16 February 2016

Labour has launched its plan for investment and reform of Ireland’s education system in Limerick today. 

The plan, ‘Standing Up for Education’, was launched by Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. 

Among the provisions within the plan are commitments to: 

  • Deliver the smallest class sizes in the history of the State;
  • End the use of prefabs in our schools;
  • Reduce school costs for parents;
  • Make 21st century skills and subjects part of the education of every child;
  • Double the number of multi-denominational schools by 2021;
  • Amend the Equal Status Act so that local children can access local schools;
  • Create 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship places over the next five years;
  • Extend free part-time 3rd level education to those at work, and ensure that 100,000 places are available over the lifetime of the next Government.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said: “As we look towards a decade of tremendous opportunity, we need to make sure that every child can do well in school, and then to look further to the future – to get an apprenticeship or go on to college.

“A lot of our work over the last five years has been focused on recreating opportunities for people. Over the next five years, Labour will create 50,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships, to recognise that college is not the only opportunity that works for people.

“We will increase funding of third-level, so that every student gets a high-quality education. And we will introduce postgraduate supports, so that opportunity is not limited to getting a degree.

“Only Labour will stand up for Ireland’s future – only Labour will stand up for education.”

Minister Jan O’Sullivan added: “We are committed to investing the resources that flow from a recovering economy into education.

“Labour’s strong record of reform will also define education over the next five years.  Labour is committed to changing the law so that local children have priority in local schools.  We will also strengthen the voice of parents and students in education and pioneer a new information platform for schools.

“Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf contains the searing line that “Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.”

“On that measure Labour has delivered in education over the past five years.  We are asking voters for their support again to continue this work.”


For more information contact Labour Press: Dermot O’Gara at 0860846534 / Niamh McCarthy at 0863767533 / Amy Rose Harte at 0863719607

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