The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, today announced the launch of a new Access to Post-Primary Teaching initiative by St. Angela’s College. This initiative will see the development of a new entry route from Further Education into post-primary teacher education programmes in St. Angela’s. Over the course of the project St. Angela’s will be partnering with up to nine further education colleges from the Border Midlands West region.
The Access to Post-Primary Teaching (APT) Project is being supported by the Department’s Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH 1) funding. This funding was awarded last year to the NUIG and St. Angela’s Centre for Teaching Excellence.
PATH 1 Funding has also been awarded to five other Centres nationally to promote access to teacher training by target groups in the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019. The groups targeted include people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with a disability, and members of the Traveller community.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor, said, “The initiative that is being launched here today will develop, for the first time, a new pathway from further education to teacher training. This will support more people from under-represented groups to become teachers.
“The development of closer links between NUIG, St. Angela’s and the nine further education colleges will also help support the achievement of national policy objectives to broaden opportunities for graduates from further education to progress on to higher education.
“Teachers play a critical role in shaping student expectations and by having more teachers in the community who come from that community is essential in terms of having more role models with whom young people can identify.
“We are lucky in Ireland to have such a dedicated and committed teaching profession. Teacher training centres, teachers and school leaders will continue to play a pivotal role in helping children to achieve their potential.”