Education Minister sitting on small schools report for nearly a year – Ó Domhnaill

Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has demanded to know why the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has been sitting on a report about the future of small schools for nearly a year.

In response to a Parliamentary Question from Fianna Fáil, Minister Quinn confirmed he received the Value for Money report on 25th April 2013.

“It seems extraordinary to me that the Minister has taken nearly a year to go through this report.  And he is still showing no sign of publishing it,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill

“This report could determine the future of small rural schools across the country.  Minister Quinn is already engaged in a targeted attack on small rural schools. 75 schools have already lost a teacher in the last two years and a further 42 schools did not gain a teacher that they were due to gain.  On top of this, 34 more primary schools are set to lose a teacher this coming September.

“It’s crucial that the report is published as a matter of urgency.  Minister Quinn has ploughed ahead with a policy to cut the resources of smaller schools, while sitting on a report that could determine their future.  The question is, why is he so reluctant to publish it?

“Small primary schools are of vital importance to rural Ireland and have given the taxpayer very good value for money in terms of educational outcomes.  The Government seems hell bent on undermining many vital services in Ireland, including local garda resources, local post offices, local health services, ambulance services, community welfare officers and now small rural schools.

“My suspicion is that the Minister is waiting until the local elections are out of the way before pouncing on rural schools.  My fear is that his agenda to force the amalgamation of smaller schools will become clear after the elections and he will use the Value for Money review to justify his political decision.  This sneaky, high-handed approach must be resisted at all costs.  The Minister must come clean and publish the report now.” Concluded Ó Domhnaill

Posted: Mar 7, 2014     |     Categories: Uncategorized