16th October 2020
Despite the limitations on lobbying in person ahead of Budget day this year, INTO members successfully made the case for primary education in a series of virtual meetings with politicians across the political sphere.
Alongside a robust online lobby, members supported a strong digital advocacy campaign, which saw in just three short weeks, members, parents and the wider community generate a whopping 20,000 emails to public representatives the length and breadth of the country. In every constituency of Ireland, TDs’ and Senators’ inboxes were filled with correspondence calling for lower class sizes.
The Budget provided significant gains for our schools, school leaders, teachers and most of all, the pupils who next year, will have that bit more room to bloom. It’s a step in the right direction but there’s still more to do. Let’s keep growing this momentum to bring Ireland in line with our European counterparts and lower our average class size to 20.
As a result of our united campaigning, Budget 2021 has secured:
- 307 primary teaching posts, from the cut of one in the staffing schedule, giving smaller average class sizes;
- 87 primary teaching jobs retained due to a three-point reduction in the retention schedules: and
- 403 extra teaching posts in special educational settings, many of which will be appointed to primary schools.
INTO has written to the Minister seeking a meeting and has contacted DEIS schools about the omission of two categories of DEIS Band One schools from the staffing schedule change. There is an additional €2million in the Budget, not yet allocated, to support DEIS in 2021 and INTO will work to ensure this includes staffing supports for all DEIS schools.