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Online maths school hires principal ahead of new term

Shane O’Connell has more than 17 years of experience as a teacher, deputy principal and principal

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Shane O’Connell, Breakthrough Maths


Breakthrough Maths is continuing its expansion ahead of the start of the new school year. The online educational provider has increased the number of tutors in Ireland to 28 and has hired Shane O’Connell as its full-time head of education.

O’Connell has more than 17 years of experience as a teacher, deputy principal and principal in Cork, Dublin, Galway and has also taught in international schools. The Tipperary native will be ensuring that the highest quality of classes are maintained as well as mentoring and coaching tutors.

Breakthrough Maths caters for students from 5th grade in primary school right through to Leaving Certificate level in secondary school. Weekly classes return 5 September. It is also hosting a back-to-school catch-up course on 22 August. The five-day course covers the fundamentals of maths and consists of one grind per day.

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The school started in a community center in Cork in 2020 with just two tutors before moving online. Breakthrough Maths is also expanding into the UK, with classes there starting 12 September. The Cork headquartered company has initially contracted five tutors in the UK.

“Shane O’Connell is a fantastic addition to our school bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said founder of Breakthrough Maths TJ Hegarty. We’ve expanded rapidly since we first started less than three years ago and hiring a Head of Education or Principal ensures that we can maintain and build upon the high standards and quality classes that our students and their parents expect. Shane will be making sure that each student is in the right class for their ability, will be liaising with parents and supporting tutors in their ongoing development.”

The new head of education added: “I’ve always had a passion for maths and trained as an actuary before finding my true calling in teaching. I’m delighted to join Breakthrough Maths and I’m looking forward to the classes getting underway in the coming weeks. Having taught in both primary and secondary schools, I understand that parents need to know their children are learning from experienced, vetted and coached tutors. My job will be to oversee the quality of teaching and to hire, train and mentor the brightest and most engaging tutors across the country.”

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