Minister Foley launches Report on the Review of Out-of-School Education Provision and outlines plan to implement its recommendations

Published on: 13 May 2022


Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today (12 May 2022) announced the publication of a report on the Review of Out-of-School Education Provision.

The out-of-school education sector relates to a small number of schools and education centres which operate outside of mainstream education provision.

This review focused on the education provision in the State for learners under 16 years of age who have encountered difficulties staying in mainstream education. The review also makes recommendations to inform future policy to provide a sustainable option within the education system to further serve this group of learners. It contains six recommendations, and an implementation plan.

The recommendations, based on the findings of the review, are:

 

  • To recognise the need for a framework of supports for students who are at risk of becoming disengaged from education.

 

  • While this review finds positively on the work which is carried out in out-of-school settings, it is important to provide stability to this provision and ensure settings are sustainable into the future.

 

  • A requirement to develop a standardised referral framework to provide clear structure, guidelines and accountability.

 

  • Further Improvement across the education system in the current level of the data recording and tracking of students who are expelled or absent from school.

 

  • Consideration should be given to the location and accessibility of short term and long term out-of-school education provision, to prevent the early leaving of students from education and training and

 

  • A mapping of all support services available to schools should be completed to support the educational and personal development of students such supports to include all cross departmental, agency and community services.

 

Minister Foley said: “While Ireland has one of the highest completion rates for second-level education in the EU, we know that there are learners who, having experienced difficulty staying in mainstream education seek an alternative. Out-of-school education settings provide these learners with a holistic educational service, using innovative and flexible approaches for students. The recommendations in this report aim to draw on these approaches and ensure out of school education provision can be sustained into the future and continue to play its vital role.

“This review involved consultation with a range of stakeholders and interested parties and I would like to thank all who contributed to the review, in particular the young people and practitioners from out-of-school education provision settings. It is always hugely informative to engage with those who have direct experience, and their contributions into the positive impact that out-of-school settings can have for children and young people.”

 

The Minister further announced that an implementation group will be established to oversee implementation of the recommendations of the report.

A copy of the report is available here .

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