The Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA) congratulates Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn on his readiness to  reconsider recent budget decisions in relation to cuts to resources for schools  in disadvantaged areas. IVEA General Secretary Michael Moriarty states: 
This is extremely welcome news, particularly in light  of today's reports from the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre  (ERC) which demonstrate that the additional teaching and other resources
made  available to DEIS schools are improving literacy, numeracy and school attendance.

It is refreshing to see a Minister responding positively to evidence-based arguments demonstrating that particular budget cuts  would have unintended consequences. 

However, it is not just in relation to primary schools that the budget cuts were unwise. The decision to remove the ex-quota entitlement of second level schools to a guidance counsellor and the withdrawal 
of legacy posts from some of our most disadvantaged schools will have serious effects on all schools but, most significantly, they will inevitably hit the most vulnerable students most severely - those students with neither the personal nor family capacity to seek out guidance either within the school or elsewhere. The withdrawal of the legacy post has the effect of further seriously  undermining the capacity of small and disadvantage schools to meet the  curricular needs of their students. 

While we fully realise that the impact of these cuts  was not fully appreciated by the Minister at the time they were announced, we  now ask the Minister to reconsider them in the light of the evidence. In making  this plea, it is appreciated that the Minister has to work within a finite  budget; but there must be ways other ways of making the necessary savings  without further disadvantaging those who are already seriously disadvantaged.


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