Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Department of Education and Skills
899. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her position on the use of partisan terminology within the junior certificate history textbook (details supplied) such as referring to anti-treaty republicans as irregulars; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20286/22]
In general, my Department does not have a role in approving, commissioning, sponsoring or endorsing any content in any educational textbook. The current policy within my Department is not to endorse any particular product or publication, including textbooks. There are a small number of exceptions where my Department has procured textbooks or resources in order to fill a need – for example with Leaving certificate Japanese and Italian. However, as with all textbooks there is no obligation for a school to use these in their delivery of the curriculum. Apart from a small number of prescribed texts at post-primary, determined by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the decisions on which textbooks to use in primary and post-primary schools are taken at school level.
The majority of textbooks are commissioned and published by educational publishers, and schools select their books from those available from a number of publishers. The Irish Educational Publishers Association (IEPA) meets with the NCCA in order to discuss the curriculum and to be made aware of any requirements in the curriculum. However the content of any individual textbook is determined by the publisher themselves, and therefore any queries regarding specific content in any particular textbook should be directed to the publisher.
The role of the school is to provide an appropriate education for all its pupils. A stable, secure learning environment is an essential requirement to achieve this goal. Schools have autonomy in choosing the resources and programmes that best support the work within their own classrooms.