Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Church's influence over Irish education not what's often claimed

The Irish Times list of the 50 most powerful people in Irish education is interesting.

What really caught my eye, what really should get people talking about Irish education is the low listing of Fr Drumm - Chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership - who is 30th and Archbishop Martin (36th). Apparently the Church doesn't have as much influence over Irish education as people like Ryan Tubridy would have us believe. As for Protestants or other religious groups - didn't make the list.

The head of Educate Together made the list - at 24, above anyone from any religion. Goes to show how certain perspectives are favored over others. That Educate Together is so high up the list demonstrates Labour's control over education.

Who else made the list? Many university heads (and ex-heads!), union heads, Department of Education mandarins. All of those groups have more influence over Irish education than does the Catholic Church. American money - multinational companies and philanthropist Chuck Feeney - is listed much higher in terms of power and influence than Fr Drumm and Archbishop Martin.

Next time someone talks about the Church's influence in our education system I'll cite this source as proof that its influence is nothing compared with loads of other interest groups.