Underfunded, Understaffed Primary Schools Need Budget Boost

INTO urges parliamentarians to value education ahead of Budget 2019

Primary school teachers from across the country gathered in Dublin this week to meet with TDs and Senators from across the political divide. Members stressed the need to value primary education in the forthcoming budget with a series of concrete recommendations to ensure children continue to receive a robust, high quality educational experience.

INTO’s key calls for action include:

1. Reducing Irish class sizes to the EU average of 20.
2. Supporting school leadership by creating critical support posts and providing administration time for teaching principals.
3. Resolving pay issues whereby new entrants are paid unequally and principals have been denied an overdue award.
4. Increasing school funding to enable school leaders to focus on teaching, not fundraising.
5. Establishing teacher supply panels to ensure certainty of recruitment and quality.

INTO President Joe Killeen said, “INTO shares the Government’s ambition to create a world class education system in Ireland. However, whilst long-term strategic investment will help, we must act quickly to shore up the current system which is reaching a breaking point. Our primary schools are understaffed and underfunded as international surveys have shown.

Teachers and Principals in schools across the country are struggling with inadequate levels of financial support, large classes, recruitment challenges for supply cover alongside an overwhelming level of red tape. Newer entrants are hit with lower pay and our Principals have still not been paid an award due ten years ago; these grievances must be remedied.”