In response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive, Kerry ETB has adopted an organisation-wide approach to supporting the people arriving in Kerry.
Kerry ETB is working with the relevant Government Departments and all local stakeholders to advance planning regarding access to education and training services and other supports for Ukrainian refugees.
To streamline the alignment of supports for Ukrainian families arriving in Ireland, the Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has established Regional Education and Language Teams (REALT).
These Education and Language Teams are hosted by the sixteen regional education and training boards (ETBs) and are staffed by existing regionally-based education support personnel working together to ensure good coordination and alignment of supports for Ukrainian children. The Department is liaising with the teams to ensure all necessary supports for the Ukrainian children are provided as quickly as possible.
The primary role of the REALT is to assist children in finding school places and to support schools to meet the needs of these children as they emerge. The REALT also advises and supports the Department in developing new capacity, where required, and coordinates the provision of education services to children and families across their defined area. These teams act as a liaison between schools, local education support services and national support structures in relation to Ukrainian arrivals.
The regional teams are hosted and administratively supported within the ETBs and lead a network of other key agencies, including Tusla Education Support Service (TESS), NEPS regional personnel, NCSE regional personnel and Management body local nominees working together with local schools. All of the key agencies work together in a holistic manner to bring added value and efficiencies to the process of supporting the Ukrainian children.
The teams' initial focus is on ensuring that children find school places when they are ready to engage with the school system. The REALT supports existing services and coordinates the following work areas:
- Align current school capacity with the placement of Ukrainian families as much as possible.
- Identify additional capacity within their geographic areas to prepare for situations where demand may exceed available school capacity, and work with the Department and other organisations as necessary with a view to making this additional capacity available.
- Assist schools and families with accessing information on school places for Ukrainian children and young people who have moved into the area.
- Assist schools and families with accessing information on the availability of School Transport Scheme services for Ukrainian children and young people who have moved into the area.
- Assist schools and families with accessing resources and supports for additional capacity, wellbeing, language and educational needs.
- Assist with work in the area of staff supply, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutors who would assist with the English language needs of Ukrainian children, young people, and their parents/guardians.
- Liaise with other local coordinating structures that may be established to coordinate the delivery of public services for Ukrainian families.
Contact details for the Kerry ETB REALT Coordinator:
Marianne Marshall, REALT Coordinator
086 010 8222
For further information for parents in Ukrainian and Russian on accessing school places, please visit gov.ie/Ukraine.
Kerry ETB established its Ukraine Response Steering Committee to coordinate the organisation's response to the current refugee crisis. With membership including key staff members from across the organisation, this committee coordinates the provision of services to refugees and directly engages with stakeholders at a local level in response to this emergency.
The Kerry ETB Chief Executive Officer chairs the Ukraine Response Steering Committee with the support of the organisation's three directors: Director of Schools Youth and Music, Director of Further Education and Training and Director of Organisation Support and Development. Other key staff members form part of the Steering Committee; see below for relevant contact details. Given the fluidity of the current crisis, all relevant staff are readily available to support the committee's work.
Key Points of Contact
Primary, Post-Primary, REALT Queries
Marianne Marshall, REALT Coordinator
086 010 8222
Kevin Fay, Adult Education Officer
085 738 0553
Further Education and Training Queries
Elaine O'Connor, Kerry College Admissions Office Manager
086 137 0647
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