Local schools to lose 14 teachers in budget cutbacks

Senator Alex White, Labour Leader in the Senate and his party’s candidate in the Dublin South by-election, has expressed dismay at the fact that primary schools in Dublin South will lose up to 14 teachers under the new pupil-teacher ratios set by the Government as a result of the Budget changes.

Speaking prior to a Labour Party motion in the Dáil on class sizes, Senator White stated that: “The Government are saying that class sizes will be increasing by only one child. In reality, it’s much more serious than that. Schools will lose teachers, every child’s education will be compromised, and class sizes in Dublin South will be as high as 32.

“The worst case is St. Colmcille’s National Schools in Knocklyon, who will lose an extraordinary 5 teachers according to initial figures from the INTO. This is the same school that, in the last election, the Government promised to redevelop, ending the plight of 500 students in prefab accommodation. Today, the Government will still not let the school apply for planning permission.

“The INTO have also reported that Taney NS, Dundrum and St Mary’s NS, Lamb’s Cross will each lose a teacher. Holy Cross NS, Dundrum will lose 3 teachers and Oatlands NS, Stillorgan will lose 4 teachers under the new rules. 14 teachers is a shocking number to be lost in one constituency, and this doesn’t include the loss of English Language Support Teachers.

“The Government has responded by insisting that these measures are required in these tight budgetary times.

“However, Minister O’Keeffe is ignoring the fact that the people who will be most affected by his cuts are children, who in many cases already have had to endure high class sizes, and low standard accommodation.

“What Labour is asking tonight is simply for the Minister to stick to his own Programme for Government - which promised to decrease class sizes, not increase them.”

More :: Labour’s Private Members’ Motion will be taken in the Dáil at 7.30 pm tonight. You can view the proceedings live by clicking here.