John Drennan: Teacher cutbacks to hit just 39 rural schools
Published 22/04/2012 | 05:00
A maximum of 39 small rural schools will lose a teacher because of Ruairi Quinn's changes in the primary school pupil-teacher ratio.
The final figures for teacher losses suggest the consequences for rural schools of primary teacher cutbacks will not be as great as had been feared.
The cutbacks, where schools needed 14 rather than 12 pupils to secure a second teacher, provoked major protests in areas such as Donegal, where it was claimed that 100 schools would be closed, and in Roscommon, where similar numbers were cited.
The Minister said the response to the issue had been marked by "grossly exaggerated scaremongering for political advantage''.
Affected schools were able to appeal the loss of teachers to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board on the basis that future enrolments justified the retention of their current roster of teachers. In the wake of these appeals, the department has now revealed just 39 of the nation's 3,200 schools will lose a teacher.