Abbey School, Tipperary town.
Fine Gael General Election Candidate Garret Ahearn has announced that three schools in County Tipperary are to teach a new Leaving Cert Physical Education subject.
Rockwell College, Abbey School, Tipperary Town and Borrisokane Community College have been chosen as part of 64 Schools nationally to receive a grant to support them in implementing the new subject from September 2018.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. announced that 40 schools will take part in Phase 1 of the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject and 64 schools will take part in Phase 1 of the new Leaving Certificate Physical Education subject.
Garret Ahearn said, “Today’s announcement underlines Fine Gael’s commitment to the introduction of Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Certificate subjects. I welcome that three schools in county Tipperary have been chosen.
“We know how important it is to be physically active and engage in sports. The introduction of Physical Education as a full examinable Leaving Certificate subject reflects the priority this government puts on promoting healthy lifestyles and choices.”
Minister Bruton said “The introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject is part of our ambition to make Ireland a STEM leader among our European colleagues. The grants being issued to schools, from this September will complement other recent grants given to schools to support them in embedding digital technology in teaching and learning - €30m in ICT grants was provided to all schools recently, building on the €30m which we issued last year. We have committed to a €150m investment in ICT infrastructure over the next 3 years.”
The 40 schools who will offer Computer Science for Leaving Certificate for September will each receive €3,000 towards the purchase of connector devices, totalling €120,000 in grants for these schools.
Schools offering Leaving Certificate Physical Education will receive a grant towards the purchase of digital devices for use by students in completing the course assessment components and for hardware required for central uploading of material.
A grant of €350 per digital device will be payable, with one device for every two students commencing the subject in September 2018. A payment of €750 per school will be made for the uploading hardware. The total amount of grant payments for the subject will be approximately €330,000 across the 64 schools.
The Minister said, “With these additional grants, and the comprehensive teacher professional development we are providing, the teachers and schools offering these new subjects from this September will be fully prepared to deliver these new subjects over the next two years.”
The €450,000 in grant payments is being made this year on a once-off basis to assist the Phase 1 schools’ preparations for the introduction of the new subjects from this September. Schools wishing to introduce these new subjects from September 2020 as part of their national rollout should ensure they have the required ICT equipment in time. They can in this regard deploy some of the ICT Infrastructure grants paid to schools under the Digital Strategy for Schools towards this purpose. Details on the specifications of the ICT devices required will be communicated to schools.