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Students in DEIS schools being failed by Government – Cullinane

14 December, 2011

Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane has criticised the Government for the recent changes to the provision of teachers to schools in disadvantaged areas.

Speaking in the Seanad today the Waterford Senator branded the measure “foolish” and said that it will cost more in the long run.

Senator Cullinane said:

“Any amount of research has shown the value of good educational standards in combating disadvantage. The funds saved here will likely be lost ten times over in dealing with the legacy of poor educational attainment.

“I am asking the government to support these schools and recognise the good that they do, not only for the children that attend them, but also for communities. DEIS schools play a huge role in children’s education and in many circumstances have succeeded in making significant differences to the learning outcomes of these students, in terms of literacy and numeracy.

“In Waterford, there is a high level of concern as to the effect this will have. We have a number of schools which operate under the DEIS scheme, such as Presentation, St Pauls, Scoil Lorcáin, and my own former school, St Saviour’s.

“In 2010 St Saviours had 27 teachers. They are worried that by the end of next year it will only have 20, and many other teachers and principals across Waterford are facing similar scenarios, when all they want is the best for their children.

“The impact of the loss of additional supports will be huge. We aren’t just talking about money here. This is about people’s opportunities. These are young people being failed by the government.

“These are schools which generally had seen successful in raising the standards of literacy and numeracy, and improving the potential of these young people, despite often difficult circumstances. I implore the government not to tip ten or more years of hard work down the drain.”

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