Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (287)

Thomas Byrne


287. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if schools are required to have a digital learning plan; the position regarding schools not having such a strategy; and if the matter is monitored by his Department. [24242/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Under the Digital Strategy for Schools, each school is expected to draw up a Digital Learning Plan using a whole school approach and taking account of its context and circumstances.

Support and guidance for schools on developing their Digital Learning Plan can be found at https://www.pdsttechnologyineducation.ie/en/Planning/. Direct school support is also available through the professional development support services for teachers (PDST) in particular through its Technology In Education Team. Information on the Digital Learning Framework, a resource, to support schools in embedding the use of digital technology in teaching and learning, can also be found at that link. The Digital Learning Framework, which supports and complements the School Self Evaluation (SSE) process is in its second year of dissemination and is accompanied by an intensive continuous professional development framework targeted at school leaders and teachers. The development of a digital learning plan is an important element of the DLF.

The outlay of the funding provided under the ICT Infrastructure Grant should also align with the schools Digital Learning Plan. To date, under the Digital Strategy for Schools, €105m has issued to schools for the provision of improved ICT Infrastructure.

Under the terms of Circulars 0040/2016 (post primary) and 0039/2016 (primary) all schools are required to complete the SSE legislative/regulatory checklist on an annual basis. The checklist for primary and post-primary schools was revised in 2018 and now contains reference to the requirement for a Digital Learning Plan and the implementation of the Digital Learning Framework. This checklist is included as an Appendix to their SSE Report/Improvement Plan.

My Department will also be arranging a sample audit of schools to check for compliance with the terms of the ICT Infrastructure Grant Scheme.