By Bryan T. Smyth
28th January 2014
Fianna Fáil will hold a public meeting this Wednesday in Bantry over concerns about the future of small schools in West Cork following Government cuts in the budget.
Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue will address the meeting and outline how increases in pupil teacher ratios could result in in over 100 small schools in the county losing a teacher.
Senator O’Donovan, who is organising the meeting, commented: “Minister Ruairí Quinn says that 48% of all primary schools in the country are being classed as ‘small schools’ and therefore could be subject to increases in their Pupil Teacher Ratio.
“Budget cuts have already resulted in the loss of full teaching posts at 79 schools in the country. Now there is a danger that a further 124 schools are on course to lose a teacher in September because of further cuts.
“Nearly half of all primary schools nationwide are at risk of increases in their PTR. This could mean larger class sizes and the loss of teaching posts for small school throughout West Cork.
“At Wednesday’s meeting, the party’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue, will outline the impact of these cuts on small schools in West Cork and Fianna Fáil’s plan to vigorously oppose changes to the PTR ratio.
“This seems all part of an agenda to force the amalgamation of smaller schools in rural areas across the country. The very fabric of rural communities is being dismantled by the Government; post offices and banks have been closed; local Garda stations were shut and rural bus services have also been curtailed.
“Parents don’t want to be in a position where they are forced chose between sending their child to a local school that’s facing more cuts and or sending their child to a school miles and miles away. The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome.