INTO National Lobby Attracts Almost 130 Politicians

Grassroots INTO members from across the country gathered at the National Museum in Dublin yesterday for an annual lobby day. Members came to lobby on INTO’s key priorities for Budget 2020 and the critical investments required for the primary education sector.

Despite performing well in areas such as the standards of entrants to teaching, pupils’ reading levels, and public satisfaction with education; there are still big improvements to be made in class sizes, funding, and support for overworked school leaders. We are asking the Government to invest in primary education in Budget 2020 across these key areas, to make sure the children of Ireland are given the best possible start.

Reduced Class Sizes

Primary school classes are the largest in the Eurozone, five above the EU average of 20. Smaller classes support inclusion of children, allow more individual attention, and meets the ambition of the Government to establish the best education system in the world. A planned reduction in class size, starting in 2020, is vital.

Support Our School Leaders

Workload burdens are making school leadership impossible. Principals and teaching principals are overworked, underpaid and struggling under never-ending administrative work. We need one leadership and management day per week for teaching principals, and restoration of promoted posts.

Adequate Funding For Primary

Because primary schools are underfunded, many schools depend on voluntary contributions from parents to cover day-to-day running costs. Capitation grants were cut by €30 in the recession. Full restoration is urgently needed to fund basic costs.

INTO General Secretary John Boyle said, “Members from every county in the land made their voice heard yesterday, sharing their local stories of underinvestment, struggling schools and key priorities for Budget 2020. Primary education deserves a budget boost this October and we are putting forward a strong case for reduced class sizes, support for overworked school leaders and an adequate level of funding to end the dependency on
fundraising for basic expenses.”