Disadvantaged schools in Co Donegal are still facing major cuts to resources after the Minister for Education confirmed to Fianna Fáil today that no decision has been made to reverse cuts to the DEIS scheme, claims local TD Charlie McConalogue.
Despite the fact that he admitted he made a mistake, the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has indicated that cuts will still be made to DEIS schools, said the Donegal North East deputy.
The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue told us: “The Government have been spinning a yarn that their decision to remove 428 posts from DEIS schools will be reversed after they realised they made a ‘mistake’.
“However today, Minister Quinn confirmed that this is not the case. Far from reversing his damaging decision, the Minister has today indicated that he is still seeking to cut DEIS posts.
“This confirms my fears that the Government simply announced an empty review of the DEIS cuts to take the heat out the controversy and buy themselves some time. Government TDs who are under pressure from their local schools have been out convincing their communities that these cuts have been reversed. When asked directly today if this is the case, Minister Quinn shook his head and said no final decisions have been made. He also said he is still seeking “economies” in this area.
“What this means is that DEIS schools across the North East are still facing significant cuts to resources. We are now in a deeply worrying situation where schools in Donegal will be competing with one another to retain teacher posts. Those schools that have worked hard at achieving enormous success on the DEIS scheme will now worry that this very success will mean their resources will be cut. To punish schools that have come so far under the DEIS programme makes absolutely no sense.
“This is a highly socially regressive step that will undo years of progress in tackling educational disadvantage. The long-term economic implications are enormous. It’s time for the Minister to cut through the spin and be honest with the people. The Minister must do the right thing and reverse his mistake.”