26 January 2010

Fitzgerald Condemns FF/Green Decision on Clondalkin Schools

The government has just announced plans to abolish the teacher substitution system that serves schools throughout Clondalkin. 

Local Fine Gael Senator for the area Frances Fitzgerald has condemned the move and called on the Minister for Education to reverse the decision.

“The teacher substitution system is a programme that ensures that classes are covered when a teacher is absent. Clondalkin has a panel of six teachers who cover classes for twelve schools throughout Clondalkin. The government has announced plans to abolish this supply teacher panel in an effort to save money,” explained local Senator Frances Fitzgerald.

“The programme was introduced in disadvantaged schools in urban areas to ensure that children’s education needs and safety are to the fore. I fail to see how the government can now simply take away this service, without warning, to try and save such a small amount of money. It seems unfair to me and will create further stress for principals and teachers and lead to more pressure in the classroom,” Frances Fitzgerald told us.

“Yes we need to cut costs and yes we need to make savings but children’s welfare, education and safety should never be compromised by a government. The government is the very body that is supposed to be looking out for the welfare of its children not undermining it,” Frances Fitzgerald continued.

“The money saved on this measure is going to be miniscule and I imagine that the Department and its teachers will be spending more time, money and resources finding and allocating substitute teachers when these panels are no longer available to them. It’s a false economy and it’s a measure that will affect teachers and children hugely. I do hope the Minister for Education comes to his senses and reverses this decision before it starts to affect children in classrooms throughout Clondalkin,” concluded Frances Fitzgerald.