Organisations and resources for second-level schools
The following websites and list of organisations have been compiled to help parents and teachers. You may find them particularly helpful if your child is starting second-level education in Ireland for the first time. You may also find these resources useful if you will be moving to Ireland or returning to Ireland soon and are looking for information on the post-primary or second-level education system here.
Parents and students
The official education portal provided by the 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. Scoilnet has a 'Schools Online' section, which is devoted to profiling schools and teachers. It also includes information on building school websites and ways to integrate digital technologies into teaching, learning and assessment. Scoilnet provides a searchable database of primary and secondary schools, many of which have established their own web pages on this site.
The website of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment provides information on the curriculum and subjects up to Senior Cycle. You can find useful resources and the latest news about what is happening in education, including new subjects, subjects under review and changes under the Junior and Senior cycle.
Educate Together represents the multi-denominational Educate Together primary and second-level 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. Although they work under the same regulations and funding structures as other national schools, 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. It also has information on how you can organise a start- up group and participate in the establishment a new school.
Gaelscoileanna is the main co-ordinating body for Irish-speaking schools, both primary and second-level. 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 Post Primary
The National Parents Council - Post Primary (NPCpp) is a nationwide organisation that represents the interests of parents with children in second-level education.
The NPCpp aims to:
- Actively involve parents in all aspects of their children’s education
- Provide a voice for parents in the development of parent groups
- Monitor educational development and educational opportunities
The NPCpp also works as an umbrella organisation for parents associations in second-level schools. It aims to have an effective parents association in place in every school.
Online Patronage Process System
The new Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) allows parents and guardians to express their preference for the model of patronage for new schools in their area.
The website lists all schools currently going through the patronage process, and provides objective information to parents and guardians to help them make an informed choice about their preferred model of school patronage.
Webwise.ie provides advice and resources for parents and teachers on internet safety. Parents can access expert advice, information on the latest apps and social networks, and a how-to guide on setting up parental controls – on its parents’ hub. There is a range of second-level teaching resources created to address issues including cyberbullying, non-consensual image-sharing, social media and developing digital citizenship skills on its teachers hub.
Spunout.ie is Ireland’s youth information website. It provides information and support for young people on a range of topics covering education, employment, health and life events. Education-related articles include advice on transitioning from school to college, everything you need to know about CAO offers and how to handle exam results anxiety and stress, among many others.
Irish Second-Level Students Union
The Irish Second-Level Students Union (ISSU) is the national umbrella body for school student councils.
It aims to:
- Represent and connect second-level students throughout Ireland
- Empower students through training, guidance and advice to equip them to become actively involved in the decision-making processes in their own school communities
- Work in partnership with other organisations to bring the views of second-level school students in relation to educational issues to the attention of policy-makers and the media
- Strive for innovation and democracy within the education system.
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 in Ireland. It aims to help parents use the available resources to develop educational techniques suitable for each child’s needs.
The network provides a forum for home educators to exchange ideas and experience through regular meetings and newsletters. Its website contains links to research and online information about home education. It also operates a library service of books on home education that is available to members.
Teachers Union of Ireland
The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) represents teachers and lecturers in vocational schools, community colleges, community and comprehensive schools, institutes of technology, further education and other specialist areas. The TUI has produced a number of policy documents on issues such as bullying and sexual harassment in schools. They also provide details of conditions of service and contracts for their members, including the full text of the conciliation and arbitration scheme for teachers.
Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland
The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) is the main second-level teachers’ union in Ireland. ASTI members teach in voluntary secondary schools, community and comprehensive schools and colleges. ASTI is a source of information on pay and conditions for teachers and provides its members with a professional advocacy service. It also runs a professional development service for teachers. ASTI has produced a number of information leaflets for teachers covering issues such as discipline in schools, bullying and guidelines for professional behaviour.
Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI)
The Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) (formerly called Irish Vocational Education Association) represents the interests of the 16 Education and Training Boards (formerly called Vocational Education Committees). It aims to promote and enhance the interests of vocational education and training. The ETBI offers training and continued professional development to its members, contributes to national policy discussion and has produced a number of booklets on issues such as managing allegations of child sexual abuse and policies on educational provision for asylum seekers and refugees.
National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals
The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) represents principals and deputy principals at second-level. The organisation has a network of nine regional branches and a range of sub-committees working on specific areas of education. It ensures that members are represented on all relevant national and international bodies and that principals and deputy principals are consulted on education policy initiatives that may affect their role. The NAPD also provides support and advice for principals and deputy principals through a secretariat.
The Teaching Council
The Teaching Council promotes and develops teaching as a profession at primary and second-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. As the regulatory body for teachers in Ireland, the Teaching Council produces a code of professional conduct for teachers, which covers standards of teaching, knowledge, skill and competence.
Foras na Gaeilge
The body responsible for promoting the Irish language is Foras na Gaeilge. Its website covers a number of topics 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 also provides teaching resources to Irish teachers who want to update their skills and offers advice to parents who want to help improve their child’s Irish. The website gives details of social outlets where Irish is spoken and provides a list of Irish language organisations and groups.
LanguagesConnect.ie is a resource for schools and students that helps to spread awareness of the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of language learning. It is part of Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026. The website has separate sections for students, parents, educators and businesses.
English as a second language
A number of schools have been set up in Ireland to offer tuition in English as a second language.