Cutting school resources for most needy

 

Sir, – A recent Vital Signs survey conducted by Community Foundation for Ireland showed that, for people living in Ireland, eight out of the 10 top priorities listed related to education and learning (Home News, January 24th).

We are all agreed that a high quality education system is at the heart of our economic and social recovery.

Young people in our schools have been deeply affected by the mistakes of our political leaders and it has been left to teachers and school leaders to try to maintain the quality of teaching and learning that our students deserve.

How can we do this when resources for those most in need are relentlessly cut back? When we lose our valued guidance counselling allocation and our year heads? When our young enthusiastic teachers see no prospect of promotion or a chance to lead? When principals and deputy principals are expected to take on extra administration tasks and reforms and leadership duties without professional support and, now, with less pay?

Parents value the education and care of their children highly. Students value encouragement, teaching and the myriad of extra supports in their schools.

Principals, deputy principals and middle leadership in our schools have been greatly hindered in their efforts to provide the best possible opportunities for young people. Crush our fragile, overstretched, underfunded and, now, less well off school teachers and leaders and the road to recovery will be very long indeed.

Surely future historians will identify this lack of foresight and leadership as a major stumbling block to our nation’s recovery? It is not too late for the Government to ensure that we have a well-resourced education system with valued staff and leadership. – Yours, etc,

KAY O’BRIEN,

President,

National Association of

Principals and Deputy

Principals,

Grand Canal Street Lower,

Dublin 2.