School Communities to protest against cuts at Department of Education and Skills


Press Statement from Dublin INTO Districts


Quinn ‘Review’ not enough – Complete Reversal of DEIS Cuts Needed


Thousands of parents and teachers from disadvantaged schools to protest at Department of Education and Skills against staffing cuts


Campaigners against staffing cuts to DEIS schools have said that the Review ordered by Minister Quinn is a move in the right direction but not enough and that the cuts must be completely reversed.  Teachers and parents from Dublin DEIS schools have announced that they are to continue with their plans for a major protest outside the Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough St., Dublin1 on Thursday 19th January from 3:30p.m.


Minister Quinn has asked his Department to carry out a review of the impact these cuts will have,” said Gregor Kerr Chairperson District 14 INTO.  “But he already has in his possession reports from his own inspectorate and from the Education Research Centre which detail the real impact DEIS is having on the attainment levels of pupils in these schools.  He should simply announce a reversal of the cuts and let the schools get on with their good work.


The protest is being organised to demonstrate the level of opposition to staffing cuts for disadvantaged schools which were announced in December’s budget.


The cuts – which involve changes to the pupil-teacher ratio, the withdrawal of extra resources such as Support Teachers and changes to the way in which Learning Support and Language Support services are allocated – could result in all DEIS schools losing at least 1 – 2 frontline teachers, with some losing up to 8 teachers over the next three years.


Schools which have been participating in the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity In Schools) scheme have been able to deliver a marked improvement in literacy and numeracy levels, in attendance rates and in school completion rates as a result of the targeted interventions they have been able to provide in recent years,” said Breda Murray, principal of Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School, Darndale


The effect of these announced changes, if they are allowed to proceed, will be to effectively dismantle the DEIS scheme and will set things in our schools – schools which serve the most economically and socially disadvantaged communities in the country - back by decades”, she continued.  


School communities from DEIS schools across Dublin will converge on the Department of Education and Skills on Thursday 19th to demonstrate their opposition to these cuts and their determination to resist them.


Protestors will be addressed by school principals, parents, a representative of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, and a number of guest celebrities who are themselves former pupils of some of the schools involved.


Our school communities will not and cannot accept these cuts,” said Pat Fanning, principal of St. Joseph’s Primary School, Fairview.  “The families and pupils who attend our schools are not responsible for the financial crisis.  It is unfair and unjust that their educational opportunities should suffer as a result of it.  We call on Minister Quinn to reverse this decision and allow the good work that is going on in our schools to continue.


The protest is being co-ordinated by the 4 Dublin Districts of the Irish National Teachers Organisation. 


Further details of the protest will be released early next week.