4th July 2019
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation today launched its pre-budget submission outlining its key priorities for Budget 2020. The union is calling on the government to reduce class sizes, support school leaders and restore school funding to pre-recession levels. INTO is 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.
Reduce Class Size
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 positions 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 to support school leaders.
Fund our schools
Because primary schools are underfunded, many schools depend on voluntary contributions from parents to cover day-to-day running costs. Capitation grants were cut in the recession. Full restoration is urgently needed to fund basic costs.
INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
“The recent recession had a devastating impact on Irish primary education. Investment evaporated, pay was savaged and school funding for basic expenses deteriorated drastically. Over the last number of years, the INTO has campaigned for these cuts to be reversed. With the recession behind us, Budget 2020 needs to look forward, not backwards, and invest for the best.”
“Our pre-budget submission is appropriate, practical, fully costed and represents the priorities of the primary school teachers of this country. It’s imperative that government invests in our primary education system and listens to the concerns of our members. It’s time we reduce class sizes. It’s time we give our school leaders a break and it’s time we restore school funding to pre-recession levels.”
“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.”