27/06/19

Increased Investment Approved for Gaeltacht Schools Language Assistants Scheme

  • 3-year allocation worth up to €3.6m approved by  Minister of State Seán Kyne for the scheme 
  • Schools to have Language Assistants for an additional 6 weeks 

Government Chief-Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne T.D. has announced today that he has approved a grant of up to €3.6m in total for a 3-year period under the Language Assistants Scheme.

The extra investment which has been approved for the scheme will benefit Gaeltacht schools participating in the Gaeltacht education policy and enable them to have language assistants for an extra 6 weeks during the school year from now on (equivalent to 32 weeks in total). In the case of post primary schools, 31 weeks will apply – as a shorter school-year applies to them.

As a result, language assistants will be able to start working at the beginning of the school year from now on instead of later in the school year as has happened in general until now. This measure will come into effect at the beginning of the new school year in autumn. It comes on foot of a measure previously initiated by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which facilitated the inclusion of a further 32 schools under the scheme, which equates to every Gaeltacht school participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme.

An increase in funding has been approved to the two organisations in charge of administering the scheme on behalf of the Department – to equate to an increase of €32,400 for Muintearas which is in charge of 108 schools under the scheme and €9,424 for Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne which deals with 28 schools under the scheme on behalf of the Department.

Minister of State Kyne said: ‘I am pleased to be able to take these steps. 113 language assistants employed in 135 Gaeltacht schools are carrying out meaningful work under the Language Assistants Scheme, which benefits the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht community. The announcement of this extra support is another step forward which will benefit both the Gaeltacht education policy and the language planning process. It also shows the commitment of the Government to support the implementation of the Action Plan for the Irish Language, of which the language planning process is a vital part. 

This funding is being made available as a specific support to the implementation of both the Gaeltacht Education Policy and the language planning process in accordance with the commitment made under action 2.17 of the Government’s Irish Language Action Plan 2018-2022.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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