Labour tables motion making the case that education matters
On Tuesday 18th October, the Labour Party will table a motion during Dáil private members time on Tuesday evening to seek to address the lack of funding committed to education in Budget 2017. The motion particularly focusses on reducing class sizes, tackling school costs for parents, funding higher education, and the roll out of new apprenticeships, according to Labour’s education spokesperson Joan Burton.
“Last year saw the first reduction to primary school class sizes in recent years, and all involved in education expected that to be the first step in a series of class size reductions. The commitment in the Programme for Government gave greater confidence that this would be the case. The lack of any such action in Budget 2017 was a shock to the school system.
“Our motion, to be debated on Tuesday night, demands that the Government reduce class sizes by one in time for the next school year, and calls on the Government to publish a roadmap outlining how we can reach an average class size of no more than 20.
“Parents pay too much for children to go to school and we strongly believe in the need to reduce the cost of education for parents. To end the practice of requesting voluntary contributions from parents, we urge the Government to commit to multi-annual increases to school capitation rates, with enhanced funding available for any school that commits to ending this practice.
“Minister Bruton announced a tiny amount of funding for further and higher education in the Budget – funding that will be totally inadequate for the measures he has outlined he hopes to achieve. At a minimum, we are calling for investment of €21m needed to meet the growing number of students in our colleges, with additional funding provided to develop Technological Universities, improve quality in third-level, and to begin reducing the student contribution.
“Over the last year, we have begun to see new types of apprenticeships come onstream. These have huge potential to create new and varied career paths for young people, and particularly to expand the number of young women that see apprenticeships as a viable option. These must be funded, or this work will also come to a shuddering halt.
“In the last election, all parties called for smaller class sizes, lower costs to parents, and investment in apprenticeships and higher education. We hope they will all support this motion, and show that education really does matter.”
The full text of the motion can be found at: https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/educationmatters.pdf
An online petition has been launched in support of this motion, and can be accessed at: https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/education-matters-1