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INTO Press Release: Revised Education Budget a Disaster – Teachers Union

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) hit out at what the Organisation calls a disastrous budget for education. The Draft Education Budget, published by DE, threatens the jobs of a huge numbers of teachers, impacts on the delivery of a quality education to our children and further impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable families in our society and ultimately is in stark contrast to the Department of Education’s own priorities.

The Northern Secretary of INTO, Mr. Gerry Murphy continued:

“The Department of Education is seeking to cut £162.5m from the Resource Budget. This decision alone indicates the value that DE places on the sacrifice, pain and hard work of all those who have struggled over the previous 4 years to deliver quality education to all children in our schools in the face of already savage cuts. Their efforts are now to be discarded in the face of financial efficiency. Teachers have endured pay freezes, attacks on their pensions and increased workload coupled with incessant demands for change. This budget demonstrates that these sacrifices have all been for nought.

INTO members have had their efforts rewarded with real threats to their job security and further increases in already intolerable workloads. In addition, our young people will now be taught in larger classes; the increasing numbers of young people requiring additional learning supports will not have their needs met and ultimately education standards will decline as systems collapse. Education provision is already crumbling with the poorest suffering most. After 4 years of cuts, schools will be unable to cope with this level of additional financial burden. Even the nutritional standards underpinning school meals will suffer as a consequence of this disastrous budget.”

Mr Murphy concluded,

 “INTO calls on the Education Minister to think again. We also call on the educational community and society generally to join with the broader trade union movement in rejecting this attack on the future of our community. The NI Executive appears unable to agree on anything. Into the political vacuum they have created, it is now intended to impose cuts on the education sector at a time where the future economy depends on building and investing in this sector.

The damage done today will take at least fourteen to twenty years to overcome and in that time we must ask ourselves how many children will we have failed by accepting these proposed disastrous budget cuts and what damage will be done to the overall economy. The time for a rethink is now, not after the cuts are imposed.”

Date: Wednesday, 26 November 14