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Small Rural Schools Must Be Protected

I recently asked Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister for Education and Skills if she would consider reducing the numbers needed for the appointment of teachers in two, three and four teacher schools. I said that I wanted to acknowledge the fact that the Minister had amended downwards the number of pupils required for the retention of teachers but hoped that Budget 2016 would see the start of a process whereby our small rural schools would have staffing numbers reversed to pre-austerity levels.

“Unfortunately, the Minister has made it clear that she does not intend to improve the situation for our small rural schools in the coming school year , Many rural schools are already suffering through the effects of outward migration and it is unfair to penalise them further by raising the bar for additional Teaching appointments. Our small rural schools are one of the few services remaining in many of our rural parishes – we need to encourage and support them and acknowledge that we need to invest in our young generation, our most important resource of all”