Three schools to have teach­ing sup­ports cut

Bray People - - News -

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.’

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