Staff Picks:

Technology and Me! Speech by Joanne O’Riordan

Me and my shadow: all in a day’s work experience

 

Higher & Further Education News & Views

Call for colleges to be ‘unshackled’

Review of teacher training to back ‘institutes of education’

High Court dismisses students’ appeal against third-level grant reforms

New body sees value of research

No teaching, but the work goes on

Trinity newspaper scoops top prize in national competition

Fees for science courses should be scrapped — CEO

UL student scoops journalism prize for coroners expose

 

Disability Headlines

Access website gives better service to Ballymena’s disabled people

Taoiseach denies Government targeting autistic children

Father pleads for U-turn on SNAs

Training the brain to be alert

Charity to raise funds for autistic children

Niamh’s work for autism to be honoured by star

Cian takes heckling TDs in his stride and leaves Kenny in his shadow

Joanne hopes UN speech inspires people to believe they can achieve

Lise Hand: Beyond a ‘shadow’ of doubt, Cian makes Enda’s day

McDonagh aiming to trade silver for gold this time

Cork teen calls for robot technology

 

General Education Stories

Training teachers the Catholic way

Bullying in schools

Why the school patronage report is doomed to fail

Over 200 schools to keep teachers

Group: Primary schools face threat of ‘drip, drip’ closure despite U-turn

Should pupils get points for playing football and lifting weights?

Two thirds of schoolchildren ‘not getting enough sleep’

 

Mental Health in the Media

Walking back to happiness as odd shoes worn to support mental health

Clare ‘needs suicide intervention centre’

 

Employment Features

Boost for graduates with new jobs

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Staff Picks:

Disabled people’s magazine taps a ‘niche for positivity’

The Journal.ie’s progress report for the Government: Education

Got a science problem? Give it a hack

Why most employers fear to hire people with disabilities

Take a leaf out of the book for mindful children

Patrick’s doodle clocks up €10k grant

No Irish universities make top 100 list

 

Higher & Further Education News & Views

Cork university to honour ‘public-spirited’ people for donating bodies to science

Savvy college applicants get the message that future careers are in smart economy

CAO surge in student demand for science, computing and agriculture courses

We’re studying social science, business and law, says report

Queen’s gives students long weekend to avoid repeat of last year’s lost weekend

‘The cost of going to college here is similar to what it would be in the US’

Strike notice served on CIT

MA Funding News 2012.2013

University rankings played down

Quinn defends proposed means test changes for student grants

Call for grant system ‘equality’

ICMSA attack college asset test proposals

 

Disability Headlines

Groups to rally for vital welfare benefit

Man with locked-in syndrome wins right to hearing for assisted suicide

James to star for Ireland at amputee tournament

Plan to cut time limit on disabled parking

People with disabilities lose ‘pocket money’ in charity cuts

Voluntary disability services provider must pay ex-worker €116k

Glove could transform treatment of arthritis

 

General Education Stories

Government announces €1.5bn schools programme

Sick pay alert for 1,000 teachers who took 90-260 days off

Open debate on future of teaching

Falling behind on literacy

Insufficient cash to add Chinese to second-level curriculum

Thousands march in protest at school cutbacks in Donegal

30 retired inspectors not replaced

Building new schools

Minister accused of ‘spin’ on school plan

Five-year plan gets a guarded welcome

16-year battle for new building finally pays off

Joy as pupils get to wave goodbye to prefabs

Educational evolution – It’s time for a new round of benchmarking

The private primary: can it survive?

A blank slate to reinvent secondary schools

Waiting’s over for some but others have dreams dashed

Principal: It’s not acceptable to be sitting in squalor for another four years

Quinn reversed €120,000 school aid refusal after Kenny pressure

What Taoiseach said, and when, about Holy Family School project

Budget ‘damaging’ C of I schools

Principal: It’s not acceptable to be sitting in squalor for another four years

 

Mental Health in the Media

Hundreds turn out to ‘mental wellness’ exhibition in Kerry

GAA stars back suicide prevention

Book highlights ‘taboo’ issue of suicide in Ireland

Director of mental health post not yet filled

President praised for putting suicide on national agenda

‘Smelly and drab psychiatric wards beyond belief’

 

Higher & Further Education News & Views

Smaller third-level colleges face end of public funding

Colleges face performance-related funding cuts

Institutes face high standards process

Education targets – Academic autonomy is essential

Is new General Secretary ready for fire fighting?

