Danu CSS Leo Vardkar Visit Featured

Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar Visits Danu Community Special School

In July 2019, the Department of Education and Skills (DES) sought the DDLETB to act as Patron for a new special school in the Dublin 15 area.

Danu Community Special School (Danu CSS) is a community special school that provides an appropriate education for students, aged 4 to 18 years old, whose primary diagnosis is Autism and/or Moderate/or Severe General Learning Disabilities.

On 18th November 2019, Danu Community Special School opened its doors and welcomed its first pupils.

Danu-CSS-Leo-Varadkar-Visit-3-featured The Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, requested a visit to our school. On 12th March 2021 Leo and Emer Currie TD met with all the teachers and pupils in our six classrooms.

Finn in classroom 1 presented Leo with a framed print of a picture of the mythical mother goddess Danu which represents fertility and abundance in the land. The root “dan” in ancient Irish means art, skill, poetry, knowledge, and wisdom.

All the children in the school painted their finger prints around the picture and Adam from classroom 4 wrote ‘Thank you Leo for visiting’.

Leo was very impressed with what we had achieved in a very short space of time and looked forward to visiting again in a non-Covid environment.



Dublin Learning City Virtual Festival 22 – 24 March

Dublin Learning City (@DubLearningCity) | Twitter
The Dublin Learning City virtual festival takes place from 22nd to 24th March. The free festival celebrates and promotes learning for all with a terrific selection of fun and creative events.
DDLETB is delighted to be part of the festival and will be showcasing some of our many Further Education and Training opportunities. We will be hosting a wide range of events as part of the festival.
DDLETB Events include:
  • Creative Writing
  • Emroidery For Beginners
  • Wild Flower Arranging
  • Making Chocolate Macaroons
  • Learn To Meditate
  • Learn To Draw Chalk Portraits
  • 3D Modelling
  • Yoga
  • Drama
  • Reading, Writing and Maths For Adults
  • Mindfulness
  • Pilates
There are also a number of events where you can learn about the DDLETB Adult Education Service and how they can help you if you are thinking about Further Education and Training.

For more information on the festival check out the website – www.dublinlearningcity.ie 

DDLETB Local Youth Club Grant Scheme

Introduction to the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme incorporating the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups:

Local Youth Club Group SchemeThe Local Youth Club Grant Scheme (LYCGS or ‘the Scheme’) supports volunteer-led youth club/group activities at a local level. The Scheme, which provides grant aid towards the costs of running clubs/groups, is part-funded by the proceeds of the National Lottery. Funding for the Scheme is provided by the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth (DCEDIY) and is administered locally by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) as co-grantor and on behalf of DCEDIY. ETBs advertise the Scheme locally on an annual basis, outlining the purpose of the grant and the eligibility criteria.

Download DDLETB Local Youth Club Grant Scheme Application form 2021

Download 2021 Local Youth Club Group Scheme Guidance Notes

The Scheme supports voluntary youth club/group activities for young people; with priority given to clubs/groups catering for young people aged 10–21. The primary focus of the Scheme is to assist local volunteer-led youth clubs/groups that provide a programme of youth work activities for young people. In addition, other clubs/groups that work with young people, but are not specifically providing youth work, are also entitled to apply for funding under the Scheme.

In 2017, DCEDIY incorporated the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups (NQSVLYG) into the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme (LYCGS). These national quality standards were developed to support and enhance voluntary work with young people. The three National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups are:
1. Standard 1: Safety and well-being – Programmes, practices, and people ensure and promote the safety, support and well-being of young people.
2. Standard 2: Young person-centred – Programmes, practices, and people ensure and promote the voluntary participation, inclusion and voice of young people.
3. Standard 3: Developmental and educational – Programmes, practices, and people ensure and promote the development, achievement and progression of young people.

Throughout the club/group year, volunteers progress actions relating to the Standards that will improve the running of the club/group and the experience of the young people attending the club/group. Where a club/group requires support with progressing the Standards, it can request this from the National Youth Organisation to which it is affiliated. A youth club/group that is not affiliated to a National Youth Organisation can request support from its local ETB (see contact details in Appendix 1 of the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme Application Form).

The LYCGS Application Form is also the reporting template for the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups. If you do not wish to apply for the grant, you need only complete Sections 1, 2 and 5 of the form. If you need any help in completing these sections of the form, please contact your National Youth Organisation (see details listed in Appendix 2 of the Form).

