ar riachtanas áitiúil ar leith. Tá suíomhanna lasmuigh den scoil bunaithe i mBaile Átha Cliath, i Luimneach, i gCorcaigh agus i gceantair uirbeacha eile.

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