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Crowe welcomes partial u-turn on DEIS schools cuts

21 February, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on education Sean Crowe has welcomed Minister Quinn’s u-turn on DEIS schools cuts but has hit out at his “appalling decision to spread new cuts across primary and post primary sectors”.

Deputy Crowe said that this basically pitches one child against another.

“This entire episode has been a fiasco for the Government and the decision to reverse some of the cuts to DEIS schools announced in December’s budget shows how unjustified this decision was in the first place. It was an attack on some of our most vulnerable children and came at a time when literacy and numeracy standards in Irish schools had fallen dramatically.

“The retention of 235 posts in DEIS Band 1 and DEIS Band 2 schools is welcome. However, I am very disappointed that the withdrawal of 192 posts from primary schools outside DEIS Band 1 and 2 and from DEIS second level will proceed.

“The Minister is bringing forward the decision to reduce the capitation funding for primary schools in 2012. This in effect will mean a five euro cut for every child.

“The review also confirms that changes in staffing arrangements will result in approximately 73 schools nationally losing a teacher from September 2012. This will have serious implications in terms of their sustainability and their educational outcomes.

“Since the introduction of the DEIS school system in 2005, significant progress has been made in helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is an indictment on this government that they were prepared to jeopardise the success of DEIS schools through very punitive cuts.

“Today’s review is a partial victory for fairness and equality and I wish to commend all of the teachers, parents and people who opposed these cuts.

“However we still have a long way to go. The effects of this review will essentially pitch one child against another. At a time of economic crisis the government should be investing in education and in combating disadvantage, not adding to it.”

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