Save our small rural schools

Wicklow’s small schools are being undermined by financial and staffing cuts, and some of them are threatened with closure and amalgamation.

I supported legislation this week aimed at protecting them, but the Government opposed it. This legislation (the Education Amendment Protection of Schools Bill 2012) sought to make educational planning in relation to small schools a long term exercise and not a knee jerk reaction. It sought to strengthen the rights of children and teachers in Wicklow’s small schools, and those around the country.

Postcards from the edge

I have a personal reminder of the problems these families face hanging on the wall of my office thanks to parents and pupils who have sent postcards that illustrate their plight.

Small schools are the lifeblood of our rural communities. This legislation would have prevented the Minister for Education from effectively closing schools, through budget or staffing cuts, that are central to their community. The Government’s failure to support it is a missed opportunity to support our schools.

  • Ju

    Hi, I would like to suggest few points on Irish education system.
    Over the period of celtic tiger, there were many language teachers hired to accomodate children of non-English immigrants. Now the demand is low but we still have a extensive resource of these people.

    In Ireland, the immigration dept only issues Visa to students who attend private primary or secondary schools. These schools get good chunk of non EU fees from these potential third level students who might choose Irish universities over other English countries.

    Here is my point,

    Why can’t we benchmark American immigration system to allow these foreign students to attend to public schools as well as private schools provided they pay same rate of fees to public school. It will boost outside Dublin areas and thrid level universities.

    I really think we should think about pulling all the resources available.