5.45pm | Friday, Sept. 1st 2017 | Electric Picnic

ChangED to host Electric Picnic debate 

5.45pm | Friday, Sept. 1st 2017  |  Leviathan Stage, Electric Picnic

Ireland’s first think-tank on educational matters, ChangED, will host a panel debate at this year’s Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co. Laois. The title of the debate, ‘Does Irish Education Promote Equality’, seeks to assess whether or not the education afforded to our citizens is based on the notion of equality, and to what extent learning outcomes are affected by barriers, real or perceived, inbuilt or imposed on the system in Ireland.
Founder and CEO of ChangED, Frank Milling said,
“We need to have a national conversation concerning the purpose of education in Ireland. We know that international rankings such as PISA show that our 15 year olds are doing well in reading, maths and science in comparison with many other countries. But we should ask if there is a danger that the Irish focus is over-reliant on producing learners who will contribute only to the economic wellbeing of the country and not enough on promoting greater social and educational equality”. 

“It’s important to look at the inequalities that lie in our system which stifle social progress, such as assessment practices and the ability of those from higher socio-economic backgrounds to ‘game’ the system for their children by paying for grinds and other supports which are not readily available to disadvantaged groups. What of the educational experiences of minorities, including travellers, migrant children, homeless children, LBGTQ+ students, children with special educational needs and disabilities?”

Debating these issues and more at this, ChangED’s first public event, will be Saoirse Ronan, Legal and Policy Director of the Children’s Rights Alliance, Dr. Anne Looney, Executive Dean of DCU’s Institute of Education, Dr.Emer Nowlan, Chief Executive Officer of Educate Together and Ruairí Quinn, Former Minister for Education and Skills. The debate will be held between 5.45pm – 6.45pm on Friday, September 1st on the Leviathan Stage in the Mindfield Arena.

ChangED will hold a public launch later in the year and will organise Ireland’s first EdSummit next year which will aim to start the process of building a national consensus on what the purpose of education in Ireland ought to be.


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