Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien, has today published a private members motion, to be debated in the Dáil next Tuesday and Wednesday, 24 and 25 September, which seeks a reversal of budget cuts to the education sector and calls for an assessment of the impact of future cuts before they are implemented.
Speaking today as he published the motion Deputy O’Brien said:
“Since coming to power in 2011, the Fine Gael/Labour government has continued the 'slash and burn' policies of their Fianna Fáil/Green Party predecessors through the implementation of successive cuts to the State’s education system and without any thought to the social consequences of their actions.
“Instead of guaranteeing equal access to the highest standard of education, current government policy has entrenched educational inequalities and a two-tier system.
“During a recession, it is important to prioritise and ring-fence funding for education, in order to produce a highly skilled and flexible workforce that is necessary for our future economic growth and prosperity.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the government, in this private members motion, to ensure that before their proposed budget cuts to the education sector are implemented, which are expected to be as high as €100million, a comprehensive equality and social impact study is undertaken to first determine the implications for teachers and students.
"We are also seeking the reversal of the cut to the back to education allowance, the decision to increase the pupil teacher ratio for post leaving vert courses and the reinstatement of teaching supports for traveller children.
"Our motion requires a commitment from government to prioritise education and calls for spending on education to be increased to 6% of GDP in keeping with international standards.”