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Education Minister Ruari Quinn: Announcing cuts for disadvantaged schools a mistake

EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn has admitted that announcing cuts in teacher number in disadvantaged schools a mistake.

But he warned that there would still have to be cuts and they will come from somewhere else in the education budget.

Mr Quinn conceded he had not handled the issue properly on RTE’s Morning Ireland.

"It's not the best way to do it, quite frankly," he said.

"I'm out of practice. We're getting back into the business of trying to do this. It's very difficult to adjust these kinds of things, you're dealing with calculations and assumptions."

"We make mistakes, we get things wrong, all of us. And I think the first thing to do is to put your hand up and say, yes, perhaps let's look at that again, that is what we're doing.

"But the bottom line is; I don't have extra resources. So if I have to keep those positions in place, I have to take resources from somewhere else within my budget."

The Teachers Union of Ireland has said that schools in the public system must be protected if they are to provide an adequate service to students.

The TUI said non-DEIS, non-fee paying schools have already been targeted for cuts in recent years and are now struggling to provide a basic frontline service to students.

Yesterday, a Private Members bill, proposed by Sinn Féin to reverse cuts to DEIS supported schools in disadvantaged areas, was defeated in the Dáil by 85 votes to 42.