Children's Futures Campaign

Published date: 
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Children's Futures Campaign

Current members include founding members AsIAm, Barnardos, Children’s Rights Alliance, Inclusion Ireland, and National Parents Council Primary, as well as Pavee Point, Children’s Books Ireland, Dyslexia Association of Ireland, Foróige,, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, UNICEF Ireland and Museum of Childhood Ireland.

The #ChildrensFuturesIRL Campaign (comprising 13 organisations in total) was established in early 2021 to work with Government, education partners and others to secure a cross-party, cross-sector public commitment to prioritise reopening – and keeping open – schools in line with public health advice and to limit the negative impact of lockdown on a generation of children and young people.

Our Campaign Asks

  1. Ensure that all schools remain open in line with public health advice.
  2. A contingency plan should prioritise vulnerable groups and detail specific measures to continue in-school provision in the event of further school closures.
  3. Develop and provide a suite of interventions to address learning loss experienced by all children and young people over the last 12 months with additional support for marginalised and vulnerable children.
  4. Recognise the additional challenges faced by young people who were already at risk of disengaging with education or early school leaving before the extended school closures and identify supports to ensure that they are supported to complete their second-level education.
  5. Reform the education system to ensure that the best interests of children are central to decision-making and develop a whole of Government approach to address the impact of Covid on children and young people.

September 2021


Education Awareness Month

During the month of September, we organised events to draw attention to the impact of Covid-19 on children and young people. We wanted to throw a spotlight on these issues and play our role in ensuring that our national response to the Covid-19 pandemic prioritises schools and the education of children and young people.

28 September 2021 - Wellbeing in the School Community

  • Prof Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre NUI Galway
  • Deirdre McHugh, Department of Education
  • Elaina Ryan, Children's Books Ireland
  • Aine Lynch, National Parents Counci
  • Patrick (Pa) Reilly, Pavee Point
  • Eric O'Brien - Foróige 
  • Input from young person from

 Senator Frances Black's sent a message of support. 

21 September 2021 – Spotlight on Educational Disadvantage 

  • Dr Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre at Dublin City University (DCU)
  • Julie Helen, Inclusion Ireland
  • Catherine McCurdy, Barnardos
  • Niamh Murray, Rutland National School
  • Tracey Reilly, Pavee Point
  • Marcella Stakem, Society of St Vincent de Paul

16 September 2021 - #Reopen Schools Digital Freeze (UNICEF Ireland event)
14 September 2021 – Reduced Timetables and the Future of Alternative Education (Children's Rights Alliance event)

The Children’s Futures Campaign is kindly supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.