The initiative is aimed at encouraging disadvantaged groups into the teaching profession.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced funding for a new initiative aimed at encouraging groups from disadvantaged backgrounds, people with a disability and members of the Traveller community to become teachers.
The programme will result in more than 120 new teachers coming through the system from groups which have been traditionally under-represented in teaching.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton this week announced the allocation of €2.4 million for the initiative.
It will target students from DEIS schools from Junior Cycle onwards, to promote teaching as a profession. This will be complimented by academic supports for these students in areas such as Irish and Maths. They will also be able to engage in ‘taster’ initial teacher education modules.
Further Education students will benefit from the creation of a specific pathway into post primary teacher education.
The initiative will also see providers working directly with communities with low participation rates in higher education and will support teachers to enable them to act as mentors to aspiring teachers.
The department said the aim is to provide more role models for students in these groups, to show them there are pathways open to them.
It is also hoped having more diversity in the teaching profession will help provide better outcomes for children in disadvantaged groups as it will ensure there are more teachers in place who understand the challenges.
“At the heart of everything we are doing in education is ensuring that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances. Education has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage. The basic aim of this Government is to sustain our economic progress and use it to build a fair and compassionate society. No area is more important to this vision than education,” Bruton said.
“We are lucky in Ireland to have such a dedicated and committed teaching profession. Our teachers and school leaders will continue to play a pivotal role in helping children to achieve their potential.”