Pioneering Donegal Parents Graduate from My Child My Vision Programme

Large group of people.
Large group of people.
Parents, HSCL Coordinators, Principals and others with Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh.

A graduation event was held on 3 October for fifteen pioneering parents in the Letterkenny and Finn Valley areas who graduated from the pilot programme ‘My Child My Vision’ programme.

The parents have children attending Errigal College in Letterkenny, Deele College in Raphoe, Finn Valley College in Stranorlar, Scoile Bhríde Primary School in Convoy and Scoil Mhuire Primary School in Stranorlar.

‘My Child My Vision’ is a parent facilitation training programme to empower parents to guide their child through the school transfer process and to support their child’s progression from primary to post-primary education. Having previously been rolled out in four other counties in Ireland, this was the first time it was delivered in County Donegal.

Group of people in front of a banner.
Finn Valley College parents with tutor Barry O Riordan (left), Finn Valley College HSCL Coordinator Ashlean McGeehan (third from right), Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh (second from right) and Finn Valley College Principal Alan Thompson (right).

Provision of the programme was organised by the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Coordinators in the schools who felt that their parents, some with no formal education or returning to education after a long time, were capable of undertaking the programme. They collaborated with the Further Education and Training (FET) Service within Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB), Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) Integrated Services Manager Niall Rabitt and the five school Principals to bring the programme to the county.

Group of people in front of a banner
Scoil Mhuire Stranorlar parents and staff with tutor Barry O Riordan (left) and Tusla’s Niall Rabitt (right).

Speaking at the event, Ashlean McGeehan, HSCL Coordinator with Finn Valley College, who coordinated the programme with her HSCL colleagues said, “These inspiring parents here tonight agreed to return to education and commit to completing a QQI Level 5 Working with Groups Minor Award which would give them the skills to facilitate parent transition evenings in our schools.

This programme represents the essence of the HSCL Scheme, building the partnership between the home, the community, and our schools. All parents here tonight showed commitment and dedication and worked tirelessly in partnership Donegal ETB FET tutor Barry O’Riordan, our Home School Community Liaison Coordinators Shaun Paul Maguire (Scoil Bhríde), Noelle Moy (Scoil Mhuire), Margaret McAteer (Errigal College) and Patrice Gallagher (Deele College) to ensure they achieved what they set out to do and tonight is proof that they didn’t give up.”

Group of people in front of a banner.
Deele College and Scoil Bhride parents and staff.

Congratulating the parents, Aidan McCloskey, Adult Education Officer with Donegal ETB’s FET Service said, “I am incredibly pleased to join you in celebrating your success in completing the ‘My Child My Vision’ course. Returning to education is such a rewarding experience, and I can instantly tell from the atmosphere this evening that you really enjoyed your experience on this course with Donegal ETB.

One of the wonderful outcomes of your success is that you are now in a position to share your knowledge with other parents, helping

Group of people in front of a banner.
Errigal College parents and staff with tutor Barry O’Riordan (left) and Donegal ETB CE Anne McHugh (right).

them to take an active part in their child’s transition from primary to second-level education. In addition to that, the personal achievement of each student here is also worthy of celebration. You have come to realise your own capacity to learn and this in turn has led you to new opportunities in Further Education and Training, in higher education and in the workplace.”

Certificates were presented to the parents by Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh.

Two further groups of parents are now undertaking the course.