Minister for Education and Science September 2004-2008
Key achievements include the development of an Action Plan for Educational Inclusion: DEIS which has been noted by ERSI research as having improved outcomes, attainment and progression.
Introduction of National standardised testing of Literacy and Numeracy Standards. Publication of School Inspector’s Reports to enhance transparency of School’s Performance.
Establishment of the Teaching Council on a statutory basis. Establishment of the National Council for Education of Children with Special Needs.
Development of Strategic Innovation funding for Higher Education. Development of New Model of School Patronage to reflect the changing culture in Ireland.
Introduction of graduate entry to study Medicine.
Minister for Social and Family Affairs 2008-2010
Introduction of Welfare to Work linked payments for young people. Developed a National Pensions Strategy.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture 2010-2011
Promotion of Imagine Ireland, 2011 an extensive programme of cultural events in the USA. Commenced planning for The Gathering.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation January-March 2011.
International trade missions to attract investment and to promote Irish products. Promotion of Irish craft and design. Support of Women in Business.
Minister for Children 2000-2002. Minister of State at the three Departments of Health and Children, Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Education and Science.
Development of the National Children’s Strategy, a 10 year plan to coordinate the services for children and give them a voice on issues that affect them.
The foundation of the National Children’s Parliament: Dáil na nÓg and local Comhairle na nÓg.
The introduction and negotiation of passage of legislation to establish the Office of Ombudsman for Children.
The National Council for Special Needs Education.
DEIS School Scheme for socially disadvantaged pupils – which showed an increase in pupils going on to 3rd Level.