Educational Disadvantage Centre

News 2015/2016

News 2016 /2015

2016

INVITED PRESENTATION IN BRATISLAVA TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND SLOVAK EU PRESIDENCY MEETING OF DIRECTORS-GENERAL FOR SCHOOLS ACROSS EUROPE - DR. PAUL DOWNES

Dr Paul Downes gave a two and a half hour workshop on Structural Indicators for Inclusive Systems in and around Schools to Directors-General for Schools from Education Ministries across all EU member states at the European Commission and Slovak EU Presidency Meeting of Directors-General for Schools on December 13-14th, 2016.  The workshop was based on the findings of the forthcoming report for the European Commission that he has led: Downes, P., Nairz-Wirth, E., Rusinaite, V. (2017). Structural Indicators for Developing Inclusive Systems in and around Schools in Europe.  Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.   Dr Downes also presented the workshop findings to the plenary session at the meeting (photo)   ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

Paul Downes speaking at Slovak EU Presidency meeting Jan 2017 

ANALYTICAL BULLYING REPORT FOR THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION JUST PUBLISHED

An analytical report for the European Commission authored by Dr. Paul Downes and Professor Carmel Cefai, University of Malta, has just been published: Downes, P. & Cefai, C. (2016). How to tackle bullying and prevent school violence in Europe: Evidence and practices for strategies for inclusive and safe schools.  NESET II. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.   This report argues for a common system response for early school leaving and bullying prevention. It includes a focus on community outreach and family support approaches and also seeks to address discriminatory bullying.  It was supported by researchers across Europe, from Eurochild & the European Network of Social and Emotional Competence (ENSEC). It also involved contribution from national education ministry officials from the European Commission’s School Policy Working Group on Early School Leaving, to which Paul Downes has been an advisor.  ACCESS THE PUBLICATION HERE    

4 CONTEXTS WHERE SMART OUTCOMES ARE NOT SO CLEVER IN ADULT EDUCATION

Dr Paul Downes' piece on 4 Contexts where SMART outcomes are not so clever in adult education has just been published on the EPALE Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe  ACCESS THE DOCUMENT HERE 

LAUNCH BY MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND SKILLS OF THE ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION REPORT BY DR SINEAD MCNALLY AND DR PAUL DOWNES

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D launched the access to higher education evaluation report authored by Dr Sinead McNally and Dr Paul Downes of DCU's Institute of Education, at the official opening of UCD's Access and Lifelong Learning Centre on December 7th. The published report is: McNally, S. & Downes, P. (2016). Evaluation of University College Dublin’s ‘Future You’ Peer Support Access Initiative: A Relational, Community Development Systemic Outreach Approach. Dublin: UCD.  Presenting on the report at the launch, both Dr McNally (Lecturer in Psychology, DCU School of Language Literacy and Early Childhood) and Dr Downes (Director of DCU's Educational Disadvantage Centre and Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Human Development) highlighted the report's key findings and policy recommendations, with implications for access to education outreach initiatives nationally. ACCESS REPORT HERE

Launch of UCD evaluation

 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION AT SERBIAN EDUCATION MINISTRY AND UNICEF CONFERENCE

Dr Paul Downes gave the opening keynote presentation, Developing inclusive systems in and around schools for early school leaving prevention: The importance of emotions and relationships, at the Serbian Education Ministry, UNICEF and Centre for Education Policy Conference, Combating early school leaving in Serbia through effective dropout prevention and intervention measures at the school level, November 28th/29th 2016, Belgrade, Serbia. ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE    ACCESS A VIDEO OF DR DOWNES' PRESENTATION HERE (FIRST VIDEO,19 MINUTES IN)

Pictured below with Dr Downes is Boris Jokic, advisor to the Prime Minister of Croatia for their recent proposed education reforms and a member for Croatia of the EU Thematic Group on Early School Leaving within the EU 2020 Strategy 

JOINT INTO/EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS ON DEIS STRATEGY REVIEW

The Proceedings of the INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation) and Educational Disadvantage Centre Joint Conference, Review of DEIS: Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education, have been published. The Conference was the largest face to face consultation process nationally for the DEIS strategy review and involved a range of cross-sectoral stakeholders, as well as senior civil servants directly responsible for drafting the new strategy. ACCESS THE PROCEEDINGS' DOCUMENT HERE

NORTH INNER CITY DUBLIN GOVERNMENT TASKFORCE SUBMISSION

The Educational Disadvantage Centre established a cross-sectoral Education group to develop a submission on education and interagency working to North Inner City Dublin Taskforce being led by Kieran Mulvey and reporting to the Irish Government.

This cross-sectoral education group is composed of the following:

Primary school principals from Dublin 1 (Mark Candon, St. Laurence O’Toole’s BNS, Sheriff St., Niamh Murray, Rutland St., Pat Courtney, St. Vincent’s BNS, North William St.), DCU Educational Disadvantage Centre, (Dr Paul Downes, Dr Bernadette Dwyer) and DCU access office (Ita Tobin, Margaret Lamont), Grangegorman Access and Civic Engagement Office (Dr Julie Bernard), Head Teacher, Education Centre, Mountjoy prison (Dr Anne Costelloe), and the Pathways project for ex-prisoners (Niall Walsh), researchers from Trinity College Dublin (Dr Johanna Ivers) and Maynooth (Dr Patricia Doyle), DIT .

Pat Courtney and Paul Downes met with Kieran Mulvey on behalf of the group to discuss the group's submission. DOWNLOAD THE SUBMISSION HERE

Proposal 1:  Community lifelong learning centre as a one-stop-shop of services located in a neutral venue between Sean MacDermott St. and Sheriff St., such as Aldborough House

Proposal 2: To have an education ‘umbrella’ to gather all the agencies – statutory, non-statutory and voluntary under one ‘Tzar’ for the area to deliver service level agreements

Proposal 3: Multidisciplinary teams in every school in the area to have school based speech and language therapist, emotional counsellor and occupational therapist

Proposal 4: Recovery Cafés offering employment, community leadership, youth engagement

Proposal 5: Early years services in this area are generally needed to become more professional and there is a need for upskilling those who are working with the 0-6 year olds and their parents.

