Department of Education and Skills (Ireland)

The Department of Education and Skills (Irish: An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna) is a department of the Government of Ireland. It is led by the Minister for Education and Skills who is assisted by two Ministers of State.

Department of
Education and Skills
Department overview
Formed26 August 1921
JurisdictionIreland
HeadquartersMarlborough Street,
Dublin 1, D01 RC96
53°20′57″N 6°15′27″W
Minister responsible
Department executive
Websiteeducation.ie

Departmental team

The official headquarters and ministerial offices of the department are at Marlborough Street, Dublin 1. The departmental team consists of the following:

Departmental Overview

The mission of the Department of Education and Skills is to provide high-quality education which will enable individuals to achieve their full potential and to participate fully as members of society, and contribute to Ireland's social, cultural and economic development. Chief among the Department's priorities are:

  • the promotion of equity and inclusion, quality outcomes and lifelong learning
  • planning for education that is relevant to personal, social, cultural and economic needs
  • enhancement of the capacity of the Department for service delivery, policy formulation, research and evaluation

History

In the revolutionary period, the position was first established as the Minister for Irish.[1][2] This was expanded as the Secretary for Education in the Government of the 2nd Dáil.[3][4] It was provided a statutory basis by the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, passed soon after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. This act provided it with:[5]

the administration and business generally of public services in connection with Education, including primary, secondary and university education, vocational and technical training, endowed schools, reformatories, and industrial schools, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Fourth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Oideachais or (in English) the Minister for Education.

It also assigned it with the following agencies:[6]

  • The Commissioners of National Education in Ireland.
  • The Intermediate Education Board for Ireland.
  • The Commissioners of Education in Ireland (Endowed Schools).
  • The Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland (business and functions relating to Technical Instruction only).
  • The College of Science.
  • The Geological Survey in Ireland.
  • The National Museum of Science and Art.
  • The National Library of Ireland.
  • The National Gallery of Ireland.
  • The Metropolitan School of Art.
  • Meteorological Services.

In the early years of the state, the main focus was on running the National School primary system. Free secondary education was provided from 1968. The Department also had the task of overseeing reformatory and industrial schools from 1922. The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which reported in 2009 (the "Ryan Report"), found that this was rarely achieved.

Alteration of name and transfer of functions

The name and functions of the department have changed by means of statutory instruments.

Date Effect
2 June 1924 Establishment of the Department of Education.[7]
1 October 1997 Renamed as the Department of Education and Science.[8]
1 May 2010 Transfer of Skills Training from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.[9]
1 May 2010 Transfer of Research to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.[10]
2 May 2010 Renamed as the Department of Education and Skills.[11]

References

  1. "Dáil Éireann debate - Monday, 27 October 1919: THE IRISH LANGUAGE". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  2. "Dáil Éireann debate - Tuesday, 29 June 1920: RATIFICATION OF MINISTERS". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  3. "Dáil Éireann debate - Thursday, 25 August 1921: ALTERATION OF MINISTRY OF IRISH TO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. "Dáil Éireann debate - Friday, 26 August 1921: THE NEW MINISTRY". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. "Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, Section 1: Establishment of the Departments of State". Irish Statute Book. 21 April 1924. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  6. "Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, Schedule". Irish Statute Book. 21 April 1924. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  7. "S.I. No. 4/1924 - Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 (Commencement) Order 1924". Irish Statute Book. 30 May 1924. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  8. "Education (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order, 1997". Irish Statute Book. 30 September 1997. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  9. "Employment Programmes and Services and Skills Training (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  10. "Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  11. "Education and Science (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
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