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Poor students are paying for the wellbeing of well-off students – O’Brien

20 May, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking following the publication of research showing that the cutbacks to guidance counselling services is harming less well-off students, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Education, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the Minister for Education to ensure that this does not continue.

The Cork North Central TD said; 

“The research published this week has clearly showed how schools that are non-fee paying cannot provide adequate guidance counselling services from within their current teaching allocation, yet the state continues to subsidise fee-paying schools so that children from well-off backgrounds can get good quality education and access guidance services.

“It is sickening to listen to members of this government pay lip service to the mental health and well-being of students, when they cut a very practical measure that went some way to helping students. 

“These cuts entrench inequality in our school system and cannot be allowed to continue. 

“In our last alternative budget Sinn Féin called for an end to the private school subsidy, and given the Minister says she cannot afford to have a standard allocation of guidance counsellors, a very basic provision in schools – then it is high time the private school subsidy was removed.

“Working class people in Ireland for too long have paid for better services for others that they themselves can’t access. 

“I am calling on this Minister to reverse the cuts to guidance counsellors and bring back the standard allocation for non-fee paying schools immediately.” 

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