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Cullinane challenges Education Minister on cuts to teaching posts

16 December, 2011

Speaking during a Seanad debate on cuts to teaching posts to DEIS Schools in Waterford Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane challenged the Minister to reverse the cuts. He said it was wholly unjustifiable to target schools in disadvantaged areas. Senator Cullinane pointed out to the Minister that at least six inner city schools in Waterford would lose teachers with many more in the county.

Addressing the Minister Senator Cullinane said:

“I challenge you Minister to travel to Waterford and meet the principals, teachers and pupils of the schools in Waterford who will lose teachers. These schools, operating in designated disadvantaged areas have built up expertise in targeting numeracy and literacy problems. They have increased numeracy and literacy skills and the educational attainment level of many pupils. Much of this work will be undone if you have your way Minister.

“Every DEIS school in Waterford lost their resource teacher for travellers in September. Five inner city schools have lost English language support posts. Under the new criteria all DEIS schools in the city and county will lose at least one concessionary post with some up to four. In 2010 St Saviours School in Ballybeg had 27 teachers. It now has 24. If the new criteria are strictly applied they will lose 4 more teachers bringing the number to 20. This is despite an increase in the number of students attending the school.

“The loss of these posts will have a detrimental effect on the children and the local communities. These cuts in teaching posts follow a cut of €2million for the school completion works and a 2% reduction in capitation fees for each school. It is obvious that this government has targeted schools in disadvantaged areas. This is wrong and the minister must immediately reverse these cuts.” ENDS

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