DES Statement of Strategy 2021-2023

"Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Social Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD published the Department of Education’s Statement of Strategy, covering the period 2021-2023 on 8th June 2021.
This Strategy Statement sets out high level goals and the strategic actions which will be progressed in order to achieve those goals over the period until 2023.

The Statement of Strategy sets out the vision, mission and strategic goals that will guide the Department’s work programme in the three-year period 2021-2023. 

The vision is:

“An education system where every child and young person feels valued and is actively supported and nurtured to reach their full potential.”

The mission statement is

To facilitate children and young people, through learning, to achieve their full potential and contribute to Ireland’s social, economic and cultural development.

In order to achieve this vision and mission, the Statement of Strategy sets out three high level goals;

Goal 1:      Support the provision of high-quality education and improve the learning experience to meet the needs of all students, in schools and early years settings

Goal 2:      Ensure equity of opportunity in education and that all students are supported to fulfil their potential

Goal 3:      Together with our partners, provide strategic leadership and support for the delivery of the right systems and infrastructure for the sector

These three high level goals are underpinned by a range of strategic actions. 

These take account of the challenges facing the system at present. Chief among these is the impact that Covid-19 has had, and will continue to have, on teaching and learning in schools across the system. 

They also take account of the political, economic and societal context in which schools and the education system operate and the importance of education as a basic human right under international law. 

The role of the education system in contributing to the achievement of whole of Government targets, such as climate change and tackling social disadvantage is also recognised and there is a commitment to working together with other Government Departments to achieve these. 

Some of the key strategic actions are highlighted below:

  • support school communities through and post Covid-19 especially those students at risk of educational disadvantage;


  • develop and support the education workforce through CPD, including in the area of special education;


  • Strengthen the learning experience and embed the new primary curriculum, the Junior Cycle and advance Senior Cycle reform;


  • support the furtherance of inclusive environments in our schools and education centres;


  • ensure that key transition points are effective and support the best learning outcomes for all students, as they move through education;


  • support Irish language learning, extend Irish-medium provision and implement the Gaeltacht education policy;


  • Promote extracurricular activities within school and work towards a policy paper on this issue;


  • support the mental health and wellbeing of students;


  • support the participation and progression of students with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools through the delivery of integrated resources;


  • increase the development of special class places for students with additional needs in new and existing mainstream schools;


  • help students at risk of educational disadvantage to access appropriate education resources;


  • address the retention and achievement gap between Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) and non-DEIS schools through the DEIS programme;


  • increase the diversity of school type;


  • support the delivery of an extensive schools’ infrastructure programme, which incorporates best practice in climate action measures and provides a place for every student. 
Access the DES Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 here


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