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Funding required to solve National Education Welfare Board staffing crisis

1 December, 2005

Speaking at the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Science and Education Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Seán Crowe T.D. called on the Government to provide the funding required so the National Education Welfare Board can carry out it’s statutory obligation under the Education Act to follow up school absenteeism and its other vital work.

Speaking today Deputy Crowe said, “Given that high rates of absenteeism are closely associated with school leaving, and that the highest rate of absenteeism are in disadvantaged areas, tackling this issue is crucial if we are to end the cycle of disadvantage that occurs in our society.

“This is the second year in a row that the National Education Welfare Board have come looking for extra funding since its establishment. They simply cannot keep up with their workload under the current arrangements and urgently need extra funding to solve the current staffing crisis.

“The policy currently pursued by the Education Minister Mary Hanafin is untenable. The NEWB are statutorily obliged to carry out this work and if they cannot the state is liable. So investment is needed in the short term to prevent court cases in the long term.” ENDS

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