Cuts to teaching posts for vulnerable children a false economy – Cullinane
Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said he was shocked to hear that a temporary English as an Additional Language (EAL) post sanctioned for a DEIS school in Waterford on 1 September was now being supressed.
Senator Cullinane said:
“This is a school with a high concentration of pupils who require language support.
“I am informed by the Minister for Education that reforms introduced in 2012/13 created a single allocation process for both learning and language supports.
“This means that children with special needs and migrant children, whose first language is not English are now competing for the same resources.
“This is not acceptable; both sets of children have different educational needs and this difference should be acknowledged and resources allocated accordingly.
“It’s difficult not to draw the conclusion that the single allocation process is just another fancy term for paring back the education budget to schools in need of additional resources.
“This is yet another example of how the government’s policy of austerity is impacting the most vulnerable in our schools and communities.
“Cutting EAL posts and resources to already stressed and struggling schools is a false economy.
“Research shows the importance of early intervention. The earlier the investment in a child’s education then the better chance they have of reaching their potential later on.
“The failure to invest in primary education is not fair to pupils or to teachers and is storing up problems for the future.
“The government have no right to claim the country is on the path to economic recovery while at the very same time it cuts teaching resources to young vulnerable children.”