Nine primary schools in Tipperary are set to lose a teacher in September, The Tipperary Star can reveal, with the threat of amalgamation of small units a very real prospect.
Parents reading this weeks newspaper may not realise how serious a situation this is, but some schools are at serious risk of closure.
A total of 124 small schools across the country will lose a teacher next academic year. Overall, nearly half all primary schools in the country are at risk of cuts in the coming years as they have been classed as ‘small schools’ by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn.
And, local Fianna Fail Councillor John Hogan has said that the Government is misleading the people.
“This exposes the lie that the Government has ‘protected’ the pupil teacher ratio. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nearly half of all primary schools in the country are being subjected to increases in the PTR – this means larger class sizes and the loss of teaching posts. Next September alone, 9 Tipperary schools are set to lose a teaching post,” said Cllr Hogan.
Minister Quinn has confirmed that 48% of all primary schools are being classed as ‘small schools’ and are therefore subject to increases in the pupil teacher ratio announced in Budget 2009. This has already resulted in the loss of full teaching posts at 79 schools nationally.
“Minister Quinn is placing the burden of cuts on small rural, minority faith and Gaeltacht schools. This sweeping attack on smaller schools shows complete ignorance of the day to day running and their importance to the community and has made no consideration of geography, position in the community or ethos. There is no doubt that this is all part of an agenda to force the amalgamation of smaller schools. If the Government had its way, some communities in this region will lose their local school entirely.If their own figures are correct, schools with less than 9 teachers across Co Tipperary are facing more cuts. It’s causing great distress,”Cllr Hogan said.