Children’s Rights Alliance welcomes Review of Out of School Education Provision and urges Department to act on recommendations without delay
Responding to the publication today (12.05.2022) of the Review of Out of School Education Provision, Children’s Rights Alliance Chief Executive Tanya Ward says: “It is welcome to see the publication of the review of out of school or alternative education provision. This report marks the start of much-needed work in the area of education to ensure that alternative education opportunities and adequate supports are put in place for students shut out of mainstream education. The Children’s Rights Alliance has placed a heightened focus on the need expand and fund out-of-school education provision to ensure a child-centred approach to education by providing alternatives that are best suited to the individual child.”
“There are key recommendations in this review that will help drive change across the area of education as whole and ensure that pathways are created for every child and young person to reach their full potential both academically and personally,” continued Tanya Ward. “We have said time and time again that a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not, and will not, work. Those working in alternative education settings provide a safe haven for many children who have often times had very negative experiences in mainstream education.
It is also worth noting this review was completed before the advent the Covid-19 which has disrupted the education for many students across the country. We have heard from our members including the Cork Life Centre and iScoil that while their services receive support from government, they still struggle with resourcing to meet the current demand for places they are seeing. It is very positive that the review today points to the need for the State to provide ‘stability and ensure settings are sustainable into the future.’ It recognises not only the need to fully resource the settings currently in place but also acknowledges their importance when we look to the future of education in Ireland.”
“We have been calling for the development of a long-term Alternative Education strategy and this Review is the foundation for strategic thinking in this area. It is positive to see the review recommends the development of an overarching framework of out-of-school provision and for the first time, maps out where settings are located, painting a clear picture of where the gaps are. The review highlighted the unstructured nature of the provision to date and commits to address this to ensure a consistency of approach and governance standards. We also welcome the commitment to provide a framework of supports and services available to schools for students who are at risk of becoming disengaged from education. We acknowledge the importance that is being placed on implementation through the establishment of a working group and urge the Department to progress with the recommendations in this review without the delay,” concluded Tanya Ward.
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Notes to editor:
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview.
• Read the Children’s rights Alliance policy paper on Alternative and Out of School Provision here.
• Access the Review of Out-of-School Education Provision here.
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About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 140 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL #EducationFutures