Athlone native is first woman to hold prestigious Department of Education role

An Athlone native has become the first woman to be appointed to the role of Chief Inspector at the Department of Education.

Yvonne Keating was appointed to the prestigious position in recent times by Minister for Education, Norma Foley, who stated that the Athlone native was selected following “a top-level appointments committee specialist recruitment process”.

Yvonne, who hails from a family synonymous with education in the Midlands, will lead the Inspectorate of the Department of Education, which is responsible for the evaluation of primary and post-primary schools and centres for education as well as inspection of education provision in early learning and care settings. Inspectors also provide advice on a range of educational issues to school communities, policy makers in the department and to the wider educational system. The functions of the Chief Inspector and the Inspectorate are set out in the Education Act 1998.

Ms Yvonne Keating has taken up her new post as Chief Inspector with immediate effect.

Ms Keating holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Carysfort College, a Master of Education degree from Maynooth University and the degree of Barrister-at-Law from the Honorable Society of Kings’ Inns. She has also undertaken further studies in inspection and regulation at the Institute of Education, University of London and leadership studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

“I am delighted to announce Ms Yvonne Keating’s appointment as Chief Inspector at the Department of Education. The Inspectorate plays a hugely important role in supporting our schools and other education settings to provide the best possible educational experience to our children and young people.

“Yvonne has an exceptional track record as a teacher and as an inspector and has served as Deputy Chief Inspector for the last three years. She is enormously well qualified for this role. We have an ambitious ongoing programme of development within our school system, with for example, our Senior Cycle reform, embedding of wellbeing and the development of the new primary curriculum, and the Inspectorate will continue to play a key role in the imagining and implementation of this important work.

“I wish Yvonne every success in her role and I know that the Inspectorate will continue to evolve and thrive as an essential support and partner to our schools under her leadership,” Minister Foley, stated, upon making the appointment announcement.


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