Richard Boyd Barrett TD participated in the schools protests today.
In a statement Deputy Boyd Barrett United Left Alliance Spokesperson on Education said, that Minister Quinn must now, having admitted his terrible mistake, follow through with a full and immediate reversal of all DEIS cuts. The case for a full reversal of all the announced cuts to affect DEIS schools is abundantly clear. The proposals by Minister Quinn will hit the most vulnerable in the Education system.
The publication of a report published by the Education Research Centre on the first phase of the DEIS programme in primary schools, covering the years 2007 to 2010 shows significantly higher scores in reading and mathematics. Minister Quinn has made much of his intention to improve literacy and numeracy in schools, yet the proposed cuts will take away the very resources which have been shown to work.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, ULA Finance and Education spokesperson welcomed the demonstration today, Jan 19th at the Department of Education by schools and school communities against these cynical cuts. The Minister’s indication that he will revisit the planned cuts to the DEIS schools has been entirely a victory for people power and the protests mounted by parents, pupils and teachers from disadvantaged areas around the country.
Deputy Boyd Barrett also be questioned Minister Quinn in the Dail today where he sought clarification from the Minister that the cuts to DEIS schools have been abandoned and to clarification where else in the sector he intends to make cuts.
Speaking at the protest, Deputy Boyd Barrett said; “The Minister has put any decision to reverse the cuts on the long finger with the announcement of a review over 4 weeks. However, Minister Quinn already has in his possession several reports from his own inspectorate and from the Education Research Centre which show the very real impact DEIS is having on the attainment levels of pupils in these schools. In addition to a review the Minister has indicated examining a school by school review and individual back bench Labour TDs appear to be lining up to ‘deliver for their constituents’. This is not on. There needs to be an end to this clientelist approach. Schools need to hear an immediate statement by the Minister, indicating a complete reversal of all the proposed cuts to all DEIS schools, whether DEIS Band 1 or Band 2. There are alternatives to cutting vital budgets in areas such as Education. A small increase in tax on the wealth in this country would cover the needs of the Education sector.”
Richard Boyd Barrett said “Parents, teachers and children have to keep up their campaign and keep the pressure on Minister Quinn. There is a growing anger at this government in targeting school children to pay bondholders. “I salute the schools communities who are getting organised against these cuts whether in areas of disadvantage or the school communities such as in Dunmanway in Cork who are fighting cuts to small rural schools” “The back pedalling by Minister Quinn on DEIS has shown people power can force the government’s hand. There should be no question of any other cuts in Education. We have to insist that this government puts children come first and not the dictats of the Troika”.