Irish Second-Level Students’ Union
PRESS STATEMENT *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
Finally…. some signs of democracy and transparency
It seems that the wheels may be slowly grinding towards a modern education evolution. Today (Thursday), the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) has welcomed the Minister for Education & Skills decision to develop a new framework in the selection of patronage for second-level schools. Much progress has been made over the past 20 years in the primary-sector, allowing parents and students to choose a school which meets their needs, however it is regrettable and disappointing that as of yet in 2010 these trends don’t translate to second-level education.
This framework for a transparent process which includes clear criteria for school selection is long overdue. The world we live in is changing, but sometimes our education system stays stuck in the past. Schooling is local – let’s keep it that way. With this new framework parents and students will have a greater input into deciding what school best suits their needs. With this in mind, we call on Minister Coughlan to ensure that a position for ISSU would be made available on the new proposed advisory panel to ensure that students are represented as experts. Although, what appears to be additional red tape – certain levels of bureaucracy are unfortunately needed in this country to influence change and get things done. This framework needs to be put in place within weeks to ensure there are no further delays in the selection of second-level school patronage, and indeed it should not be used as a tool to put off decision-making and delay the desired positive change. A diverse education system is what Ireland needs for 21st century learning, and ultimately for the internationally applauded ‘smart economy’. Students deserve better – we deserve choice.
Notes to Editor:
ISSU is the national umbrella body for school Student Councils, aiming to represent and connect Irish second-level students the length and breadth of the country, ensuring that the voice of the Irish second-level student is heard and striving for innovation and democracy within the education system. ISSU is a not-for profit student rights organisation.
At ISSU we believe that young people are not merely citizens in waiting – we deserve better, we deserve to be heard. We can and will contribute positively to society. It is so important that our voices, views and opinions are (i) heard (ii) listened to (iii) and most importantly respected. This is what ISSU is all about. We’re here for you.
Our main aims include:
- To provide training and development of second-level school Student Councils, in conjunction with relevant bodies.
- To develop policies on issues affecting Irish second-level students and bring the needs and rights of students to the attention of the relevant authorities.
- To provide a transparent, democratic and reliable organisation.
- To work in collaboration with other educational institutions and bodies both in Ireland and Europe.
- To work closely with educational curriculum policy makers and teachers’ unions to continually develop a transparent, fair and modern education system.
- And most importantly, to give students a structured platform through which the voice of the Irish second-level student will be heard.
ISSU represents students at a national level and is affiliated to; the WHEEL, NYCI, Anna Lindh Foundation, Stand up for Education Alliance, Children’s Mental Health Coalition and the Children’s Rights Alliance. On an international level, ISSU works closely with OBESSU. ISSU also works with curriculum development teams and various advisory bodies.