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Tag Archives: Jan O’Sullivan

New medical training in Limerick

A collaboration between a Limerick college and private hospital marks a milestone in medical training available in the Mid-West. The initiative by Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Barrington’s Hospital, launched by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan, will see students being educated in specialised medical technology in Limerick for the first time. The partnership between the two Limerick institutions sees a new cutting edge BSc programme being delivered, which will address an emerging skills gap in medical technology. Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the institute and the hospital, core elements of education will be delivered by LIT in Barrington’s, using of state-of-the-art medical technology. Dr Maria Hinfelaar, president of LIT said, “This partnership with Barrington’s Hospital is very exciting for LIT. Students on the new BSc in Medical Technology programme are not only being equipped for careers in an emerging sector that is critical to the delivery of medicine in the …

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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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Creating a positive school climate

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan has launched the first guide for primary teachers on homophobic and transphobic bullying. The guide, Respect: Creating a Welcoming and Positive School Climate to Prevent Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying in Primary School was developed by GLEN, the INTO and the INTO LGBT Group. Minister O’Sullivan said, “Every primary school classroom has children from a diverse range of backgrounds and family types. Every child needs to feel that they belong and that they are welcomed, respected and valued. “The Respect resource will support the whole primary school community in creating an inclusive and positive school climate, so that all children can flourish to the best of their abilities.” Sandra Irwin-Gowran, firector of education policy at GLEN, said,”Bullying is an issue for many children in our schools and for some this can take the form of homophobic or transphobic bullying. Encouraging respectful relationships across the school community is key to preventing bullying, particularly identity-based bullying. …

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Teachers confirm a second day’s strike action

The ASTI Standing Committee and TUI Executive Committee today (Friday) decided that a second day’s strike action over the Junior Cycle dispute will take place on Thursday, January 22. The unions also decided, if necessary, to take an additional day of strike action, the date to be announced. Both unions, which represent 27,000 second level teachers, have a strong mandate for industrial action following ballots of membership. A first day’s strike action took place on December 2. The executive bodies of both unions also agreed that they are prepared to meet with Dr Pauric Travers with a view to facilitating constructive engagement that might help to resolve the impasse. The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan stated on Wednesday that she intends to request that Dr Travers consult with both sides, and the unions see this as a positive development.

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Elysha encourages support for volunteer programme

A Clare student joined Education Minister, Jan O’Sullivan and her Northern Ireland counterpart, John O’Dowd at an event this week to encourage Ireland’s youth to apply for the 2015 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards Programme. The awards programme recognises young people for exemplary volunteer service and Elysha Ní Chulain from Bunratty, a student at Coláiste Íde in Daingean Uí Chúis, Kerry, last year’s winner, endorsed the initiative. At the reception in Dublin, both ministers encouraged schools across the island to nominate young people who give their time, energy and spirit to make a positive impact on their communities. The call was supported by The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI). For more details www.pramerica.ie.  

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€400,000 vacant houses allocation for Clare

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan has allocated €15m to bring back into use 1,008 vacant local authority units. This is part of a year-long campaign driven by Minister O’Sullivan that will see €30m invested and nearly 2,000 vacant houses returned to beneficial use. €400,000 has been allocated to County Clare, which will be used for 20 “voids” approved for return to use. This works out at an average of €20,000 per unit. Work will be carried out in the coming months on homes in Ennis, Killaloe, Shannon, Clarecastle, Ruan, Moyasta, Kilrush, Cross and Whitegate. “I am determined to use every lever available to me to increase the number of social homes. One of the biggest scandals of recent years has been the high number of vacant, boarded up local authority homes. Today’s allocations will refurbish 1,008 of these units and transform them into family homes. It brings to €30m the amount invested in this important programme this year. This investment will see nearly 2,000 local …

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Dáil protest on ‘rent assistance’

The Housing Action Group is calling on Minister Jan O’Sullivan to suspend the Housing Bill until “confusion and unwanted stress” surrounding the Housing Assistance Payment ( HAP) scheme is removed. The group is to stage another protest outside the Dáil at 5.30pm this Tuesday when the Bill resumes for debate and final voting. Gwen Connell, spokesperson for the group, said the provisions in the Bill were “well hidden” from the public until highlighted by the group only last Tuesday. Since then, the HAG had been inundated by people currently on council waiting lists worried about losing their place on the list. “The reckless nature of this Bill now brings fear of homelessness to families who were not directly affected in the past. It leaves families at the mercy of landlords whether on rent allowance, RAS or private renting. “This does not fix the problem of ‘rent allowance not accepted’ as the HAP will be the new rent supplement. What happens when …

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Minister rejects “grossly inaccurate” claim on housing assistance

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan has dismissed as “misleading and grossly inaccurate” Opposition claims that recipients of the new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) will not have a route to other forms of social housing. “The new Housing Assistance Payment is the most radical reform of social housing support in decades. It transforms the system of rent supplement which is widely recognised as not being fit for purpose.The new Housing Assistance Payment will benefit those households who require assistance with their housing needs,” she asserted on this Tuesday. The minister said:  It will ensure that all long-term housing support is accessed through each local authority, rather than the current fractured system that involves the Department of Social Protection making payments, with people joining waiting lists to access the local authority system; It will ensure that people can take up employment and still retain housing support; It will improve standards of accommodation for tenants, with a more coherent system of inspection under the …

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