Download DDLETB Local Youth Club Grant Scheme Application form 2021

Download 2021 Local Youth Club Group Scheme Guidance Notes




Statement of Strategy – Further Education & Training 2021 – 2023

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris and Minister of State for Further Education and Skills Niall Collins launched a three-year strategy for the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Minister Harris said:

“The department has ambitious goals to reform our higher education sector, to grow our research and innovation system and to develop the skills agenda.

“At the heart of our department is an objective to ensure everyone regardless of their background, age, gender, or address – achieves their best potential, whether that is through education or the workforce.

Download the Statement of Strategy (English)

Download the Statement of Strategy (Irish)


You can listen to an interview with Minister Harris, discussing the new strategy on the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk.

The strategy sets out the department’s ambition to:

  • improve the transition to further and higher education for school leavers
  • implement a new 10-year strategy to improve literacy, numeracy and digital skills to ensure nobody is left behind
  • reform skills training and invest in upskilling and reskilling opportunities in areas of economic growth including in the area of green and digital skills
  • overhaul the Apprenticeship system and develop a new plan to increase apprenticeships to 10,000 every year
  • put in place a sustainable approach to higher education funding
  • introduce new legislation to reform higher education governance
  • undertake a national engagement on research and science and develop a renewed national strategy to succeed Innovation 2020
  • implement a new Access Plan for higher education and review the Student Grant Scheme
    grow our international reach and position Ireland as a leader in higher education and research
    support the establishment of Technological Universities across the country to improve access to higher education and to act as anchors for regional and national innovation and growth
  • advance North South co-operation in higher education and research
  • lead the COVID-19 response for the sector to enable higher and further education to respond to and recover from the ongoing crisis

Minister of State Collins added:

“The department has exciting plans to reform the skills agenda including a new Apprenticeship Action Plan, which will set out ambitious targets to increase the number of people participating in the earn and learn model.

“We will also be developing a series of initiatives to ensure our workforce has the right skills in the aftermath of the pandemic and in areas of economic growth.”

Jim Breslin, Secretary General of the department said:

“Our further and higher education and research systems represent a critical national asset which can support the future success of our citizens. Our Statement of Strategy identifies how, as a new department working with a vibrant sector, we can make a difference to our country’s future. We received tremendous engagement from across the organisation and from external stakeholders in developing our Strategy and we are eager to work with everyone on its implementation.”


Blanchardstown Youthreach Wins The Best Performance Award At Junk Kouture

There was some fantastic news for Blanchardstown Youthreach last week.

The Warrior team took the crown for Best Performance at the Youth Kouture competition.

DDLETB Winter Connect

What Is Junk Kouture ?

Junk Kouture is a global platform to unleash the creative brilliance of young people. One way it does this, is through a fashion competition which challenges the world’s most talented emerging designers, engineers, artists and performers to envision, create and model high-end couture from everyday junk!


DDLETB Newsletter – COVID Special!

We’re so happy to present the DDLETB Newsletter. The focus of this newsletter is on how our schools, centres and colleges have adapted to teaching and learning during the COVID pandemic.

We have contributions from every level, from infants, second-level, Youthreach and further education.

Download the DDLETB COVID Newsletter Dec 2020 Web




DDLETB - What Is A Community National School

What Are Community National Schools Anyway?

DDLETB is a proud patron of 7 Community National Schools and 3 Special Schools. They are:

Community National Schools

Citywest & Saggart Community National School
Lucan Community National School
Scoil Aoife Community National School
Scoil Choilm Community National School
Scoil Chormaic Community National School
Scoil Ghráinne Community National School
Rivervalley Community National School

Special Schools

Crannog Nua Special School
Portrane, Co. Dublin.

Ballydowd High Support Special School
Ballyowen, Dublin 22.

Danu Community Special School
c/o Hansfield Educate Together, Dublin 15.

But what exactly are Community National Schools and how are they different from what is generally known as a “Primary School”? Séamus Conboy is the Education and Training Boards Ireland Primary Schools Support Officer, and here he explains what they are.

Community National Schools have featured quite a lot in the media recently, and people have been asking this question: what exactly is a Community National School? The short answer is that they are State-operated, child-centred, inclusive, multi-belief primary schools.
Here are the answers to the other questions people are asking about Community National Schools.

What is a Community National School?

Community National Schools (CNS) are state-operated, multidenominational, inclusive schools that welcome all children from the local communities they serve. Historically, schools have been managed by private patrons who are also responsible for the ethos of the school e.g. Church bodies, Educate Together. The State has now developed its own primary school model with the Community National Schools.

