Written answers

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Education Policy

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
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41. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to develop an action plan for education but with specific reference to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43150/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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My Department’s Statement of Strategy which is due to be published in the New Year will establish a framework for progress in the further and higher education and research sectors for the next three years. This offers a very timely opportunity to set out the task of bridgeing the gap between education and the economy and helping future proof our economy and our people to face the challenges posed by COVID-19, Brexit and digitalisation. Our investment and policies must provide opportunities that are available to everyone, including the most vulnerable.

Our Plan will have four key drivers -

We will promote Innovation, providing a clear policy framework for innovation and prioritising investment.

We will promote Talent and encourage lifelong learning.

We will promote International Engagement, positioning Ireland as global leader in higher education and research. We will advance North-South collaboration, East-West relationships and work closely with EU partners.

We will promote Inclusion, ensuring diverse pathways into education, and engagement by our higher education sector with wider society.

My Department is the only entirely new Department established by this Government. For the first time, policy and investment in research and innovation, in skills, further education and higher education will all be advanced under one roof.I recently launched a public consultation seeking the views of interested parties on the contents of the Statement of Strategy. I am encouraging anyone with an interest in social inclusion, in education, in science, in innovation to have a say, as we shape the agenda for the next three years. A focussed engagement with our agencies and stakeholders as part of the preparation of the statement has also commenced. We propose to consider all the views received in the New Year and will publish the Statement of Strategy in February.


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