Proposal 6: An initiative designed specifically to help fathers in prison support their child’s educational development while simultaneously addressing their own learning needs

Download the supporting documents here:

Chit Chat”: Early Intervention Speech and Language Therapy Model and linkages to the Education Sector

Facilitating children’s sensorimotor* development in DEIS schools: Relevance and recommendations

Prison Families Learning Programme: Supporting your child’s education while in prison

Recovery Centre Point-Business Plan 

Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SEMINAR

Dr Paul Downes gave the keynote presentation, Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education in Ireland: What can Volunteers do to Help ? at the St. Vincent de Paul East Region Seminar, "Education: ­The Way Out of Poverty: What Conferences Can Do to Help“, Clonliffe College on November 5th 2016. ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

IDEC 2016 CONFERENCE

Cois na hAbhna, Ennis. Thursday December 8th 2016

The Intercultural and Diversity Education Centre-Ireland (IDEC-Ireland) is a partnership of statutory agencies, community organisations and higher education institutions. Since 2010, IDEC-Ireland has hosted conferences to mark International Human Rights Day, using it as an opportunity to illustrate successes and failures of the Irish State in relation to Human Rights.  It has been illustrated at our previous conferences that recognition and celebration of diversity is a crucial aspect of healthy communities. This year’s conference, Diversity in Education- Raising the Bar: Ireland’s Untapped Potential relates to the theme of the importance of diversity in the Irish education system and this was illustrated by showcasing models of educational approaches and outcomes, including the challenges faced by these projects. There were workshops and keynote speakers along with a variety of participatory activities including World Café and a panel discussion.  The workshops were informal dialogical sessions, facilitated by representatives from education, community and entreprise,  with the objective of exploring the themes of living and learning diversity.      

The workshops were facilitated by representatives from Yellow Flag, Educate Together, DICE, Cities of Sanctuary and Green Spiral

 Joe Little, RTE Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent           Chinedu Onyejelem, Editor of Ireland's multicultural weekly newspaper Metro Eireann. Keynote speaker

The conference wasmoderated by Joe Little, RTE’s Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent and the Keynote Speaker was Chinedu  Onyejelem, journalist and owner publisher of Metro Éireann.

THE IDEC 2015 CONFERENCE REPORT CAN BE ACCESSED HERE

IRISH HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUALITY COMMISSION FUNDING: TRAVELLER EDCUATION

Pavee Point and the Educational Disadvantage Centre have been awarded funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to organise a conference on the Traveller Education Strategy - A Review after a Decade.   

TRAVELLER EDUCATION NETWORK

Valerie McLoughlin, Administrator of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, has been appointed Chairperson of the Traveller Education Network. TEN was established by the Northside Partnership with the stated aim of supporting Travellers’ successful transfer from primary to post-primary and ensure their retention to Leaving Certificate. It is made up of HSCL and SCP co-ordinators in the Dublin 17 area, DCU Access and Outreach Officers and members of the Travelling Community

SEMINAR ON EDUCATION SOCIETY OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL EAST REGION

"Education­: The Way Out of Poverty. What Conferences Can Do to Help" Saturday 5th November 2016, 9.45am­ - 1pm Clonliffe College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION ET2020 WORKING GROUP ON SCHOOLS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DIRECTORATE GENERAL, EDUCATION AND CULTURE

On September 15th, Dr Paul Downes gave the keynote presentation for the meeting of the new ET2020 Working Group on Schools, European Commission, Directorate-General, Education and Culture, Rue Joseph II, Brussels. The ET2020 Working Group on Schools is focused on issues of school governance and quality. It is composed of senior education ministry officials from all EU Member States, supported by EU Commission officials. The meeting was opened by Sophie Beernaerts, Head of the School and Educators Unit of the European Commission. Dr Downes' presentation was entitled, Developing a School System Governance Framework to Promote Quality for Transitions: Key Issues to Consider for a Differentiated, Holistic Strategy for Transitions. ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE.

NEW RESEARCH ASSOCIATE FOR EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE 

Dr Andrew McCoshan is an independent researcher with a special interest in poverty and social inclusion in education across Europe.  He works extensively for the European Commission and its agencies in education and training. Recent work includes being Senior Researcher on studies on: obstacles to the recognition of skills and qualifications (Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion); second chance education (Directorate-General for Education and Culture); and key competences in work-based learning (for Cedefop).  He also directed the first inventory on the validation of non-formal and informal learning for the EC in 2003-04 and was lead author for the study of VET pathways and VET’s role in tackling social disadvantage which was published by the EC as Beyond the Maastricht Communiqué (2008). He has also previously provided senior expert inputs to two Lifelong Learning Programme projects including EVALVET which focused on vocational education and training provision and its impact on disadvantaged groups. Andrew was until recently the external expert for the ESF Transnational Learning Network on mobility for disadvantaged youth and young adults, and was also a High Level Expert for DG Employment's apprenticeship advice service in 2013-14.  Andrew is currently the Thematic Coordinator on Quality for the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE). Andrew has also been a Visiting Research Fellow with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Until March 2011 he was a Director with the consultancy Ecorys. Andrew was educated at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics (LSE).  

STRUCTURAL INDICATORS FOR PREVENTION OF EARLY LEAVING FROM VET 

Dr Paul Downes has led an international team of experts established by Cedefop to devise a tool of structural indicators for prevention of early leaving from vocational education and training. Cedefop (the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) is funded by the European Commission. The project is based on his invited presentation to Cedefop, Structural indicators for good practice as part of a holistic and systemic approach for prevention of early leaving in VET (Vocational Education and Training) at the Cedefop International Workshop, in June 2014. The tool has been completed in August 2016.

MOVEMENT AND SENSORY INTEGRATION WORKING GROUP 

The Educational Disadvantage Centre has established a new working group on the issue of policy and practice supports for pupils with sensory integration difficulties and motor skills difficulties in DEIS schools.

VISITING PROFESSOR FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, VANCOUVER 

This semester, the Educational Disadvantage Centre will host a Visiting Professor from the University of British Columbia. Professor Jim Anderson is a professor in the Department of Language and Literacy at UBC, where he teaches and conducts research in the areas of early literacy and family literacy. His other interests include working with children and adults who struggle with literacy learning and issues of social and economic disadvantage.  His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the UBC Hampton Foundation, the Canadian Council on Learning, and the UBC Humanities and Social Sciences research fund.  He has been involved with the development of a number of family literacy initiatives including Parents As Literacy Supporters with Fiona Morrison and Literacy for Life with Victoria Purcell-Gates and colleagues. He continues to work with a number of MA and Ph.D. students doing innovative work in early literacy/family literacy.

