Policy Forum for Ireland

Next steps for post-primary curriculum reform - supporting students, promoting collaboration, and lessons going forward

Morning, Thursday, 22nd November 2018

Central Dublin


This timely seminar will bring together policymakers and key stakeholders to examine the priorities for post-primary curriculum reform in Ireland.

It will be an opportunity to discuss the next steps for curriculum and assessment reform in the Senior Cycle - focusing on what more might be done to encourage collaboration between schools and businesses, to ensure that pupils have the necessary skills for the current labour market, as set out in the Government’s Action Plan for Education.

The seminar follows the publication of the 2018 Digital Strategy Action Plan, which sets out measures to enhance Ireland’s position as a European leader in embedding digital technology in teaching, learning and assessment by 2026, and the subsequent announcement of €420 million for its implementation as part of Project Ireland 2040.

Delegates will discuss the recently announced €450,000 in grants to 104 post-primary schools for the introduction of Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Certificate subjects this September and best practice for the rollout of other new subjects.

Attendees will also consider the possible lessons that might be learnt from the delivery of Junior Certificate curriculum reform thus far, looking at buy-in, assessment and preparing students for progression.

Further sessions will assess the Government’s Action Plan for enhancing the learning experience and success of secondary school students - as well as further action that might be taken to build on reforms which have taken place at both Junior and Senior Cycle - and best practice of reform that can be learnt from other jurisdictions.

Guest of Honour

Dr Conor Galvin

Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School Of Education, University College Dublin

Keynote Speakers

Professor Emer Smyth

Head, Social Research Division, Economic and Social Research Institute

Dr Conor Galvin

Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School Of Education, University College Dublin

Gerry Shiel

Research Fellow, Educational Research Centre


Fiona O’Loughlin TD

Chair, Joint Committee on Education and Skills

Senator Maria Byrne

Seanad Fine Gael Spokesperson on Education & Skills, Houses of the Oireachtas


Beatrice Dooley

President, Institute of Guidance Counsellors

Breda Lynch

President, ASTI

Margaret McDonnell

Honorary National President, Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland

Professor Chris Morash

Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Trinity College Dublin

Colm O’Connor

Principal, Cork Educate Together Secondary School

Tony Donohoe

Head of Education and Social Policy, Ibec

Clive Byrne

Director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

Professor Kathy Hall

School of Education, University College Cork

Aidan Farrell

Chief Executive Officer, State Examinations Commission