Minister hopes to quell closure fears
EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn will today insist he is not planning the widespread closure of small primary schools.
As he embarks on his first round of teacher conferences as minister, Mr Quinn wants to quell teachers' concerns that hundreds of schools will soon disappear.
A value-for-money review of the 650 small primary schools with fewer than 50 pupils got under way shortly before he took office.
The closure of small schools was mooted in economist Colm McCarthy's so-called Bord Snip report, with a view to saving €18m a year.
About one in five Irish primary schools have fewer than 50 pupils, while a small number have fewer than 20 pupils.
Mr Quinn kicks off his Easter tour with an address to the Irish National Teachers Organisation in Sligo today.
He will speak to the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland tomorrow in Cork.
On Wednesday, he will address the Teachers' Union of Ireland in Tralee, Co Kerry.