What will happen in education in 2013?
Expect this issue to dominate the Easter teacher conferences of Asti and the TUI.
Waterford will secure a new technological university.
Combined efforts by Brendan Howlin and Phil Hogan will help deliver the new technological university for Waterford, despite the scepticism of some in the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority.
Little evidence of real collaboration between the universities will emerge, despite their commitment to do so.
Two outstanding HEA reports this year exposed one glaring truth – the seven universities are run like proud, independent fiefdoms. They have no great appetite for pooling resources. Next year, various reports will back regional clusters, deeper collaboration and the rest, but the universities will be slow to change.
Here’s a forecast: This time next year there will still be huge duplication of courses in engineering, education and humanities.
Reform of third-level admissions will begin in earnest.
The university presidents are due to report early next year on changes to the CAO. Expect more broadly based first year university courses in science, engineering, languages and much else. There will be a move away from highly specialised combinations where students need more than 500 points.
Winners and losers in education 2012
Winners . . .
The INTO, which lobbied successfully against a Budget increase in class size.
University presidents:DCU’s Brian MacCraith emerged as unofficial leader of the sector; Jim Browne of NUI Galway was a low-key but highly effective president; Philip Nolan of Maynooth made a strong first impression.
Clive Byrne, head of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, the first key figure to back radical Junior Cert change.
Educate Together.The big winner in the changes to school patronage and about to gain ground at second level.
Labour backbenchers.Protected DEIS schools and special-needs provision and successfully targeted fee-paying schools in the Budget.
Marino Instituteof Further Education and St Patrick’s College of Education: winners in the teacher-training shake-up.
Charlie McConalogue, the new Fianna Fáil education spokesman who led the way on the SUSI grants shambles.
. . . and losers
New entrantsto teaching, all but abandoned by the teaching unions and facing severe pay cuts.
Fee-paying schools, facing a further two-point increase in class size and more scrutiny from the Department.
City of DublinVEC which won the contract for the SUSI student grant system, the biggest education scandal of the year.
The VECsector, increasingly losing out to Educate Together and the preferred choice of relatively few parents in Department of Education survey.
Small schools. The Government held tough on new staffing arrangements hitting small schools.
Most popular articles Education Today, 2012
1Inside Third Level; former college president Paul Mooney on poor management and light workloads. A response by Gavan Titley of NUI Maynooth entitled “How Mooney got it all wrong” also drew a huge response.
2Anseo! How a new generation of gay teachers is fighting back. By Gráinne Faller.
3Improve your child’s reading in 10 minutes per day.
4Goodbye Mr and Mrs Chips. Louise Holden on the exodus from teaching.
5A TBH column from a parent: To see real educational apartheid, look no further than your local Gaelscoil.
6100 things you need to know about college life.