Education for all: Catalysing change through Education Innovation

Education for All: Catalysing change through Educational Innovation

TCD conference, 6th October 2017

By Deirdre Mortell and Martina Von Richter

Deirdre speaking at Trinity Access 21

What do we want?

Education for all – inclusive, high standards, and ready for life!

Education that helps us to create the Ireland we want to live and work in – prosperous, healthy, and with strong sustainable communities with heart.

What do we need to do to get there? 

We need to build a movement of 21st century educational pioneers. These are the innovators that we rely on to show Ireland what is possible, but even more important, HOW to build it.

That’s you.

The movement needs support

• Peer network

• Expertise and inputs

• Proof of impact (over time)

• Visibility to spread the word.

We need to remember that education is not just a system with robots in it churning out an economy BUT it’s made up of and focused on young people who ONLY DO THIS ONCE. So we need to look after them. Bring well-being much closer to the core of the system – mental & physical health. Resilience is a skill, not a talent, it’s a skill that we can all learn, and a muscle that we can strengthen with use.

We have a long way to go but we have some assets to help us along the way.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s Education Fund has set out to support some of the innovators in Education. We will announce 10 projects on October 24th that we believe use innovative approaches to tackle educational disadvantage (in the very broad sense – including through mental health issues, intellectual disability, as well as poverty or disadvantage).We will provide them with the tools they need to grow and spread their approaches over the next 3 years.

What holds back innovations from spreading?

MONEY. DATA that proves SOCIAL IMPACT. The fact that nobody knows about them. Help when problems hit – as they always do.

We will offer them:

  • Grants that enable them to reach more people
  • World class external evaluation that will ensure that they are collecting the right data so that they can demonstrate the impact of their work to funders, parents, communities.
  • A peer problem solving network – something like what you have here today.


    We believe that great ideas with the right tools and the right leaders can make transformative change. And supporting those leaders  – is what we will be doing.

    In the end it is about people… it is about you.