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Developing leaders for the 21st century

Education Minister, John O’Dowd and Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn have officially opened the Teacher Educators’ conference in Dublin.
Monday, 18 February 2013

The conference is organised as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency and provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas and collaboration across Europe with the focus on teacher education.

Speaking at the conference, Minister O’Dowd said: “I welcome the opportunity to open this very important event to discuss the role of teacher educators. High-quality teaching and learning and effective leadership are central to delivering improvement and raising standards.

“I want to create an education service that ensures our young people receive a high quality education which enriches their lives and grows the economy. This aligns with the Executive’s number one priority to engage with communities to grow a vibrant economy, which will help communities deal with the deprivation and poverty which has affected them for generations.”

The Minister continued by emphasising the role that teachers play in improving educational outcomes for young people. He said: “The needs of young people should be the focus of school improvement with teachers at the heart of a child’s engagement with school. Effective leadership and high-quality teaching are central to delivering improvement.

“Existing programmes of initial teacher education have been assessed as being of a high standard, representing the best model of current practice. I want to ensure the model continues to meet the needs of future generations.”

Minister Quinn said: "The education and training of teacher educators in preparation for and throughout their careers are essential to ensuring high quality teaching and better learning outcomes for students. Providing appropriate support for teacher education institutions and teacher educators is crucial, if we are to develop innovative responses to the many challenges that teachers face today."

In conclusion, Minister O’Dowd said: “The new strategy for teacher education will focus on developing and supporting teachers throughout their career. It will consider how we can nurture our leaders who have such an important role to play in delivery of school improvement. We know that great teachers can only flourish when they are supported in schools by great school leaders. I want to ensure that leadership development reflects the challenges of the 21st century developing leaders who lead effectively not only within their school but beyond in order to meet the education needs of all young people in their area.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.