DDLETB - What Is A Community National School

Why is there a need for a Community National School?

Ireland is changing. It used to be a significantly homogenous country with most people identifying as
Roman Catholic. The religious identity of many Irish people has changed in recent years. Ireland has
also morphed into a richly diverse country because of the migration experienced during the boom
years. Due to these changes, the current school system, which is 96% Church-run, no longer fully reflects
Irish society. Even with their best efforts, many Church-run schools are struggling to fully meet the needs of all of their children due to the constraints of their ethos.

Who is the patron of these schools?

The patrons of CNS schools are the Education and Training Boards (ETBs). ETBs, which were formerly
known as VECs, are statutory authorities which have responsibility for education and youth work. ETBs
manage and operate Community National Schools, Second-level schools such as Community Colleges
and a range of adult and further education centres. They have developed an excellent reputation for
their provision of inclusive, innovative education that meets the needs of the entire community.

What is the difference between Community National Schools and other school types?

Faced with a number of choices, parents can be comforted knowing that every school, regardless of its
patron, follows the same national curriculum. Schools mainly differ in what they call their ‘ethos’ or
characteristic spirit. Many parents describe a Community National School as somewhere between the
traditional denominational school and a secular school. Although Community National Schools do
not prioritise any one religion over another, space is made within the school day for children to be
nurtured in their own faith or secular belief while learning more about their friends’ beliefs too.
Although CNS schools pride themselves on their commitment to inclusion and equality for all, their
main commitment is to providing a child-centred education that helps children to live their lives to
the full. A focus on both academic and hands-on learning, IT and the nurturing of children’s well-being
ensures that they are prepared to thrive in and beyond their education journey.
CNS schools are progressive schools rooted in the best of tradition. CNS schools are similar to traditional
schools in that the children wear a school uniform and the teacher is referred to formally e.g. Mr. Murphy, Múinteoir Orla.
Community National Schools Ethos
CNS schools are similar to Educate Together schools in that they have inclusive enrolment policies which do not prioritise any one group over another, are multi-denominational and have equality central to their ethos.
Unique to each school type is what is known as their ‘Patron’s Programme’. This is done for 30 minutes a day and underpins the ethos of the school. In a Church-run school, it is a single faith formation programme. However, in a Community National School, it is a multi-belief and values education
programme called Goodness Me! Goodness You!

How do Community National Schools cater for religious/secular belief diversity?

Unlike single-denominational schools, Community National Schools have a multi-belief and values education programme that caters for children of all faiths and secular beliefs. The programme is called Goodness Me, Goodness You! or GMGY. This programme was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) which is the statutory body charged with the development of national curricula.

It is a belief-nurturing programme where children, with the help of their teacher, parents and belief
communities learn more about their own beliefs and those of their friends. Children learn together about
the same theme – the schools communicate with parents about the theme and they talk about it at home from their own faith/belief perspective. Children then share their perspective or experience of the same theme with their class and therefore learn more about themselves and each other.

Does the school support children preparing for special rites of passages e.g. the Sacraments?

Community National Schools also offer Belief Specific Teaching (BST) where parents can request additional supports around specific rites of passage. For example, many Catholic parents want some support from the school around the sacraments. The schools work with the parents and parish around how they can support them, bearing in mind the limitations they have as they are primarily multi-denominational schools. This support is open to all families from all religions and beliefs. It is different
in every Community National School, depending on the needs of the school community and the practices
of local belief communities.

Does the GMGY Programme deal with topics other than religions and beliefs?

The GMGY programme is also a values education programme. Children learn all about ethics and
the values of the school, such as equality and justice. They also do what is called ‘Thinking Time’
where the children learn to think critically and philosophically about different issues. A very nice part of
the programme is what is known as ‘Quiet Time’ where children are encouraged to fall still and think
about all that they have learnt that day in GMGY and to consider how that relates to their lives as

Where are the current Community National Schools and how are they doing?

To date, there are 11 Community National Schools in Dublin, Wicklow, Meath, Kildare and Cork. Each CNS has thrived in the areas they are in and have developed reputations for their inclusive ethos and commitment to excellence in education.

Where can I find out more information about these schools?

For more information or to express an interest in enrolling your child in a new Community National School, please visit www.cns.ie. Each school has its own individual website that can be accessed from here. For more information on Goodness Me! Goodness You! please visit www.gmgy.ie.