Art college appoints head of design

Colleges given six months to spell out their strategic plans

Colleges in race to gain university status

University criteria dismissed by college president

‘Shag’ week survey reveals that seven out of ten students have unprotected sex

Probe finds poor practices in VECs across country

Anatomy of a medical class: minister opens TCD’s €131m institute

Dublin college chief defends policy on Bahrain

Students could afford €10k fees, says UL study

In My Opinion: New kind of technology university will address the needs of society

Reach for the stars with UCD’s elite performance programme

Warning of ‘mediocrity’ if higher education not funded

Higher education funding crisis will ‘damage’ students

VEC has brief discussion on audit

 

Disability Headlines

Parents of young disabled shocked at cuts in services

Parents of children with autism in major fundraiser to expand facilities

Lauren’s video role raises awareness of rare diseases

Valentine, not just the patron saint of romance, but also of epilepsy

Epilepsy still has strong social stigma for sufferers

Work scheme targeted at people with disabilities

Reilly calls autism claims outrageous

Working disabled allowed to draw welfare

Reilly: Humphreys’ autism comments ‘outrageous’

Judo Assist Ireland

Deaf girl held as slave tells court of years of beatings and rape

Man up, Tony

Northern Ministers hear each other’s pain

 

General Education Stories

Parents campaign over cuts to career guidance

Teacher allowances cut ‘would be end of Croke Park reform’

The formula is simple: real change

Kicking exam pressure to touch

Lessons to be learned from case in Clonmel

Nine jailed for failing to send children to school

Irish girls in top 20% of fitness level study

Speed limit outside six schools cut to 30kph

Watch out Ruairi! Cuts to small schools spell big trouble

No method in madness behind school guidance cuts

Parents in Kildare furious as children of gaelscoileanna ignored

Salaries linked to success in education

School principal challenges removal

 

Mental Health in the Media

After years of self-harm, my life has changed so much

Conquering your personal Everest

Acting fast against teenage depression

 

Employment Features

500 college places for jobseekers

Initiatives aim to deliver 100,000 jobs by 2016

Mastercard to create 130 Irish jobs

Recruiters to get paid for placing workers

New IT jobs after US deal welcomed

More information available here: http://www.ahead.ie/aheadannualconference2012

 

Staff Picks:

Christmas Medley in Irish Sign Language by Societies of DIT

Action needed to safeguard education

Third-level graduates more likely to find employment

 

Higher & Further Education News & Views

Where to next for the Bailout Generation?

Two Irish universities lead study of rare cancer

‘Too lazy to come to class’

UCD scientists make key finding on eyeless babies

Students juggling work and pleasure to land the top jobs

Third-level scholarships that give athletes a sporting chance

Rising tuition fees force students into sex work, says students’ union

Report on funding crisis ups pressure for third-level fees

Subject choices ‘hit by third-level funding crisis’

 

Disability Headlines

Life-saving ‘Act Fast’ campaign curtailed over cost

North urged to adopt law on welfare reform or miss benefits

Disability cut all Labour’s idea, says Varadkar

Rehab listed as a top not-for-profit organisation with income of €190m

Thanks be to God it was only diabetes

Home visit teaches Kenny harsh reality of budget cuts

 

General Education Stories

Warning of cuts at schools in poorer areas

Minister’s thinking is fatally flawed

Keeper of the Woods

The school around the corner

Women outstrip men in terms of education

Cuts will erode students’ progress, principal warns

Budget has gone after soft targets: The young and vulnerable

Disadvantaged schools set to lose 400 teachers

Teacher turned up for work to learn she was losing job

Kenny hints at funding rowback for some schools

In My Opinion: We must respect human rights of parents who want secular schools

Loss of 40 teachers to double class sizes

Thousands speak out over languages-teaching cuts

Taoiseach defends education cuts

Over 400 teachers to be axed from schools as cuts bite

Stop streaming students, it’s harmful to education – ESRI

Cyber Bullying: The night I heard my 16-year-old tough-guy son sobbing

Extra ‘alleviation’ teachers to assist hardest hit disadvantaged schools

Disadvantaged schools will not be as badly hit

Teachers’ watchdog pushed for 20pc hike to outgoing boss’s salary

Government U-turn on teacher numbers

 

Mental Health in the Media

Double-edged role of alcohol in suicidal talk

Patients face Christmas in lock-up

Suicidal talk must be taken seriously

Mental health patients forced into locked ward

President Higgins: Urged to be a ‘moral advocate’ for mental health services.

Expert: Central hospital facing legal challenges

Lack of staff in mental healthcare posing ‘risk’

Lynch pledges to ‘pursue’ staff crisis

Mad Pride workshop to get the creative juices flowing

 

Employment Features

Government urged to rethink jobs strategy

Five Things You Should Stop Doing in 2012

Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning

You get what you measure 

 

I attended two separate but related events this week which raised serious challenges for the education system.  The first was the Transitions Conference organized by the HEA and the NCCA which looked at changing the Leaving Certificate and its relationship to college entry, the CAO points.  There was great emphasis put on the backwash impact  the CAO process  is having on teaching and learning in secondary school and how the Leaving Certificate as an assessment instrument, has become the tail that wags the curriculum dog. On the basis that you get what you measure, the Leaving Certificate, particularly when combined with the CAO college entry selection criteria, does not encourage or nurture the learning of the generic skills that all young people must have to negotiate their way in an ever changing world of knowledge and technology.  Skills such as independent learning, analysis of information, problem solving, critical thinking and on and on…

 

Yet there was also recognition of the integrity and public perception of fairness embedded in the Leaving Certificate and CAO system which it was felt must be preserved in any change initiative.