Click here to go to Professor Anderson's webpage

INTERDEPARTMENTAL GROUP PRESENTATION ON AFTER-SCHOOL SERVICES 

Dr Paul Downes gave an invited presentation, ‘School Based Afterschool Services: Key Issues for the InterDepartmental Group to Consider’ to a range of officials from the Irish Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on July 18th 2016. This InterDepartmental Group is Chaired by Bernie McNally, Assistant Secretary General, Early Years, Education, Youth, Participation and Research Division, Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs. ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

WARM CONGRATULATIONS TO MARY QUEEN OF ANGELS BOYS SCHOOL BALLYFERMOT ON WINNING THE SOUTH DUBLIN JUNIOR ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME AWARD

The boys had to give business presentations as part of the Junior Entrepreneur Programme process and also had to source manufacturers, take orders, calculate selling prices, profit margins and advertise their product. The hoodies were on sale in the school for the month of March for between 20-30 euros. The boys made a huge profit on them - of which they took 50 euro each and donated the rest to the restoration of the school garden. The project was so successful in the school that they are going to continue to sell the hoodies this coming year. Following the success of the project, they were invited to take part in the Leinster Showcase Day in Tayto Park in May, representing South Dublin. They received a flag, plague and certificates and the CEO of Openet was so impressed with the Mary Queen of Angels’ pupils, he invited them to come in to his business so that the pupils could see how it worked. He has also offered all 6 boys work experience when they are in secondary school.The school is very proud of their achievements and plan on taking part in this initiative again this coming year. Our Centre at St. Patrick’s Campus, Institute of Education, DCU warmly congratulates the boys, Caitriona and the school on their initiative for this highly impressive achievement.

SCHOOL BASED SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPISTS: JOINT POLICY BRIEFING PAPER OF CDI (CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE), TALLAGHT AND THE EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE 

CDI (Childhood Development Initiative), Tallaght and the Educational Disadvantage Centre have published a Joint Policy Briefing Paper on a three-pronged model of School Based Speech and Language Therapists – focusing on individual work, work with parents and teachers. This Joint Policy Briefing Paper welcomes the Programme for Government commitment to such a school based model for speech and language therapists and seeks to confirm its inclusion in the new DEIS strategy.This three-pronged school based model builds on the evaluations of CDI’s Chit Chat model funded by the Irish Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies and insights from the earlier Familiscope, Ballyfermot model.Click here to access “Chit Chat”: Early Intervention Speech and Language Therapy Model and linkages to the Education Sector

EVALUATION OF UCD’S ACCESS INITIATIVE ‘FUTURE YOU’ BY DR SINEAD MCNALLY AND DR PAUL DOWNES 

The evaluation report of UCD’s Access Initiative ‘Future You’ has been published:  McNally, S. & Downes, P. (2016). Evaluation of University College Dublin’s ‘Future You’ Peer Support Access Initiative: A Relational, Community Development Systemic Outreach Approach. Dublin: UCD.  

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SKILLS STATEMENT OF STRATEGY 2016-2018: SUBMISSION BY EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE 

The Educational Disadvantage Centre Submission to Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton's Call for Consultation Department of Education and Skills Statement of Strategy 2016-2018, authored by Dr Paul Downes, can be accessed here

STRUCTURAL INDICATORS FOR INCLUSIVE SYSTEMS IN EDUCATION IN EUROPE 

The NESET II Work Programme of 2016 has been officially confirmed by the European Commission. Paul Downes will lead a research team for an analytical report on Structural Indicators for Inclusive Systems in Education (by Dr Paul Downes, Professor Erna Nairz-Wirth, Viktorija Rusinaitė) 

STRUCTURAL INDICATORS FOR PREVENTION OF EARLY LEAVING FROM VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (VET) IN EUROPE 

Dr Paul Downes is leading a team of experts convened by Cedefop  to develop a set of structural indicators for prevention of early leaving from vocational education and training (VET) in Europe.  Cedefop is the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, funded by European Commission.

CONGRATULATIONS TO NOEL KELLY ON HIS APPOINTMENT AS DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL WELFARE SERVICES, TUSLA 

Noel Kelly

Many congratulations to Noel Kelly on his appointment as Director of Educational Welfare Services at the National Education Welfare Board in Tusla, the National Child and Family Agency. Noel attended and graduated from St. Patrick’s College at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, taking the M.Ed Special Option in Educational Disadvantage.Noel was one of the first Home School Community Liaison Coordinators in Ireland. He has developed and managed the Northside Area Partnership Preparing for Life Programme funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. He gave a presentation Embedding evidence based approaches into mainstream systems to improve child outcomes. at the Joint Conference of the INTO and Educational Disadvantage Centre, REVIEW OF DEIS: Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education in the College in December 2015. He has worked with the College’s Educational Disadvantage Centre to establish the student volunteer Challenger programme where College student volunteers help prospective students from the Northside Partnership area in early secondary school with Irish language supports to access the teaching profession. Noel has also been a member of the External Advisory Group for the College’s Access Programme. 

THE INTEGRATION OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS WITHIN EDUCATION SYSTEMS: EXTENDING THE GLOBAL DIALOGUE INTO LATIN AMERICA AND MIDDLE RESOURCE COUNTRIES 

Dr Paul Downes gave an invited presentation, Integrating Student Services for Inclusive Systems to Support Learning, Health & Development: A Proposed Policy Direction in the Global White Paper, by skype, at a session of a meeting, The Integration of Health and Social Programs within Education Systems: Extending the Global Dialogue into Latin America and Middle Resource Countries, Curitiba, Brazil, May 22-25, 2016.The other presenters were Suzanne Hargreaves, Senior Education Officer Education, Scotland, William Potts-Datema, Chief, Program Development & Services, Adolescent & School Health, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Liane Comeau Conseillère Scientifique Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec.

For Paul Downes' presentation please click here  For Suzanne Hargreaves' presentation please click here 

For a list of the Curitiba Discussion Leaders please click here   For Workshop Agenda please click here 

DR KATHERINE ZAPPONE APPOINTED AS IRISH MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS 

Our Educational Disadvantage Centre warmly congratulates Dr. Katherine Zappone (pictured) on her appointment as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Minister Zappone has been a Senior Research Associate of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, authoring one of its reports, Achieving Equality in Children’s Education and contributing a chapter in a book of the Centre, Beyond Educational Disadvantage (P.Downes & A-L. Gilligan, Eds. IPA 2007). She has also previously taught on the M.Ed Special Option in Educational Disadvantage, coordinated by the Centre, now under the title, Poverty and Social Inclusion.  Minister Zappone is co-founder with Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan of An Cosan, Community Lifelong Learning Centre Tallaght and led the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) Consortium in Tallaght, by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies.

