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Full substitute cover must be permanently retained in all schools - Doherty

12 December, 2008 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has welcomed the Minister's decision to roll back on the proposal to cut primary school substitute cover announced in the budget. However Senator Doherty said full cover should be permanently retained for all schools.

He said, "While I welcome the Minister's decision to roll back on this cutback it is essential that full substitute cover is permanently retained for all schools regardless of size. However, this is a step in the right direction and I do welcome it. The decision to cut substitute cover for primary schools would have caused bedlam in schools throughout the state had it been implemented.

"The Minister needs to go further and announce a provision for the cover of all special needs teachers. Sinn Féin has had many lobbies from teachers and parents of children with special needs. Many of these pupils have special requirements of their teaching environment i.e. it would be massively disruptive and distressing to move them from their usual classrooms. If substitute cover is not provided for every special needs teacher then it is likely to have a hugely negative impact on the education of many special needs students and I urge the Minister to take a serious look at this particular issue.

"We must also remember that there were over thirty education cutbacks announced in the budget each of which will have a devastating impact on our education services. This roll back must be accompanied by complete reversals of the other cutbacks including increases in class sizes, caps on language support teachers, abolition of grants towards special needs provision, Transition year, Leaving Cert Applied etc. The list goes on and on." ENDS

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