Galway schools still facing staff cuts, says Kitt

Small schools, Gaelscoileanna, DEIS schools, and minority faith schools in Galway face “significant cuts” to staffing levels and possible closure, despite Ruairí Quinn’s recent U-turn.

This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Micheál Kitt who was commenting on the admission by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn that he had made a mistake by targeting DEIS schools for severe cuts.

“He also raised expectations by announcing a review of his original announcement,” said Dep Kitt. “Yet he has decided to go ahead with 45 per cent of the cuts originally announced.”

Dep Kitt says that only 235 of the current 428 posts will be retained which means children at disadvantaged schools still face larger class sizes and cuts in support from September.

“While the reduction is welcome, it is offset by the cuts in capitation grants, schools are finding it hard enough to fundraise at the moment without losing this valuable source of income,” said Dep Kitt.

He added that the Minister is “trying to give the impression that he has rowed back on cuts to small schools when he has not”.

Minister Quinn has announced that small schools facing cuts can appeal these cuts if they can prove their pupil number will rise significantly over the coming years. However Dep Kitt says this is “just an attempt to take the heat out of people’s anger” about the cuts.

“In reality, it is very vague and will make very little difference to small schools in Galway that are set to lose their teachers,” he said. “This is a prime example of giving with one hand and taking with another.”

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