Fifteen schools across County Galway are set to lose at least one full teaching post in September and be expected to endure larger class sizes at the same time.
This is according to Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson and Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív who said under the cuts “some Galway communities will lose their local school entirely”.
The TD’s comments follow confirmation from the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, that 48 per cent of all primary schools are being classed as ‘small schools’ and subject to increases in the pupil teacher ratio announced in Budget 2012.
According to Dep Ó Cuív, this has already resulted in the loss of full teaching posts at 79 schools and a further 124 schools are on course to lose a teacher in September - including 15 schools in County Galway.
Dep Ó Cuív said Minister Quinn is “placing the burden” of cuts on small rural schools and Gaeltacht schools, which means the west of Ireland is “the worst affected region in the country”.
He added there are “genuine fears” that the Minister is “deliberately trying to undermine public confidence in the future of smaller schools”.
“His approach has put many parents in an extremely difficult position,” he said. “They are forced to chose between sending their child to a local school that’s facing more cuts, or sending their child to a school further away.”