AS MANY CHILDREN head back to school this week a new documentary being aired tonight will give a unique insight into the workings of the Department of Education and its Minister Ruairí Quinn.
Back to School – Inisde the Department airs on RTÉ One tonight and promises to give an unprecedented insight into the day-t0-day running of one of the largest government departments in the country.
The documentary will begin in the run up to last year’s budget and spans six months of internal workings as well as various controversies.
These include the issues which arose from the budget, revelations about the Minister’s own expenses, trouble within his own Labour Party and the always testy affair that is the annual teacher conferences.
Along with unprecedented access to the Minister, the documentary also follows the fortunes of his advisers in the department including John Walshe, Neil Ward, Ian O’Mara and Deirdre Grant as well as outgoing secretary general Brigid McManus and the incoming Seán Ó Foghlú.
Directed and filmed by Adrian McCarthy and produced by Martha O’Neill, the Wildfire Films production is one of a number of productions being broadcast on RTÉ outlets this week to mark the beginning of the new school year.
Tomorrow on RTÉ One at 9.35pm, the former governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lonergan, asks what can be done to ensure more young people stay in and finish their school education in a programme entitled John Lonergan’s School Principles.
While on Thursday’s Prime Time there will be special report on why foreign languages do not appear to be attracting as much funding as literacy and numeracy despite a demand for languages in an increasing number of employment sectors.
Back to School – Inside the Department is on RTÉ One tonight at 9.35pm