Commenting today on the publication of the Bertelsmann-Stiftung report, Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association for Principals and Deputy Principals
“It is hugely disappointing to see Ireland ranking poorly amongst our European partners for our investment in education – 21 out of 28 countries. It’s particularly disappointing given Minister Bruton’s goal to make Irish education the best in Europe by 2026. While today’s report has some positives for Ireland, it shows we have a long way to go before the Minister’s goal becomes a reality. The report identifies education as amongst our greatest policy challenges, something which is often overlooked and must be urgently addressed.
Of particular challenge is the need to increase investment in our public education system, ensure education parity regardless of socio-economic background, and increase the rate of working-age population completing their secondary education, right through to Leaving Certificate. For the 20% of our working-age population who have not attained an upper-secondary education, more should be done to foster pathways to further education and training, particularly in circumstances where we’re reaching full employment.
The report also highlights Ireland’s achievements to date, particularly our students’ scholastic performance where we continue to perform well internationally, ranking amongst the highest in the EU. The incredible efforts of our hardworking teachers and school management teams must be recognised in this context but their work must be supported by Government if we are to improve our standing internationally.”