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38 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Episode 059: Pay Developing Schools based on current Enrollments
In this episode, I explore a number of ways developing schools are screwed over by the Department of Education in terms of money and resources. Funnily enough, the NCSE get a bashing for doing the same thing. I also introduce "The Norma Foley Rule" and welcome the new Flourish Curriculum, I mean, Resource into your local Catholic schools.
74 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Live Poetry Reading: Departmental Strategy Statement (2021-23)
The Departmental Strategy Statement (2021-23) was released this week with all sorts of goals for education. Listen to me grumble my way through this document and explode with rage at various points. Unlike the Department, I won't blame COVID19 for everything wrong. It was well-wrong before 2020 came along.
38 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Episode 058: Reduce Circulars to a Maximum 1 per Term
Did you know that up until from 1997 to 2012, there were never more than around 40 circulars produced by the Department of Education in a year? Since 201 5, it's never been less than 80. In this episode, I explore why we need to reduce circulars to one per term and how it's entirely possible to do so.
45 minutes | May 28, 2021
Live Poetry Reading: Venting about Ventilation
Although it's nearly June 2021, it feels like it's August 2020, with another lot of documents published late in the week from the Department of Education. This week it was cleaning grants and ventilation guides. Join me as I try to make sense CO2 monitors and why cleaning grants have been cut again.
25 minutes | May 21, 2021
Live Poetry Reading: Summer Programme 2021 Summer-ised
In this special episode I take the guidelines from this year's summer programme and try and explain how it will all work to any school thinking of doing it. My school has been running a summer programme every year for the last 13 years so hopefully it will be of use.
30 minutes | May 13, 2021
Episode 057: Provide Online Wage Slips
Did you know it costs the State €2m every year to post out payslips to school staff? In this episode I look at examples of wasting money in the Department of Education and what could be achieved if we spent money more wisely.
67 minutes | May 7, 2021
Poetry Reading: (Part 2) Recommendations for Additional Educational Needs in schools
In part 2 of this episode, I spend about an hour going through the 9 recommendations from the National Principals' Forum in their report on Additional Educational Needs. Part 1 was an introduction to set the context of the report so it might be worth listening to first.
37 minutes | May 7, 2021
Poetry Reading: 9 Recommendations for Additional Educational Needs (part 1)
In this special episode, I look at the report written by the National Principals' Forum, titled: Critical Analysis of Supports for Pupils with Additional Educational Needs and their School Leaders in Irish Primary Schools, which gives 9 recommendations to government to help solve the continuing decline of supports to children with additional needs. Part 1 is mainly an introduction and Part 2 will go through each of the 9 recommendations in more detail.
41 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Episode 056: A Paper-Free Curriculum
In my first school it cost us 7c per page to photocopy a black and white sheet. It taught me to try and not use the photocopier very often and when I moved to a different school where there were no limits of copying, I took some of the lessons I learned about not using worksheets, and rarely used the machine. In this episode, I explore every curriculum subject and how you might consider stepping away from the photocopier and trying other ideas.
32 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Episode 055: Set a contract of hours for teachers
Have you ever heard anyone give out about radio presenters with their cushy jobs only working 2 hours a day? In this episode I try to explore what teachers do with all their spare time after working their half days and their 6 months of holidays!! Seriously though, listen in and see if you agree that teachers should have a contract with a maximum number of hours per week.
29 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Episode 054: Provide a Principal Step Down Facility
You might not know that if a principal relinquishes his or her position, they are relegated to the most junior member of staff in a school. This is different to every other postholder in a school. For example, if a deputy principal steps down from his/her post, they simply lose their allowance but not their seniority. While it’s a huge decision for anyone to step down from any position, the double-humiliation of then losing all seniority must be a massive deterrent for anyone, and it would seem very unfair. Crueller people than me might suggest that if there wasn’t a deterrent then principals would be resigning left, right and centre, and that isn’t good for the education system, so some sort of deterrent is needed. In this episode, I’ll be trying to explore the role of the principal and why when someone simply can’t do it anymore, that if I were the Minister for Education, I would provide them with a dignified step-down facility.
