Three Kerry schools have been included in a government-led research project to support small schools.
Education Minister and Kerry Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley has launched a two-year action research project, aimed at supporting small rural schools around Ireland.
The project is being developed by a working group of school management bodies and teachers' unions with the Department of Education, and aims to encourage small schools to cluster together in local groups.
The Department of Education says this will enable them to collaborate and identify common challenges and trial innovative solutions.
Six project clusters of small schools will be formed, two in Galway, and one in each of Donegal, Kerry, Wicklow and Waterford, consisting of between three and five schools per cluster.
The clusters will be supported by part-time local coordinators sponsored by the education partners, working with a national coordinator under the guidance of a steering group.
The cluster in Kerry will include Scoil an Ghleanna and Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Mhichíl from Ballinskelligs, and Scoil Náisiúnta Cillín Liath, Maistir Gaoithe in Killarney.
Action that the schools may take in the cluster include sharing teaching and learning aspects of the curriculum, assessing and sharing maintenance support procurement and costs, and exploring aspects of school leadership.
The schools will not be asked for a financial contribution to take part in the project, which will commence in the new school year.