CBS principal lashes school funding cut

A Naas school principal has urged parents to lobby TDs to have education cutbacks reversed.

A Naas school principal has urged parents to lobby TDs to have education cutbacks reversed.

A reduction in the number of teachers assigned to the school in addition to a cut in grant support will have an impact on the 845 student Naas CBS from September next.

School head Noel Merrick said there would be a “serious reduction” in front line services as a result of the cuts.

Speaking on behalf of the school’s Board of Management he said: “As well as informing you of the situation we would be grateful if you could raise these issues with your local public representatives.”

In a letter to parents he said: “We cannot allow our education services to be run down and down. As you well know, our children have only one chance to receive the best education possible.”

The reduction in the number of teachers will mean Naas CBS will lose almost two teachers; specifically, one teacher and two-thirds of the hours of a second teacher. Effectively this means the loss of 36 teaching hours per week.

Up to now each school received an allocation of Guidance and Counselling (G/C) in addition to the standard staffing allocation based on the number of people in the school.

But the allocation of G/C has been removed, meaning that G/C provision now comes from the standard allocation of staff. Therefore fewer teachers will be assigned to schools at the start of the next academic year.

Unless schools manage to increase enrolment (ie students) there will be fewer teachers for 2012/13.

Effectively the school will be forced to choose between maintaining important G/C provision or else removing subjects or subject choices from the timetable.

Mr. Merrick pointed out that class size will increase and that the school saw the pupil/teacher ratio increase in 2010.

Since 2011 grants to the school have been cut by a total of 7 percent.

In 2012 there will be a loss of E9,000 to Naas CBS on top of a E20,000 grants cut forced on the school for the current year.

Accusing the Government of trickery, Mr. Merrick told the Leader that the school is being forced to choose between regular subjects and career guidance provision.

“This in an attempt to cut the pupil/teacher ration but they are not saying so,” he said.

He said the school is grateful to parents for financial assistance.

“It’s a feature of Irish education that parents support it financially. We can’t demand money because we are not a fee paying school but we are really grateful for it and not every parent can afford it,” added Mr. Merrick. Some 20 percent of all money spent in the school each year is raised by parents.