Education Budget 2022: Key areas requiring urgent investment not addressed
Budget 2022 fails to tackle the underfunding of second-level schools in Ireland, ASTI President Eamon Dennehy said today.
The recently published OECD report Education at a Glance 2021 once again ranks Ireland in last place out of 36 countries for investment in second-level education.
“We await the details of today’s Budget announcement regarding additional special education teachers and SNAs and how this will apply to second-level education. Investment in this area is vital to supporting Ireland’s vision for an inclusive society,” said Mr Dennehy. “We also await details on additional funding measures for voluntary secondary schools. We have sought funding equalisation for these schools for many years.”
No reduction in class size
“However, we are greatly disappointed that there has been no announcement to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio at second level. Modern curricula require that a significant amount of practical, scientific and experiential work occurs in classrooms every day. This is not sustainable in overcrowded classes. As a first step, the temporary additional teaching supports announced during the pandemic must become part of the permanent annual allocation of teachers to schools. Unfortunately, the Government failed to grasp the opportunity to take this step as part of Budget 2022.”
“It is glaringly obvious from Ireland’s track record for education funding that we need significantly more investment in our schools if we are to build capacity both in terms of infrastructure and student services. Smaller classes, improved buildings and technology, more guidance counsellors and the restoration of middle management posts are the key areas requiring investment. We must catch up with our OECD and EU counterparts. This is the only way we can protect our young people’s wellbeing, education and future lives.”