Budget 'damaging' C of I schools

 

CHURCH OF Ireland schools will be “seriously damaged” by the Government’s most recent budget, the Bishop of Meath Richard Clarke has said.

He said yesterday the 2012 budget meant that within four years 75 per cent of such schools could lose a mainstream class teacher.

Bishop Clarke was supported by Fr Michael Drumm, chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership. He said the budget was having “a disproportionate effect on Protestant schools” and that this was “simply unfair and has to be reviewed”.

They were speaking at a conference in Dublin yesterday on Denominational schools in a pluralist Ireland, organised by the Iona Institute.

“Anyone interested in plurality must support the case of Protestant schools, which are the ultimate example of plurality in the system,” Fr Drumm said.

Bishop Clarke said that 65 per cent of Church of Ireland schools would lose a teacher due to 2012 cuts, while enrolment estimates indicated within four years a further 10 per cent of such schools could be affected.

Of the 200 primary schools under Protestant control, 174 are Church of Ireland, 24 Presbyterian, one Methodist and one Quaker.