51 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
INTO Congress 2021: All Talk, No Vaccinations
The pandemic shone a strong light on the last decade of cuts to the education system and Congress is usually a time where members can voice their dismay at them with a hope that the media will help highlight these issues. Unfortunately, with the change in the vaccination schedule, all these issues were put to the side and the media ended up accusing us of jumping the queue and trying to kill our grannies.
34 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Special Episode: Aren't we the April Fools?
After all the platitudes about how important schools are and all the promises that we'd be prioritised for a vaccine, sure what better way to show that gratitude by pulling it all away? However, how did we get into this situation where the government feel they can walk all over us and, in the end, will I turn out to be the April Fool?
39 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
Episode 53: Scrap Private Teacher Training Colleges
In this episode I celebrate the rise of Hibernia College into the Education System but then wonder whether it's time for it to either bow out or be bought over to become a public college.
20 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Episode 052: Have specialised qualifications for Infant teachers
If you’re a regular listener to this podcast, you’ll know that I did my teaching qualification in the UK and qualified with a PGCE. However, my PGCE was different from some of my colleagues that got the same qualification at the end of it. My qualification was with a specialisation in upper primary and theirs was with a specialisation on early years. This means that I did all my Teaching Practice with the equivalent of 2nd class upwards and many of my colleagues did the equivalent of 1st class downwards. While all of us came back to Ireland qualified to teach in any primary school classroom, it actually made huge sense to have two separate specialities for upper and lower primary years. The difference between teaching a 4 year old and a 12 year old is vast. In this episode, I’ll be arguing that if I were the Minister for Education, I’d have specialised qualifications for Infant teachers.
21 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Episode 051: Cluster OTs and SLTs to Schools
When a child requires OT or SLT support, they join a very long waiting list with the HSE and when they finally get an appointment, they might be taken on for a short block of sessions in whatever therapy is needed. However, it generally takes place during school, and often it’s difficult for parents to get out of work to bring them, and also they only last an arbitrary amount of time. While my idea won't revolutionise the system, it's one less thing to dismantle from the wreckage of how we treat children with additional needs.
24 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Episode 050: Scrap Drama
Ireland has a long, proud history of drama. Drama is the only literary arts subject in the primary curriculum that is a subject in its own right. Poetry has to resolve itself as a very minor player in the English language curriculum. The UK curriculum has long since absorbed the subject of Drama into its English curriculum where it sits with other literary arts. In this episode, I will be arguing that if I were the Minister for Education I would scrap Drama as a subject from the primary curriculum.
29 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Episode 049: Provide specialist teachers for Irish
If there’s one way to rouse the inner nationalist in any citizen of this country, it’s to bring up the subject of Gaeilge in schools. The most laid back, chilled out, horizontal, mellow, easy-going person will suddenly rise up, turn greener than emeralds, pump his chest and stick fadas on every vowel in his name before repeatedly quoting Pádraig Pearce with a chant of Tír gan teanga, tir gan anam
36 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Episode 048: Scrap the Supplementary Panel
Before I even start, I realise that this episode will alienate a whole bunch of people. The reaction I’ll get to this episode will be more violent than any other episode I’ve covered so far. It seems I can rip apart the Catholic Church, the Union and others but this is probably the one that’s going to get me cancelled, as young folk say. However, I’ll try my best to talk through the issue and see if I do come to the conclusion that abolishing the supplementary panel does make sense.
32 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Episode 047: Have properly resourced sub panels
For the last decade, it has been next to impossible to get substitute teachers when someone is out of work. While there have been moves to address this issue in the last 3 years, in this episode I’ll be arguing that if I were the Minister for Education, I’d be properly resourcing supply panels.
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