Carndonagh primary school principal Albert Doherty says the sector breathed a sigh of relief that school class sizes weren’t increased in Tuesday’s budget, but warned that small schools still face losing teachers and that capitation grants remain inadequate.
“The Sword of Damocles hung over us and we were extremely worried that school class sizes were going to be increased.
“We’re glad that hasn’t happened.
“But Ireland had one of the highest pupil-teacher ratios in Europe before the budget and that remains the case after it.”
Mr Doherty, who is secretary of the Carndonagh/Moville branch of INTO trade union, said that changing demographics that sees thousands of new children entering education every year, says that the hiring of 1,395 new teachers will only maintain the status quo which sees Irish pupils in bigger classes than all their Euorpean neighbours except Britain.
He also warned that small rural schools, and minority faith schools, stand to lose teachers from September 2014.
Under changes announced in previous budgets, two, three and four teacher schools stand to lose teachers because of changes to enrolment requirements.
Twenty Inishowen primary schools fall into that ‘small school’ category.
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