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Ruane - all-Ireland co-operation in education is key

11 April, 2007

Speaking at the annual ASTI conference in Sligo today, the incoming Education Minister in the North Caitriona Ruane said that educational challenges would be most effectively met through all-Ireland co-operation. She used the example of the Autism Centre in Middeltown which will shortly begin to provide services for children across the island as an example of good practice.

Ms Ruane said:

"I firmly believe we can move beyond the divisions of the past and the traumas that have been suffered, and that together we can move forward to ensure that every young person in Ireland can achieve their full potential.

"We have a real opportunity to develop confident young citizens, able to work together, to create secure and prosperous futures for themselves and for future generations."

"Ensuring the curriculum is properly focused and delivering good quality schools, and ensuring that opportunities are kept open for young people throughout their time in school is essential.

"Too many of our young people do not achieve their full potential and come out of compulsory education with too few skills and with significant challenges.

"The exchange of best practice, the development of the professionalism of teachers and all involved in education, improved mobility of teachers, are all examples of how we can practically work together across the island for the good of our young people.

"The opportunities are exciting, enabling us to pool our expertise and achieve better outcomes."ENDS

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