Katherine Zappone

DR PAUL DOWNES, CHAIR OF STEERING COMMITTEE OF THE GRANGEGORMAN AREA BASED CHILDHOOD (ABC) INITIATIVE FUNDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS AND ATLANTIC PHILANTHROPIES. 

Dr Paul Downes has taken up the invited position of Chair of the Steering Committee of the Grangegorman Area Based Childhood (ABC) initiative funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies.

The aim of ABC is to ensure that children get the best start in life by providing a range of programmes that have been shown to achieve positive results for parents and children. 120 senior infant children across 4 local schools in the Grangegorman area of Dublin will participate in the Doodle Den after-school literacy programme, including activities with their parents. All teachers of junior and senior infant children in the 4 schools will train in, and implement, the Incredible Years programme for classroom management with the children, benefitting up to 450 children, and almost 50 children needing additional supports will benefit from a small group programme during school hours. Up to 100 parents of 3-6 year olds will be offered parenting support classes in different locations in the area.

For pre-school children, 20 parents with new babies will be offered an 8-week baby programme, and 14 families will participate in a 2-year Parent Child Home Programme, aimed at supporting parents in developing their child’s literacy and language through play and reading. Up to 50 local childcare staff and managers will be offered accredited training programmes to support improved service delivery to pre-school children. The consortium of organisations will also work together to develop effective referral pathways between services to ensure early referral of children and families experiencing problems to get the help and support they need.

Access the Press Release here

Grangegorman showcasing event May 2016

Grangegorman Showcasing Event May 2016

EDC AND ACCESS OFFICE HOST CAMPUS VISIT FROM MARGARET AYLWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE 

On Thursday 28th April, a group of students from Margaret Aylward Community College visited St Patrick’s campus. The invitation was extended by the Educational Disadvantage Centre and the St Patrick’s College Access Office and was facilitated by the Ballymun Anseo SCP co-ordinator, Jennifer Cummins. It is one of a range of initiatives as part of both areas of the Community Engagement Initiative to address the barriers to participation in 3rd level education, specifically Initial Teacher Education, and to investigate ways and means to overcome them. Part of the visit was taken up with an art workshop facilitated by Seódín O’Sullivan; the photograph below features some of the girls and their artwork 

MACC students

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION, BY DR. PAUL DOWNES, EUROPEAN PARENTS' ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE 

Dr. Paul Downes gave a keynote presentation, Future horizons for parental involvement and family support in and around schools in Europe: An agenda for system reform at the European Parents' Association Conference, School as the Training Ground for Active Citizenship for Parents and Children. The conference took place on April 29th and 30th 2016 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The other keynote presenters were  Christopher Clouder, Co-founder of Alliance for Childhood and Ivana Milas Klaric, Croatian Ombudsman for Children. Petra Goran from the European Commission's School Education Unit and Andro Vlahusic, Mayor of Dubrovnik gave introductory contributions.

Three of the Educational Disadvantage Centre's reports on parental involvement in education were selected for publication by the European Commission for its European Toolkit for Schools, under its sections on Parental Involvement and Involvement of Stakeholders:

Downes, P. (2011). Community Based Lifelong Learning Centres: Developing a European Strategy Informed by International Evidence and Research.

Downes, P. (2014).  Towards a Differentiated, Holistic and Systemic Approach to Parental Involvement in Europe for Early School Leaving Prevention

Downes, P. (2015). Early School Leaving Prevention and Engaging Parents from Ethnic Minority and Migrant Backgrounds: Key Issues and Guiding Principles across 9 European City Municipalities

Dr Downes' presentation can be accessed here

EPA logostep by step logo

COMHAIRLE NA NÓG 

Dr. Paul Downes has been invited to become a member of the Steering Committee of experts to the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive. The National Executive is supported by officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Education and Skills Inspectorate.  The work of this Executive is focused on young people having a stronger voice on what happens in the  classroom, which was the top voted issue at Dáil na nÓg 2015. Other members of the Steering Committee are Professor Dympna Devine, UCD and Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ALLIANCE 2016 REPORT CARD ON THE PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 

The Children’s Rights Alliance 2016 Report Card on the Programme for Government was launched on March 14, 2016. It raised particular concerns with Child Poverty and Child and Youth Homelessness, while also highlighting inequality concerns for Traveller and Roma children, including the failure to recognise Travellers as an ethnic minority. Dr. Paul Downes was an expert advisor for the report.

The report card can be accessed here

BUILDING SCHOOL READINESS IN THE INNER CITY: FIONA COLLINS, PRINCIPAL, ST FRANCIS CBS 

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Fiona is the Principal of an inner city school in Dublin. Her interest in empowering young people began with the establishment of one of the first student councils in an Irish primary school. Under her leadership, her school was elected as an Ashoka Changemaker School-part of the first cohort of Changemaker Schools in Ireland. With her dedicated team of teachers and parents, Fiona is committed in exploring ways to promote educational participation, social inclusion and responsive citizenship. Addressing the inequalities faced by young people in marginalised communities lead Fiona to develop an ’empathy based methodology’ programme in her school. This programme has proven to be very successful in enhancing school readiness and building resilience amongst children in primary school.

Building a Teacher-Powered Education System

Monday 25th January 2016 in the Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

Speaker: Professor Andy Hargreaves

Panelist: Fiona Collins, Principal, St Francis CBS 

2015

IRISH HIGHER EDUCATION AUTHORITY (HEA) NATIONAL PLAN FOR EQUITY OF ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION 2015-2019 

The HEA (Irish Higher Education Authority) National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019 launched in December 2015 Among many key issues, this report highlights the need for a distinct focus on access to teacher education for socio-economically excluded groups and the need to develop successful focused access strategies for DEIS school contexts. Paul Downes was an invited advisor for the report.

The report can be accessed here

ET2020 WORKING GROUP ON SCHOOLS POLICY CONFERENCE: 'TRANSFORMING SCHOOL EDUCATION – RESULTS FROM THE ET 2020 WORKING GROUP ON SCHOOLS POLICY’ 

Paul Downes

Pictured at the conference, Paul Downes and Caitriona O’Brien, Principal Officer, Social Inclusion, DES

The European Commission conference 'Transforming school education – results from the ET 2020 Working Group on Schools Policy', took place in Brussels on 7-8 March 2016. The conference was the closing event of the current ET2020 Working Group on Schools Policy (2014/15), which has been addressing two of the most pressing policy challenges for school education systems in Europe: reducing early school leaving and raising the quality of Initial Teacher Education. Dr. Paul Downes was an invited participant at the conference and facilitated workshop sessions on multidisciplinary teams in and around schools for early school leaving prevention. The conference was attended predominantly by senior officials from Education Ministries across the EU, as well as by invited experts.

