Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (215)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

215. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will ensure that continual professional development courses for English as an additional language teachers are available. [5072/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Deputy will be aware of this Government's ongoing commitment to ensuring that all children can have access to an education appropriate to their needs. My Department recognises that specialised training and continued professional development (CPD) is important for all teachers, including EAL teachers. The Professional Development Service for teachers, funded by Teacher Education Section in my Department offers support to schools in EAL at in-school and workshop level. Schools are invited to apply for in-school support through an online application, in a number of areas, including EAL. Advisors, with experience in this area, are allocated to work with the school. Support is based on the needs of the school.

Workshops on EAL are offered to schools nationally. In the past PDST have offered, at primary level, workshops on:

- EAL for mainstream teachers,

- Workshop for teachers new to EAL

- Assessment workshop At post-primary level, workshops were offered on Supporting EAL students in the school and were aimed at Guidance Counsellors, Home School Liaison personnel and EAL Co-ordinators. These workshops are currently being revised and it is planned to roll out workshops in Term 3 of this academic year 2013/14. PDST also provides training in differentiation, in terms of differentiating for all pupils. Issues around differentiation and EAL are addressed as part of the school planning process.