At an award ceremony on Wednesday 19th February 2020, iScoil was named as a recipient of the Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) Children and Youth Fund. This award enables iScoil to top-up the Presentation Sisters (and other philanthropic donations) with an additional 50% funding from the State, for the next five years. This will fund development initiatives including a QQI Level 4 (Leaving Cert equivalent) pilot programme and an in-school pilot aimed at supporting at-risk young people who are able to attend school but cannot participate in classes.
What is iScoil?
iScoil is an inclusive, non-profit on-line learning community offering a pathway to education and employment for young people aged 13-16 years who are out of mainstream education. It was developed by Presentation Ireland and funded by the Presentation Sisters to meet the needs of these young people by using digital technology to re-engage them in learning. iScoil is now a registered charity and limited company.
iScoil offers young people an alternative path to learning, accreditation and progression by providing a safe learning environment where young people can re-engage with education, achieve recognised QQI certification and access further education, training and employment opportunities.
It aims to:
- Engage young people in learning
- Build confidence, self-esteem and social development
- Offer accreditation opportunities
- Support progression to further education and employment.
iScoil continues to go from strength to strength. Their CEO, Brian Fitzsimons recently announced a partnership with Tusla School Completion Programmes, having submitted a successful funding application to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, ‘What Works Initiative’. As a result, iScoil is setting up new partnerships with School Completion Programmes in communities around Ireland. This will give many of Ireland’s most hard-to-reach young people access to education. The partnership will be evaluated by an independent education researcher Dr. Eemer Eivers, as it is hoped, it will also lead to sustainable funding.
In March 2020, iScoil will launch its’ Strategic Plan 2020-24, which outlines an ambitious plan to provide educational access to 240 young early school leavers each year.
To find out more about iScoil – see HERE
Note: The Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) is a national organisation supporting Ireland’s best social innovations through cash grants and business supports. Its purpose is to make Ireland a better more inclusive place through social innovation. Every euro SIFI raise in philanthropy is matched by a euro from the Irish Government (from the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund). SIFI partners with corporates, SME’s, families and individuals who want new, tangible and real-world ways to tackle some of the pressing issues facing our Ireland today. Its mission is to provide growth capital and supports to the best social innovations in Ireland, enabling them to scale and maximize their impact. See http://www.socialinnovation.ie/