Organisations and resources for primary schools
The following list of websites and organisations has been compiled to help parents and students. You may find them particularly helpful if your child is starting primary education for the first time. You may also find these resources useful if you will be moving to Ireland soon and are looking for information on primary education.
Parents and students
The official education portal provided by Ireland's Department of Education and Skills is called Scoilnet. It aims to support Ireland’s education community by providing information and advice to students, teachers and parents. Scoilnet offers resources on a wide range of subjects that have been evaluated by subject matter experts to make sure they are relevant to the curricula. These are resources such as lesson plans, interactive and printable worksheets, notes and multimedia content. Teachers and parents can also get information on current news and events relating to education and parenting.
Educate Together is the organisation represents the multi-denominational Educate Together primary schools and associations throughout Ireland. The schools operated by the member associations of Educate Together are fully recognised by the Department of Education and Skills and work under the same regulations and funding structures as other national schools. However, they have a distinct ethos. Educate Together schools guarantee equality of access to children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious backgrounds. They also have a high level of parental participation in the operation of the school. The Educate Together website has a complete list of Educate Together schools in Ireland and details about how you can organise a start up group and participate in the establishment a new school.
Gaelscoileanna is the main co-ordinating body for all-Irish schools, both primary and post-primary. It aims to advance the use of Irish as the language of instruction in schools around the country. Support is provided to parents who want their children educated through Irish, and to local committees who want to establish all-Irish schools in their own locality.
National Parents Council (Primary)
The National Parents Council – Primary (NPC) is a nationwide organisation that represents the interests of parents of primary school children. It aims to actively involve parents in all aspects of their children’s education, to provide a voice for parents in the development of parents' groups in each school, and to monitor educational development and educational opportunities.
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation is the largest teachers’ trade union in Ireland. It represents teachers at primary level in Ireland and at primary and post-primary level in Northern Ireland. The INTO website provides information on a number of issues relating to education. These include teachers’ qualifications and working conditions, school administration issues such as insurance and funding, information on parent-teacher relations, education and employment legislation and a section on classroom resources.
Irish Primary Principals Network
The Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) is a professional association of school leaders providing dedicated support and representation for principals and deputy principals. It exists to support the continued professional and personal development of primary school principals. The IPPN offers its members access to organisational policies, curriculum plans, management resources, legislative issues and professional guidance. They also operate a confidential advisory service and answer profession queries from members.
Froebel primary and early childhood education
The Maynooth University Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education is a teacher-training college specialising in education using the Froebel method. This is a progressive child-centred method of education that fosters quality teaching and learning, creativity, integration and sound practical classroom management. The college offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses for teachers.
The Teaching Council
The Teaching Council promotes and develops teaching as a profession at primary and post-primary levels. It provides a forum for presenting the views of the profession on all aspects of the teaching career from initial recruitment to in-career professional development. The Council maintains a register of all teachers who teach in recognised schools in Ireland. As the regulatory body for teachers, the Teaching Council produces a code of professional conduct for teachers, which covers standards of teaching, knowledge, skill and competence.
Barnardos is a charitable organisation providing a range of services for parents and children. Its Information centre has a library which offers advice and information on issues relating to children. This includes information leaflets and booklets on a range of subjects such as child development. In addition the Training and Resources section also offers training to anyone working with children, from parents to carers. The library deals with enquiries from parents, professionals, students and anyone with an interest in any aspect of childcare.
Home Education Network
If you choose to educate your child at home, the Home Education Network may be a good source of information for you. It is a support and lobby group for home educators. It aims to help parents use the available resources to develop educational techniques suitable for each child’s needs. It also provides a means for the exchange of ideas and experience among home educators through regular meetings and newsletters.
Irish Society for Autism
The Irish Society for Autism (ISA) offers advice and support to those coping with autism. It runs a drop-in centre in its Dublin office where parents, professionals and students can meet to discuss the problems faced by people with autism. It offers members access to audio visual equipment, books, publications and videos.
Foras na Gaeilge
Foras na Gaeilge is the body responsible for promoting the Irish language. Its website covers a number of areas including the roots of the Irish language and some background on the Gaeltacht areas. The site has a comprehensive list of Irish courses available to both children and adults and covers how Irish is taught in schools. Foras na Gaeilge offers teaching resources to Irish teachers who want to update their skills and also offers advice to parents who want to help improve their children’s Irish. The website gives details of social outlets where Irish is spoken and provides a list of Irish-language organisations and groups.