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Ruane welcomes support for newcomer children

1 April, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has launched a policy to support newcomer children participate fully in education.

Speaking in Botanic Primary School for the launch of the policy ‘Every School a Good School – Supporting Newcomer Pupils’, the Minister said: “In recent years we have seen a growing number of children from around the world attending schools here. We now have nearly 7,000 children from around the world enrolled in schools here speaking over 40 different languages. Children from countries such as Africa, Asia and the Americas have added to the rich diversity of cultures and languages spoken in our schools.

“The aim of this policy is to support schools and teachers in welcoming newcomer children into their communities, partake fully in school life, make friends and settle in. Last year nearly £6.5million was provided to support newcomer children and their families within the education sector. ‘Every School a Good School – Supporting Newcomer Pupils’ will help schools to target these resources and address the barriers to learning and success these children face.

“Through the Education & Library Boards’ Inclusion and Diversity Service, we presently offer a number of means of support including diversity coordinators, interpreting and translating services, a multi-lingual website and a toolkit for primary schools. This policy draws together the good practice that is already happening in our schools and classrooms and outlines the plans for the future.

“I would like to thank everyone here at Botanic Primary School for making me feel so welcome and I would like to offer a big Cead Milé Failte to all the children here. With children from over 23 countries enrolled in the school, they truly represent the new multi-cultural diversity of both our schools and wider community.”

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