Support the fight against unfair cuts to DEIS schools

In excess of 20 teachers to be lost to Ballymun!

The disproportionate and unfair cuts to education in areas like
Ballymun proposed by Government in December have stunned members of
Ballymun Principals Network. The Network is calling for community-wide
support in protest against these cuts on Thursday 19th January 2012 at
3.30pm outside the Department of Education and Science, Marlborough
Street, Dublin 1. The protest is being organised by the Irish National
Teachers’ Organisation (INTO). Members of the Ballymun community are
being asked to come out in force and support this protest and stand up
for the children in their community.

Should these cuts go ahead the pupil-teacher ratio would be increased
and the level of support for children with learning difficulties and
emotional and behavioural problems would be seriously reduced in
Ballymun. These cuts are proposed at a time when a recent ESRI report
highlighted that over 40% of students in schools in urban
disadvantaged areas have Numeracy, Literacy and Emotional and
Behavioural difficulties. Cuts like these would mean that the
community of Ballymun would lose in excess of 20 teachers; the
equivalent of closing one whole school.

Chairperson of the Principals Network Kate Hogan stated that the
impact on children of the proposed cuts would be devastating;
negatively affecting the ability of schools to deliver the education
that children in Ballymun deserve. “These cuts would directly
undermine the notable improvements schools have made in raising
literacy and numeracy levels and in improving attendance in all
schools in Ballymun. The Delivering Equality of Opportunity to Schools
(DEIS) programme would be dismantled because of this budget.”

Each school in Ballymun is calling on parents to sign a petition
calling for a total reversal of Government proposals; this petition
will be presented to locally elected representatives to emphasise the
community’s horror at the cuts and to elicit the support of Ballymun’s
political representatives in the fight to protect childrens’
education.

A series of parent meetings have been called by schools where
Principals and their teaching staff will urge parents to speak out
against these unjust and unjustified cuts.

The Principals Network is asking:

– That the General Allocation Model remains unchanged – previous
to this budget DEIS schools received a support teacher for every 80
pupils. This ratio would be raised from 80:1 to approximately 120:1

– To retain support teachers (what Minister Quinn TD calls
‘legacy posts’). These were put in place because of the identified
need in schools – Ballymun has come a long way in improving literacy
and numeracy – this will reverse any improvements made.

Support Ballymun’s childrens’ right to education. Support this fight back!

For further information contact:

Kate Hogan, Chairperson, Ballymun Principals Network.

Tel: 01 8375255

Ballymun Principals Network

Date: 17th January 2012