DUBLIN CITY COMHAIRLE NA NÓG LOCAL AUTHORITY YOUTH COUNCIL 

Paul Downes was a Member of an Expert Panel on Education for Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg local authority ‘youth council’ consultation meeting on February 17, 2016.  Comhairle na nÓg is intended to give children and young people the right to have their voices heard  by being involved in the development of local services and policies, including regarding schools. Key recommendations from the Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg identified as an outcome of the consultation meeting are as follows:

-Make a video for teachers about their students’ problems and make a video for students about how to deal with teachers and school. This is to be connected with another recommendation:

-Liaise with organisations to bring in proper emotional counselling in schools. Submit to Department of Education & Skills along with statistics and surveys and demand government commitment.

Paul Downes has become an invited Member of the Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg Steering Committee (2016)

OUTREACH, EMPOWERMENT AND DIVERSITY OED IN ADULT EDUCATION: A GRUNDTVIG NETWORK RESEARCH PROJECT SELECTED AS A EUROPEAN COMMISSION ‘SUCCESS STORY’. 

OED logo

The Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity OED Grundtvig Network research project on adult education was selected as a "success story" by a panel of experts from the Directorate-General for Education and Culture DG-EAC of the European Commission. "Success stories" are completed projects that have distinguished themselves by their impact, contribution to policy-making, innovative results and/or creative approach and can be a source of inspiration for others.

The European Association for the Education of Adults EAEA as the project co-ordinators, and the project partners received a formal note of appreciation for their commitment, enthusiasm and high-quality work from Michal Krejza, Head of Unit at the DG-EAC of the European Commission.

Dr. Catherine Maunsell, Education Department, as Irish OED project co-ordinator and Valerie Mc Loughlin, Administrator of the Educational Disadvantage Centre (EDC), as the Irish partners to the OED network, were the lead partners in the evaluation of the product outcomes arising from the OED network activities which included inter alia OED Good Practice Examples from Adult Education (Kil et al, 2013); OED Guidelines for Trainers and Management Staff in Adult Education; OED Policy Recommendations.

The Educational Disadvantage Centre has been part of a successful consortium bid for EU funding for the follow-on OED II research project.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON WORK OF THE EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE ARE AS FOLLOWS: 

Downes, P. (2016). Access to education for prisoners in Europe: An agenda of structural indicators for system change. Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 3 (1) 8-25. Access here

Review of Downes P., Access to Education in Europe: A Framework and Agenda for System Change by Dr. Cormac Behan, University of Sheffield, Making the Case for Prison Education in a Lifelong Learning Society in Journal of Prison Education and Reentry (2016) 3(1) 5-7. Access here 

Downes, P. (2016). Quality Labels and Structural Indicators for Social Inclusion in Schools and Higher Education Institutions (NESET II seminar summary/2016). Summary of 2015  Invited presentation given to 40 Commission officials at the Commission’s Philippe le Bon building, Brussels, on 28 April 2015.  Access here

JOINT CONFERENCE OF THE INTO AND THE EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE, REVIEW OF DEIS: POVERTY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION IN EDUCATION 

Over 300 participants attended the Joint Conference of the INTO and the Educational Disadvantage Centre, St. Patrick’s College, REVIEW OF DEIS: Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education in the College on Saturday December 5th 2015

photo

The Conference was opened by: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Minister of State, Department of Justice and Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; the College President, Professor Dáire Keogh and Sheila Nunan, INTO General Secretary.

INTO audience

Keynote speakers were Dr. Carol Coulter and Pat Courtney, Principal of St. Vincent’s Boys NS, Dublin 1, who received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

Key recommendations and questions from discussion groups and workshops at the national conference were put to a panel of experts and senior civil servants, chaired by Dr. Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre.

The panel included: Bernie Mc Nally, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Caitriona O’Brien, Principal Officer, Social Inclusion, Department of Education and Skills; Eibhlin Byrne, Director of Educational Welfare Services, TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency; Dr. Deirbhile Nic Craith, Director of Education & Research with the INTO; Anne Colgan, Centre for Effective Services and Pat Courtney.

pat courtney

Key issues which emerged for discussion throughout included: gaps in mental health services and in emotional and behavioural supports at primary level; the need for multidisciplinary teams in and around schools, including for family support; the need for a national hunger prevention strategy in schools, and more focused supports for Travellers and ethnic minorities.

Paul Downes and Emma Dineen, INTO President, closed the conference.

Please click here to access the INTO/EDC webcast of:

Plenary Session Panel:

Bernie Mc Nally, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs;

Caitriona O’Brien, Principal Officer, Social Inclusion, Department of Education and Skills;

Eibhlin Byrne, Director of Educational Welfare Services, TUSLA;

Dr. Deirbhile Nic Craith, Director of Education & Research, INTO;

Anne Colgan, Centre for Effective Services;

Pat Courtney, Principal St Vincent's Boys' JNS

Workshop presentations can be accessed below:

Fiona Kearney

FamiliBase

Sinéad Keenan

A National Strategy for Hunger Prevention in SchoolsS

Josephine Bleach

A community based approach to addressing educational disadvantage

Mary Keane

National Behaviour Support Service

Noel Kelly

Embedding evidence based approaches into mainstream systems to improve child outcomes.

Hilary Harmon, Pavee Point

Ensuring inclusion: The challenges for Traveller and Roma children in Education

HUNGER PREVENTION IN SCHOOLS GROUP 

Two members of the Hunger Prevention in Schools Group, established by the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Padraig McCaba (IPPN) and Sinead Keenan (Healthy Food for All) gave a presentation on this issue to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection on December 16, 2015. 

You can access the IPPN presentation here

You can access Sinead Keenan's discussion here

Please see The Irish Times coverage of their presentations here

PUBLICATION OF EUROPEAN UNION'S ET2020 WORKING GROUP ON SCHOOLS POLICY 

The European Union’s ET2020 Working Group on Schools Policy has just published their policy document, ‘Education & Training 2020 - Schools policy, A whole school approach to tackling early school leaving: Policy messages’.

This report can be accessed here

The Working Group is also producing the European Toolkit for Schools, a new online resource platform which will make available to practitioners and policy makers a wealth of examples, good practices, reports and materials around tackling early school leaving and promoting more inclusive education.

