The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., announced the launch of the School Excellence Fund – Step Up Project recently in Athlone.
The Step Up Project focuses on supporting schools to ‘step up’ in the delivery of the New Junior Cycle programme. Schools will work together and will be supported by the Inspectorate, who will help with planning and the JCT, who will provide additional teacher training.
The School Excellence Fund approach, which focuses on encouraging local collaboration and innovation, is key to delivering on the governments overall ambition to making Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.
Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said, “The opportunity provided by the Step Up Project will empower participating schools to move to highly effective practice in their implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle. In this way, they will impact positively on student learning and their experience will be used to support other schools as they engage in Junior Cycle reform. I welcome the collaboration of the Inspectorate and Junior Cycle for Teachers in facilitating appropriate and effective professional learning for the schools in this initial stage of the project”.
The School Excellence Fund (SEF) is an innovation of the Department of Education and Skills which enables schools to participate in innovative programmes which are context-specific and aimed at improving learning outcomes for young people.
St Louis Dundalk is the only school outside Dublin in Leinster to have been invited to participate in this programme which will see the Inspectorate visit the school to help them move from effective practice to highly effective practice in the next two years.
Deputy Principal Mary Gilmore who attended last week’s event along with staff members Róisín Mallon and Anne Marie Kirk is delighted that we have been chosen to participate in the project. “This is a wonderful endorsement of the whole school’s engagement with the New Junior Cycle programme. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to work with the inspectorate to ensure the learning experience for St Louis girls is of the highest calibre.”