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Bilingualism global passport to sucess - Ruane

15 October, 2008

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane, speaking to principals from the Irish Medium sector, spoke of the importance of strong leadership in school improvement.

The minister's address was to the Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta Principals' forum in Cookstown.

Speaking after the meeting the minister said: "The Irish-language sector is thriving with more parents choosing it for their children. Bilingualism can offer young people a global passport to success. There are jobs being created, outside of the gaelscoilenna, through the Irish-language in all areas including the media and information technology. I know that Irish-medium sector provides excellence within education, with children, parents and teachers showing their commitment and enthusiasm for the language.

"The meeting here today has given me the opportunity to meet with those people who are directly involved in delivering the quality education all our children deserve, regardless of the language they choose to be taught in.

"I welcomed the opportunity here to discuss the role principals play in school improvement and the differences made by effective leadership. Our school system has many strengths however this success has masked a degree of underperformance. I have launched a number of policies including Every School a Good School and the Revised Literacy and Numeracy strategy aimed at improving the quality of education for all our children. Principals and staff have a crucial role in ensuring that these strategies are a success.

"As part of my continued consultation I recently launched the Review of Irish Medium Education. I would encourage everyone to read the report and the recommendations being made and share their views and ideas. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and I look forward to studying the responses in order to plan a strategic and sustainable way in which to continue the growth of the sector."

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