Dr. Paul Downes, Director of St. Patrick’s Educational Disadvantage Centre, was an expert advisor to the European Commission’s, Directorate General, Education and Culture, ET2020 Working Group for this document and its forthcoming European Toolkit for Schools.  The policy document and the European Toolkit for Schools reflects the results of the joint work of representatives of national governments from 30 EU countries and associated European countries, and European social partner organisations.  For more information please see here.

WHO IS IN THE CLASSROOM? LEARNERS, TEACHERS, IDENTITIES

The Intercultural and Diversity Education Centre, IDEC -Ireland’s mission is to foster integration through a community based collaborative partnership, centred on a shared understanding and valuing of interculturalism, diversity, equality and human rights. Key activities include:

  • Intercultural and diversity education workshops and seminars
  • Research projects related to intercultural and diversity education
  • Social and cultural activities.

EDC Administrator Valerie McLoughlin is the Secretary of IDEC-Ireland and was a key member of the committee organising the 6th IDEC Conference which took place in Ennis on Thursday December 10th 2015.  The Conference opened with a conversation between Dr Declan Fahie, UCD School of Education, Dr Orla McGarry, UCC & YMOBILITY Project and Dr Áine Ryan, School of Languages, Literature & Culture, NUI Galway. This conversation was facilitated by Joe Little, RTE’s Religious Correspondent.

Two workshops were offered looking at learners’ and teachers’ experiences in the classroom and a third workshop examined the use of ethnic identifiers in education.

Speakers included Dr Rory McDaid, Marino College addressing the teachers’ experience; Dr Orla McCormack, Department of Education & Professional Studies, UL and  Dr Valerie Ledwith  Department of  Geography & Archaeology, NUI Galway looked at the learners’ experience. Brendan Murphy from the Central Statistics Office,  Professor Ailish Hannigan, Graduate Entry Medical School, UL and Dr Siobhan O’Connor from Ennis CDP discussed the use of ethnic identifiers in the education system.

Click here to access the report from the 2014 IDEC-Ireland Conference

TITA PROJECT RESEARCH NETWORK ON EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING AND MULTI-PROFESSIONAL TEAMS, LED BY INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DE L’EDUCATION, LYON   

To access please click here

SYMPOSIUM ON CHILD AND YOUTH POVERTY: THE IRISH CONTEXT AND YOUTH WORK'S RESPONSE 

Dr. Paul Downes gave an invited presentation, 'Youthwork in a System of Care: Key Challenges for Youthwork in Responding to Poverty and Social Inclusion'  at a Symposium on Child and Youth Poverty: The Irish Context and Youth Work's Response organised by Youth Work Ireland and the DCYA Quality Standards Training and Resources Task Group. The Symposium took place at the Youth Work Ireland National Office, Lower Dominick Street, Dublin.

The other invited speakers were Maria Corbett, Legal and Policy Director & Deputy Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance and Seamus Boland, CEO Irish Rural Link.

ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

OEDII PROJECT ON ADULT EDUCATION 

The Educational Disadvantage Centre has been part of a successful consortium bid for EU funding for the OED II project on adult education: Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity. Dr. Paul Downes will be the evaluator of the process and outcomes of the project providing the final evaluation report. The project is led by the EAEA (European Adult Education Association), with 10 other participants from Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, France, UK, Italy, Estonia, Sweden and Greece

INTOUCH ARTICLE ON DEIS REVIEW 

Paul Downes’ INTO presentation was featured in InTouch: DEIS review must not lead to cuts: Leading academic sounds warning. InTouch (2015), Vol. 155, October, p.18 

Human Rights in Ireland

www.humanrights.ie

Open Letter: Recognition of the Travelling Community as an Ethnic Minority in Ireland

NOVEMBER 27, 2015 LEAVE A REPLY

We would like to lend our strong support to the motion recently before the Dáil to recognise Travellers as an ethnic minority. This is a long overdue development. The preventable tragedy of Carrickmines brings this imperative further to the fore. History will not look kindly on those individuals and political parties voting to deny Travellers this basic right to ethnic recognition.

c/o Dr. Paul Downes, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

Professor Gerry Whyte, Trinity College Dublin

Leah O’Toole, Marino Institute of Education

John Fitzgerald BL

Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan (retired), St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra

Dr. Padraig Carmody, Trinity College Dublin

Professor Ursula Kilkelly, School of Law, University College Cork

Dr. Stephen Kinsella, University of Limerick

William Binchy, Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College Dublin

Siobhan Phelan SC

Professor Aoife Nolan, School of Law, University of Nottingham

Professor Fionnuala Waldron, St. Patrick’s College, DCU

Marion Brennan, Early Childhood Ireland

Dr Mark Taylor, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr. Marie Moran, University College Dublin

Professor Carmel Cefai, University of Malta

Dr. Audrey Bryan, St. Patrick’s College, DCU

Declan Dunne, Sophia Housing and Homeless Services,

Denise Mc Cormilla, National Childhood Network

Dr. Maggie Feeley, UCD

Dr Anthony Cullen, Middlesex University, London

Dr. Sylwia Kazmierczak-Murray, Cabra School Completion Programme

Dr. James O’Higgins Norman, DCU

Dr. Padraic Gibson, The Bateson Clinic

Dr. Susan Pike, St. Patrick’s College, DCU

Fran Cassidy, Social Policy Consultant/Filmmaker

Dr. Maeve O’Brien, St. Patrick’s College, DCU

Frank Gilligan, Ballyfermot Local Drugs Task Force

Dr. Geraldine Scanlon, DCU

Dr. Catherine Maunsell, St. Patrick’s College, DCU

Dr. Majella McSharry, DCU

Dr Liam Thornton, UCD

Invited EU Commission Blog:

Downes, P. (2015), Structural indicators: A bridge between top-down strategic direction and bottom-up creativity ? European Commission Blog. EPALE ePlatform for Adult Learning in Europe  

NATIONAL DISABILITY AUTHORITY REPORT LAUNCHED: LEAD RESEARCHER FRANCES HANNON, PURSUING PH.D WITH EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE

The National Disability Authority report Preventing School Bullying of Children with Special Educational Needs or Disability was launched by Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan at an event of the Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU on November 18.

Frances Hannon, the lead researcher for this report, is undertaking her Ph.D with St. Patrick’s Educational Disadvantage Centre in the area of a philosophical anthropology to underpin systems of care in DEIS schools. Ms. Hannon is senior researcher with the National Disability Authority and a research associate of the Educational Disadvantage Centre. Dr. Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, was an invited peer reviewer for the report.