 

But it was blatantly obvious from the presentation of research findings delivered by the ERSI and from many speakers, that the present system does not suit very many learners and the existence of the HEAR and DARE schemes are evidence of the inherent unfairness of the system for many groups, never mind those young people who complete the Leaving Certificate Applied which is not recognized by the CAO, or the many young people who simply drop out of school.

 

It begs the question, which is more important,  an education  system designed to equip all young people for life, or,  a system that is fair, reliable and has public confidence, or indeed are the two mutually exclusive?

 

The answer is obvious if not simple.  There can be no ifs and buts.  Now is the time to go back to the drawing board and design a system of assessment based on principles of universal design that would enable all students a fair opportunity to develop their potential, to learn generic skills and to demonstrate what they know.  Such a system if designed around the learning needs of all students would include a range of robust assessment instruments including portfolio’s, projects, group work, exams, competency based observations would be fair, transparent, reliable and engender integrity.  Flexibility and integrity can go together and are not mutually exclusive.

 

The Government already has a policy of inclusive education in place and now is the time to enact it by designing a universal system of curricula and assessment that would benefit all students (including those with disabilities).  Such an inclusive approach would than take away the need for inappropriate and inefficient add on schemes such as HEAR and DARE as all candidates would be assessed fairly within a framework of assessment designed precisely to measure the skills and knowledge they were designed to measure. A system of Universal Assessment would encourage and bring a wider range of pedagogical methods into the classroom with the capacity to genuinely engage the student and encourage the generic learning skills needed for life.  We have many models for such a system already in colleges of Art and Design and in the successful FETAC model of assessment in operation in the vocational sector.

 

The second event I attended brought the need for universal design in education home even more. I spoke at a Labour Party event in the Mansion House on disability where there were many parents of deaf and blind children talking about their experience of negotiating a basic education for their children.  In spite of the government rhetoric around a consultative process with parents, they feel un-listened to.  Most describe a whole confluence of systematic barriers to learning for their children starting at birth and persisting right through the education system.  The result is a generation of bright sensory impaired young people who leave school ill equipped in basic literacy to progress on to education or employment because their needs have been systematically ignored.

 

A student centred system of education, according to recent ESRI research engages students and ensures their retention within the system and serves the different learning needs of all children by offering flexibility and creativity in teaching.  It makes no sense to change the activities within the classroom and continue to examine everything thought written examinations.  This is the right time to change the Leaving Certificate, we have heard about it for years and Minister Ruairi Quinn we hope is taking the reins and embracing a move to change.

 

We support his efforts wholeheartedly.

 

Ann Heelan

Executive Director

 

&

Present: 

Irish LLP: Erasmus National Agency in partnership with AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Access and Disability)

Conference on Learning Mobility: Addressing the Challenges for Students and Staff with a disability

 

Bewley’s Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

 

14.00-17.30

 

12 October 2011

Context                

  • Mobility has been defined by EU as a pillar action of Youth in the Move programme – how can we ensure its inclusivity using volunteering (buddies).
  • To explore mobility opportunities for students with a disability and the take up or lack thereof (a national and EU target in the area of social inclusion).
  • To identify what works for student with a disability who consider and also take up a mobility placement.

 

Desired outcomes       

  • To identify examples of good practice for encouraging mobility for student with disabilities
  • To capture the attitudes, expectations and experiences of students with disabilities, their buddies and professionals using the world cafe technique of discussion/interaction

 

Target Audience 

HEI Staff – international officers; placement officers; disability and access officers; college management personnel; students; public bodies; EU personnel; European Partners; Employers; parents, voluntary agencies in the field; cross-border contacts

Registration                 

Please complete the online form by 7 October 2011

******************

Programme

14.00                          Registration

14.30                          Opening Remarks – Chairman/CE HEA

14.35                          EU Mobility Practice and Policy – EU Commission or NA speaker

14.50                          A student perspective – Jessica Gough, University of Limerick (TBC)

15.00                          Tina Lowe, Disability Access Officer, Access & Lifelong Learning, University College Dublin

15.15                          World Café – Facilitator, Chris Chapman

17.30                          Conclusion of Conference

All attendees/participants are invited by the Erasmus National Agency to the 4th Annual Erasmus Lecture to be delivered by Mary Davis, President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia which will take place at 18.30 at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square, Dublin.  The event will include a performance by the Cross Border Strings and will conclude with a  short reception.

Please indicate your response on the application form at the appropriate part.  As you can appreciate this information is essential for catering at the Lecture.

Depending on the numbers attending, bus transport will be provided from Bewley’s Hotel to the Hugh Lane Gallery.