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Clare teachers to stage lunchtime protest

Second-level teachers in Clare will protest outside their schools at lunchtime this Thursday but student class time will not be affected by the protest. The protest aims to highlight the need to maintain independent assessment of student attainment at Junior Cycle. It involves members of the ASTI and the TUI. Up to 27,000 second-level teachers across the country will participate. Peter Quinn, ASTI representative for Clare and a teacher at St. Flannan’s College said teachers fully support a move away from excessive reliance on written exams and want to see more focus in schools on practical, portfolio, and project work. “We want to maintain independent, external assessment in order to protect standards, equity, quality and fairness. Anything less has the potential to seriously undermine Junior Cycle education and to widen inequalities between students and schools. We cannot take this risk with our young people. “We appreciate the support we have received from parents and the community during this campaign,” he …

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Reprieve for small primary schools

SMALL primary schools facing the threat of losing a teacher due to falling numbers have been given some breathing space this week, as a result of a decision by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan. Affecting schools mainly in rural parishes, new retention regulations will give a slightly improved pupil/teacher ratio in two to four-teacher school scenarios. Nationally, close on 60% of primary schools have four teachers or less. Minister O’Sullivan revealed that the new retention schedule for the 2015/16 school year will be 19 pupils, rather than 20, to retain a second teacher; 53 pupils, rather than 56, to retain a third teacher and 83 pupils, rather than 86, to retain a fourth teacher. While generally supportive of the decision to reduce the number of pupils required to retain teachers in small schools, Labasheeda National School principal, Liam Woulfe, said the change “will not greatly aid two-teacher schools”. Following two appeals, Labasheeda was able to show that it had the required …

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Junior category winner Aoife Daly, St Annes Killaloe with John Galvin, Clare Champion Managing Director.

Short Story winners announced

The winners of eighth annual Clare Champion Short Story Competition have just been announced, with the prizes being presented at a ceremony in DeValera Library, attended by students, parents and teachers. The winning entries were: Junior Category Highly Commended – Missing Figure by Aneesha Abdalla, Coláiste Muire Highly Commended – Success by Seán Lyons, St Flannan’s College Highly Commended – In a Foreign Field by Jane O’Loughlin, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna 3rd place – Storm Christine by Róisín O’Donoghue, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna 2nd place – Mistaken Identity by Michael McNamara, Rice College, Ennis 1st place – I Am by Aoife Daly, St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe Senior Category Highly Commended – A Teenager’s Guide to Life by Muireann Duffy, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon Highly Commended – A Noble Profession by Roisin O’Sullivan, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point Highly Commended – Just Another Day by Eve Quinn, Coláiste Muire, Ennis 3rd place – Brooke’s Magazine by Seán Hanrahan, …

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