IRELAND’S education minister was in London today to meet with British secretary of state for education Gillian Keegan.
The pair discussed “joint issues of concern” including the banning of mobile phones in schools and the use of generative artificial intelligence in educational settings.
Minister Foley recently published guidelines aimed at helping parents in Ireland to agree voluntarily not to buy their children smartphones while in primary school.
Similarly Ms Keegan, who was appointed Secretary of State for Education in October 2022, has announced plans to issue guidelines to schools in England to control the use of smartphones during the school day.
Following their meeting, Minister Foley said she was “delighted to meet Secretary of State Gillian Keegan and discuss some of our joint issues of concern, including smartphone use among children, artificial intelligence and curricular reform”.
Ms Keegan said they had a “very productive meeting”, adding that it was “fantastic” to welcome Minister Foley to London.
During her day in the capital the minister also met Mary Richardson, Professor of Educational Assessment at University College London's Institute of Education, to discuss the use of generative artificial intelligence in education.
Ms Foley further met with the University’s Professor Qing Gu, Professor Louise Stoll and Associate Professor Greg Ross to “discuss school leadership and systemic change”.
Regarding the use of AI in schools, Minister Foley said: “There are potential benefits and risks in using generative artificial intelligence in education so it is important to get a wide range of perspectives on this issue and others.”