Three schools to have teaching supports cut
TWO BRAY schools and one in Greystones will have special teacher support for children with learning disabilities cut after receipt of a letter from the Department of Education last Wednesday.
St. Fergal’s Junior and Senior National Schools, Sisters of Charity National School Ravenswell and St. Laurence’s in Greystones are to have positions cut because of falling numbers of pupils with special needs in the classes.
Savings of €7 million will be made by the Government, which is enforcing the rule that the classes must have nine or more special needs pupils to qualify for the extra teachers.
Deputy Joe Behan, who was principal at St. Fergal’s before his election to the Dail, described the development as ‘immoral, cruel and indefensible.
Local woman and election candidate Sarah Wray said that parents throughout Bray and surrounding areas area gain fighting for their children’s right to education. ‘Only time will tell the full impact on the lives of children affected by these cutbacks,’ she said. ‘Opportunities in life will be lost. Potential will go unfulfilled.’
Children in special classes will now be moved to mainstream classes. While Cllr. Car- oline Burrell, who is also Green Party Spokesperson on Children and Youth said that the move is ‘ethically and morally wrong,’ Cllr. John Brady has called for her resignation, saying that her Green Party colleagues have authorised the cuts.
‘Under no stretch of the imagination can this be justified,’ said Deputy Billy Timmins. ‘No matter how difficult things are in the economy we always talk about the need for investment in education. Where better there to invest but with the most needy? This is in stark contrast to the amount being invested in the banking system.’