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Labour must reverse cut to teaching supports for DEIS schools – McDonald

15 December, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil during today’s Leaders Questions Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Tánaiste to reverse the Government’s decision to cut 428 posts from 270 primary schools and 163 post primary DEIS schools.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Tánaiste has said that where budget measures have unforeseen consequences, the government is willing to reconsider them.

“This particular vicious cut to DEIS schools has foreseen, predictable consequences for children living in the inner city of Dublin, in Cork, Inishowen, Limerick, Waterford – the Tánaiste knows full these communities have suffered the consequences of intergenerational poverty, unemployment and a plague of drug misuse.

“Teaching posts will be lost and children, who rely on direct intervention and small class size to have a chance, not just in educational terms but in social and life terms, will be compromised by his Government.

“The Tánaiste says these are legacy posts, I ask him not to come in here and insult the intelligence of the Dáil or the intelligence of the general public with that type of connivance. What will Labour’s legacy to the education of these children be?

“It is a perverse logic articulated by the Tánaiste today that we must have equality in deprivation. There is a reason that these particular schools were allocated a preferential pupil-teacher ratio. All of the documentation reflects the fact that this size of class is working for children who need a greater level of support.” ENDS

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