INTO calls for primary school budget boost at Oireachtas hearing

INTO Assistant General Secretary delivers remarks at Oireachtas Committee

Every child has the right to attend a school that is comfortable, bright, adequately heated and ventilated with appropriate furniture and technology, INTO told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills today. Class sizes must be reduced, and schools must have access to adequate funding and supports, such as additional release time for teaching principals, to enable necessary works to be carried out to ensure that our primary schools are positive places for children to learn.

At today’s committee hearing, which focused on school costs, school facilities and related matters, Deirdre O’Connor, INTO Assistant General Secretary, insisted that an increase in the number of schools and classrooms must be matched by an increase in the availability of qualified teachers to take on teaching posts. She reiterated INTO’s demand for pay equality for all teachers, restoration of posts of responsibility to provide a mechanism for career progression, and the establishment of teacher supply panels to ensure qualified teachers are available to cover for short absences.

Deirdre O’Connor, INTO Assistant General Secretary said, “Ireland already has class sizes that are 5 above the EU average. If we want to have the best education system in the world, we need to plan to reduce class size and provide the accommodation to do so.”

“The capitation grant for primary schools is currently less than one euro per pupil per day, and the Minor Works Grant, an essential part of a school’s budget, intended for routine maintenance and upkeep of schools, is not provided with any certainty each year.”