Awarded Fund

Education Innovation Fund 2020-2023

Maynooth University Foundation, Education Innovation Fund 2020-2023 Awardee

The Education Innovation Fund 2020 – 2023 was created by Rethink Ireland with the support of the Department of Rural and Community Development (via the Dormant Accounts Fund).

COVID-19 is a massive disruption to Ireland’s education system. It exposes already vulnerable people to further educational disadvantage. It widens inequality and makes educational opportunities even harder to reach. Now is the time for swift action.

On Monday, 27th September 2021 Rethink Ireland announced the Awardees of its Education Innovation Fund. The fund will support nine projects that are all focused on improving equal access to education and promoting economic empowerment. We matched funds raised by applicants and we are providing cash grants and a variety of business supports.


Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT)

Mainstreaming the Women Choose Tech by Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT) is the first programme of its kind that is directly focused on inspiring young females in DEIS school settings to consider a career in Ireland’s vibrant tech sector via suitable pathways. It seeks to engage females at an early stage to raise their awareness of the tech roles available and pathways into a rewarding tech future.

Maynooth University Foundation

The Digital Wealth Project by Maynooth University Foundation offers a new framework to reconsider the supports that schools need to move out of digital poverty. The project aims to ensure that 1000+ students, 350+ teachers and 135 schools nationwide have the digital commodities, capabilities, technology and infrastructure to ensure access to the digital world. The project will employ specialised Digital Education Leaders who will support several schools per year.

University College Dublin

Directed by Professor Judith Harford and Dr Rachel Farrell of the School of Education, Power2Progress is a programme aimed at fostering educational resilience in DEIS schools nationally. Funded by the Z Zurich Foundation and Rethink Ireland to the value of almost three-quarters of a million euro, Power2Progress will support circa 700 senior cycle students across 21 DEIS schools to achieve greater success by providing additional weekly tuition and resources.

Mary Immaculate College

Established in 2017, Embracing Diversity, Nurturing Integration, Learning for Life Project (EDNIP) is a partnership initiative that aims to promote the integration of migrant children and families into school and community life through working across five DEIS band 1 primary schools in Limerick City. The EDNIP project encapsulates Mary Immaculate College’s commitment to creating a diverse, welcoming and inclusive college for all and to progressing its goals of promoting integration and celebrating the rich diversity in our society.

University of Limerick Foundation

The Academy for Children was established by the University of Limerick’s Access Office in late 2020 with a focus on enhancing the University’s commitment to access and to widening the participation of under-represented groups at third level. The goal of the Academy is to encourage and support primary school children in local DEIS designated schools to reach their full potential and begin their journey onto higher education.

The Genesis Programme ℅ Louth Leader Partnership

The Genesis Programme works with over fifty partner organisations, agencies and services, delivering the ParentChild+ programme and other evidence-informed interventions to children, families and communities in County Louth. We do this with the support of Louth Leader Partnership as our lead agency and under the remit of the National ABC (Area Based Childhood) Programme in an effort to promote the positive development of children and families who live in areas of high deprivation. The ParentChild+ Programme is a home-based literacy and parenting programme which consists of 92 visits over a 46-week period. The focus is on strengthening families and to prepare children to succeed academically. This is achieved through modelling oral language, reading and the medium of play.

jumpAgrade Foundation

JumpAgrade is an EdTech social enterprise based in the Nexus Innovation Centre located in the University of Limerick. It was started in 2017 by David Neville and Pádraic Hogan, with the jumpAgrade Foundation established in 2020 to further its social purpose. The jumpAgrade mission is to help every student achieve their full potential. jumpAgrade reaches for this vision by working with underrepresented and disadvantaged students through the jumpAgrade Foundation’s Equity of Education Initiative.

Innovate Communities

INSPIRE Mentoring by Innovate Communities is a unique online mentoring programme for 18 to 25-year-olds in partnership with LinkedIn Ireland. They provide their young people with direct access to a professional mentor from a similar community and background. Their mentors facilitate each young person to reach their education and employment ambitions while supporting the young person to grow their knowledge, skills, confidence and professional networks to succeed.

Educate Together

Educate Together’s Nurture Schools project began in 2020 with support from the technology company Salesforce. The Nurture Schools project works with students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in primary and second-level schools to get them back on track and engaged with their education. This is achieved through innovative and inclusive interventions that are teacher-led and evidence-based, complemented by a whole school approach.