The Report can be accessed here

National Disability Authority Report Launched

IMPACT-DEIS CONSULTATION SUBMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE CAN BE ACCESSED HERE   

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION AT THE 1ST NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN'S WELLBEING, MALTA 

Dr. Paul Downes gave a keynote presentation at the 1st National Conference on Children's Wellbeing, organised by The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, and the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health, University of Malta, October 23, 2015, Verdala Palace, Malta. The title of his presentation was A holistic differentiated approach to bullying prevention: The role of students for inclusive systems.

Malta  2015

The conference was opened by President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (see photo). The other keynote presentations were by Professor Phillip Slee (Australia), Professor Carmel Cefai (Malta) and Professor Asher Ben-Arieh (Israel). Dr. Downes also contributed to a number of panel discussions at the conference.

Paul Downes' presentation can be accessed here

FOR AN ACCOUNT OF PAUL DOWNES' RECENT PRESENTATION ON THE DEIS STRATEGY REVIEW SEE P.18 OF THE INTO MAGAZINE HERE

PRESENTATION BY DR PAUL DOWNES AT RECENT LUXEMBOURG EU PRESIDENCY SYMPOSIUM

Dr Paul Downes, Director of the College’s Educational Disadvantage Centre,  gave an invited presentation at the recent Luxembourg EU Presidency Symposium, Staying on Track: Tackling Early School Leaving and Promoting Success in School (July 8-10, 2015).

His presentation was entitled, ‘Promoting Smooth Educational Pathways: Universal Strategies for Early School Leaving Prevention and to Promote Educational Success’.

He also facilitated a detailed workshop on this theme for Education Ministry officials and EU Experts at the Symposium. The Symposium, supported by the EU Commission, is to inform the forthcoming EU Council Resolution on Early School Leaving.

Access Dr Downes' presentation here

ENSEC (EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE) CONFERENCE SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING AND CULTURE LISBON on JULY 1st - 4th JULY 2015

Dr Paul Downes gave a presentation at the 5th Annual ENSEC Conference. His presentation was entitled From Individual Resilience to Inclusive Systems: A Cross-Cultural, Spatial-Phenomenological Dimension to Agency in Developmental Psychology  ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE  

GLOBAL HEALTH STATEMENT

The Global School Health Statement was developed out of the first Global School Health Symposium—a multi-level, multi-sectorial discussion involving more than 60 leading education, health, and school health experts from across twenty countries held in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2013. The statement is being discussed at a series of Global School Health Symposia calling for the integration of the Health and Education sectors at the systems level.

The Statement can be accessed here

Access the Educational Disadvantage Centre’s Submission to Teaching Council on its Consultation Paper, Draft Framework for Teachers’ Learning 2015 here

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY INTERVENTION IN DEIS SCHOOLS 

Cabra School Completion Programme (Cabra SCP), coordinated by Dr Sylwia Kazmierczak-Murray, a graduate of St. Patrick's College and Research Associate with the EDC, has developed a unique partnership with the School of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin and SpeechMatters independent speech and language therapy clinic. The Cabra SCP provides a range of in school and out of school supports to children aged 4-16 who are identified to be at risk of early school leaving and aims to reduce these risk factors. It is now universally accepted that speech and language development is fundamental to successful literacy development and emotional, social and behavioural functioning in general and that language impairment can be a risk factor for correlates of early school leaving, such as engagement in disruptive or antisocial behaviour and mental health issues. It has been suggested in the UK context that the sheer number of children identified to have speech and language delays in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage makes a clinical ‘referral’ model of service delivery impractical (Law, McBean & Rush, 2011). Thus, in terms of the delivery of health services, there is a movement toward a ‘public health’ model in which the responsibility for enhancing speech and language skills becomes the remit of all school staff supported by speech and language therapy services. Dr Sylwia Kazmierczak-Murray who leads the development of Cabra SCP aimed to initiate this model in 6 primary schools clustered in the project and so in January 2015 she partnered with the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin and a private speech and language therapy clinic SpeechMatters to provide speech and language intervention in the schools. This project is linked to local HSE clinics to maximise outcomes for the children and it is fully supported by HSE speech and language therapists. The project engages 3rd and 4th year students of Clinical Speech and Language Studies course in Trinity College Dublin during their clinical practice to provide speech and language intervention in schools clustered in the School Completion Programme. In addition to benefits for children and teachers, this initiative also increases the TCD students’ understanding of education and language curricula, thus enabling them to work more collaboratively with teachers and more effectively as therapist in their future health service delivery.

Law, J., McBean, K., & Rush, R. (2011). Communication skills in a population of primary school-aged children raised in an area of pronounced social disadvantage. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 46 (6), 657-664.

Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists UPDATE Magazine Spring/Summer 2015 - see pages 27-28

GLOBAL FORUM, INTEGRATING HEALTH & SOCIAL PROGRAMS WITHIN EDUCATION SYSTEMS: A GLOBAL DIALOGUE 

Dr. Paul Downes gave an invited presentation at the Global Forum, Integrating Health & Social Programs Within Education Systems: A Global Dialogue, June 1-3. This Forum was jointly organised by the following four international associations: UNESCO-Education International- International School Health Network (ISHN) -Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). The Forum took place at the Offices of la Mutuelle Générale de l’Éducation Nationale, Paris. Paul Downes’ presentation was: Overcoming nine system ‘blockages’ to develop inclusive systems and integrated services across Education, Health and Social sectors for early school leaving prevention.

Please click here for Forum presentations and agenda

Please click here for Paul Downes’ presentation

EU COMMISSION SCHOOLS POLICY GROUP JUNE 4-5 2015

Paul Downes attended the meeting of the EU Commission Schools Policy Group June 4-5, 2015 at Rue Joseph II, Brussels, as an advisory expert to the group. The Schools Policy Group for the EU Commission is composed of senior education officials across EU Member States. It is focused jointly on the issues of early school leaving and initial teacher education. Dr. Downes gave an invited presentation to the group: Quality labels and structural indicators for social inclusion in schools – including relational systems for parental involvement and one-stop shop community centres. The Group is developing a Policy Statement for Schools across the EU in relation to Early School Leaving and a web-tool for schools regarding early school leaving prevention issues.

KEY ISSUES FOR THE INTO SUBMISSION TO THE DEIS REVIEW: BUILDING ON STRENGTHS AND ADDRESSING GAPS FOR DEIS II

On 25 May 2015, at the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square, Paul Downes gave an invited presentation to teachers and principals from DEIS schools as part of the INTO consultation process for their submission to the DEIS strategy review on May 29. His presentation was entitled, Key issues for the INTO Submission to the DEIS Review: Building on Strengths and Addressing Gaps for DEIS II. He devised a range of questions for the meeting to consider regarding priority issues for the DEIS review. 

