29th August 2023
As a new school year begins this week, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) is today launching our Budget 2024 campaign, Building a Brighter Future for Every Child. With a firm focus on enhancing the primary education landscape in Ireland, the INTO is campaigning for the support and investment necessary to drive the essential changes that will ensure the well-being of every child.
This year our campaign puts the focus on our pupils, highlighting a range of fully-costed strategic budgetary measures which would tackle challenges in the system and ensure every child in our care reaches their full potential.
Earlier this summer, the union published our detailed pre-budget submission.
At the heart of this year’s campaign are four key areas of investment:
Reduce class sizes by two pupils
Taking action to lower our class sizes by two pupils this year will ensure we consign supersized classes to history so children at primary level learn in classes that are in line with the EU average.
Restore 2,400 posts of responsibility
Well run schools require strong school leadership teams. The INTO is seeking the full restoration of the outstanding 2,400 posts of responsibility in primary and special schools. These vital assistant principal posts will be a much-needed boost to schools, facilitating the delivery of essential services and initiatives at school level.
Increase school funding by 20%
Tackling the scourge of voluntary payments requires the Government to fully fund our primary and special schools. The INTO is calling for a 20% increase in the school capitation grant to better fund schools and reduce the burden on parents who currently provide additional financial support.
School-based mental-health supports for children
The INTO is calling for age-appropriate mental-health supports to be funded for all children who experience mental health and emotional issues. Recognising the importance of mental health, the union is calling for the provision of €20 per pupil for mental-health support in schools. This will enable a comprehensive nationwide rollout of crucial school-based support systems.
Members are encouraged to join the campaign by clicking here to email their local TD.
Speaking at the launch of the budget campaign, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
The positive impact of these measures cannot be overstated. They will transform the lives of our pupils and bolster the entire primary and special education systems. As we strive to recover and rebuild from the pandemic, it’s imperative to recognise the central role teachers play in supporting every single student. However, to deliver a world-class education system, school staff must be backed by Government ambition and increased investment. Budget 2024 must guarantee significant resources for our pupils, teachers and primary schools.”
Check out our Budget 2024 campaign video, featuring teacher-sportspeople from the four provinces, highlighting our key asks for funding for primary education