Education cuts - 'It will be detrimental to society if we ignore these children'
- Category: Children
On Thursday March 24th, Mick drew attention to education cuts, particularly the removal of Resource Teacher for Travellers posts. He also highlighted the economic benefits of prevention and early intervention, saying that every €1 spent on a child before the age of seven saves the State €7 in the future. See below for the full text of Mick's comments or click here to watch the speech. I also congratulate Deputy Quinn on his new role. Having observed politics for 35 years, I have noticed that when a person gets the Minister for Education and Skills post, he was often looking for a better job. I believe, however, it is the most vital post in the Government. I am optimistic Deputy Quinn will recognise that and treat the job the way it should be treated. I was asked to visit a national school in Clonroche in County Wexford on Monday and I was shocked by the story I was told. The school has only 110 children but 28 of them needed a learning support teacher and a further 23 children were members of the Travelling community. Support teaching posts for these are now being amalgamated. Previously the school had two and a half teachers, meaning it shared a teacher with another school, but this number has now been reduced to one teacher. Not only does this mean learning support will be confined to the children from the Travelling community, because they are the lowest achievers in the school, many children will suffer, not just those getting learning support but every child in the school. I realise the Minister has been dealt a poor hand but does he agree that research shows every euro spent on a child before he is seven, saves the State €7 before he is an adult? It makes so much sense to invest in children and of all the areas that are being cut this must be the last. It will be detrimental to society if we ignore these children and any cuts in the area will come back to haunt us.