Education and the role of school boards

Published date24 January 2023
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
This position has not arisen overnight and was clearly indicated when Richard Mulcahy, speaking in the Dáil in 1956, said: "You have your teachers, your managers and your churches and I regard the position as Minister in the Department of Education as that of a dungaree man, the plumber who will make the satisfactory communications and streamline the forces and potentialities of the educational workers and educational management in this country. He will take the knock out of the pipes and will link up everything."

Nearly 67 years later, it is not altogether clear that the plumber is continuing to take the knock out of the pipes but it is certain that the plumber has not replaced the whole creaking system which is long overdue for replacement. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.

Sir, – Perhaps the biggest weakness in Dermot Stanley's proposal for school management is that it would enable the State to impose itself on even the minutest affairs of every school, stretching its claws into every nook and cranny of each. Mr Stanley's proposal imagines a restrictive definition of school experience conducted under a sole value system akin to the operational patterns of a semi-State body, each of whose units mirror each other's procedures entirely.

Mr Stanley's proposition contradicts the whole notion of cultural diversity that still characterises the Irish Republic. Mr Stanley attests to this contradiction with his proposal to "relieve the religious bodies of their agenda". We are invited to trade the current cultural variety of school...

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