Monday 24 October 2016

Budget voices: 'Extra staff will have no real impact'

Teacher: Sean O’Neill

Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill

Sean O'Neill (49) says that the Budget was "very disappointing" for teachers and that the expenditure on education is still not sufficient.

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Sean was glad to see the increase in the number of teachers; however, he said that it would not have any major effect on lowering student-teacher ratios.

"The problem is that the demographic numbers are rising quite considerably, so it means that extra resources going back into education is not really going to happen," he told the Irish Independent.

"What you'll simply do is you'll cover the population increase with the additional number of schools that are opening. But actually it won't do anything to decrease the student-teacher ratio. There's not an awful lot there unfortunately."

Sean, who has taught English at St Laurence College in Loughlinstown since August 2000, has seen massive changes. In that time, he says his school has suffered due to cuts, and that he has had to limit his personal spending.

"The Government has a lot of plans for education, but what I'd hoped for is that they would put more resources and investment into it," he said, Sean, who is married with a two-year-old son, feels that young people today are deprived of the same quality of education as those who have already graduated.

"We have a generation of young people who have been getting a lesser education than people in previous years," he said.

"We have one of the lowest expenditures on education in the OECD. I wanted to see that changed.

"If they tried to go back slowly to what the income would have been, before 2008, that would be of benefit," he said.

Irish Independent

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