Please click here for, among others, the INTO submissionto Department of Education and Skills for the DEIS Review

NEW EUROPEAN REPORT BY DR. PAUL DOWNES - EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING PREVENTION AND ENGAGING PARENTS FROM ETHNIC MINORITY AND MIGRANT BACKGROUNDS: KEY ISSUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES ACROSS 9 EUROPEAN CITY MUNICIPALITIES 

A new European report, Downes, P. (2015) Early School Leaving Prevention and Engaging Parents from Ethnic Minority and Migrant Backgrounds: Key Issues and Guiding Principles Across 9 European City Municipalities (Paris: Urbact Secretariat) has recently been published.

Please click here to access Paul Downes' report

The aim of this report is to inform future strategic planning for the 9 European city municipalities in the PREVENT project regarding early school leaving prevention and parental involvement in relation to ethnic minorities and migrants. This report is based on the responses of PREVENT municipalities to questions regarding their strategic role for facilitating and further developing parental involvement of ethnic minorities and migrants in their children and young people’s education, for prevention of early school leaving. It is also based on a number of site visits to the projects in municipalities and on international research in this area. This report builds on the research that informed the main Policy Recommendations Report (Downes 2014) for the PREVENT project. This main report addressed a range of key themes all of which are also relevant for ethnic minorities and migrants. Focus for current purposes is mainly on issues where municipalities can intervene in this area, though broader issues at national level are also discussed.

EU COMMISSION PRESENTATION ON SOCIAL INCLUSION IN EDUCATION APRIL 2015

Dr. Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre in the College, gave an invited presentation, Quality labels and structural indicators for social inclusion in schools and higher education institutions to 40 EU Commission officials from its Directorate General, Education and Culture. This took place at the Commission’s Philippe le Bon building, Brussels, on 28 April 2015.

The session was chaired by Jan Pakulski, Head of the Unit on Studies, Impact Assessments, Analysis and Statistics, Directorate-General for Education and Culture. The respondents to the presentation were: Stan van Alphen, Policy Officer, Statistics, Studies and Surveys, Klara Engels-Perenyi, Policy Officer, Higher Education Policy Unit and Garkov Vladimir, Policy Officer, School and Educators, from the Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture.

The session was organised through the new EU Commission Network of Experts on the Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II). Dr. Downes is a member of its Coordinating Committee. Paul Downes’ presentation focused on review processes to implement an agenda for system reform and development across the EU, with regard to early school leaving prevention and access to higher education for socio-economically excluded groups. It built on his recent book, Access to Education in Europe: A Framework and Agenda for System Change (Dordrecht, Springer 2014) and report, Towards a Differentiated, Holistic and Systemic Approach to Parental Involvement in Europe for Early School Leaving Prevention(EU Urbact Secretariat Paris 2014).

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE

The Educational Disadvantage Centre and the Access and Disability Office in St Patrick’s College have joined forces to launch a Community Engagement Initiative.   It is accepted that for some communities there are many barriers to participation in 3rd level education, especially Initial Teacher Education, and the aim of this Initiative is to identify these barriers and investigate ways and means to overcome them.  The two groups focused on will be Traveller and ethnic minority students who, for many and varied reasons, have been underrepresented in Initial Teacher Education.

Provisional figures released by the Higher Education Authority in August 2014 showed that 280 young Travellers were in their final year of secondary school. This HEA survey data indicated that, on average, just 23 of these enter full-time higher education each year.  With regards to ethnic minority students, current census data informs us that ethnic minorities comprise a sizeable proportion of today’s school-going population.

Role models are needed in the teaching profession from both these communities to support the cultural identity, motivation and learning of these diverse groups.

The Community Engagement Initiative will be co-ordinated by Valerie McLoughlin, Administrator of the Educational Disadvantage Centre and Margaret Lamont, Access and Disability Officer

 Paul Downes has recently completed three briefing papers for the Urbact PREVENT project working across 10 municipalities for early school leaving prevention and parental involvement:

Downes, P. (2015). Developing Multidisciplinary Teams for Early School Leaving Prevention. Briefing paper for 10 European city municipalities for the EU Urbact, PREVENT project. Published by EU Urbact Secretariat Paris and Nantes Municipality.

Downes, P. (2015). Targeting the needs of children and young people in a holistic way for early school leaving prevention. Briefing paper for 10 European city municipalities for the EU Urbact, PREVENT project. Published by EU Urbact Secretariat Paris and Nantes Municipality.

Downes, P. (2015). Building bridges for relational democratic school systems:  Fostering dialogue between key stakeholders, students, teachers and parents. Briefing paper for 10 European city municipalities for the EU Urbact, PREVENT project. Published by EU Urbact Secretariat Paris and Nantes Municipality.

 ACCESS TO EDUCATION IN EUROPE: A FRAMEWORK AND AGENDA FOR SYSTEM CHANGE

Dr Paul Downes gave an invited presentation ACCESS TO EDUCATION IN EUROPE: A FRAMEWORK AND AGENDA FOR SYSTEM CHANGE for The Joint Networks (Dublin City University, February 13, 2015). The Joint Networks is a collective of national networks of practitioners in higher education that work collaboratively to address common issues in access to, and progression in, higher education for under-represented students.

ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION AT AUSTRIAN NATIONAL EDUCATION MINISTRY SYMPOSIUM: DR. PAUL DOWNES

On January 19th 2015, Dr Paul Downes, Director of St Patrick's College's Educational Disadvantage Centre, gave a keynote presentation, The neglected shadow: European perspectives on emotional support for early school leaving prevention at the Austrian National Ministry for Education Symposium on Early School Leaving, Ene, mene, muh, und raus bist du...Padagogische, soziale und strukrurelle Dimensionen von Bildungsbenachteiligung und Schulabbruch.

ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE

The other keynote presentations were by Professor Frank-Olaf Radtke, University of Frankfurt/Main on institutional discrimination and early school leaving, and Dr. Barbara Herzog- Punzenberger, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, on structural dimensions to school retention among ethnic minorities across a range of European countries. Dr. Downes also chaired Panel   I:  “Emotionale und soziale Dimensionen von Ausgrenzungsgefährdung und Schulabbruch/Emotional and social aspects of social exclusion and school failure”, in response to his presentation. The Symposium took place at the Pädagogische Hochschule Salzburg, Austria.

Access the Pädagogische Hochschule  Salzburg website here

Symposium agenda