Planned cutbacks to the education system in Ireland that affect some of the country's most disadvantaged schools should be reversed, Sinn Fein has stated.
The party has put forward a motion to be debated in the Dail calling on the government to avoid targeting establishments classed in Band One and Two of the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) initiative.
This programme is designed to ensure schools that are the most disadvantaged receive a comprehensive range of support services, but Sinn Fein has warned its goals are under threat due to changes in pupil-teacher ratios.
Spokesperson on education for the party Sean Crowe said if the government presses ahead with its plans, much of the progress made over the past years will be lost.
He estimated hundreds of teachers in DEIS Band One and Two schools will be lost as a result of the measures.
Deputy Crowe added: "It will cause irreparable damage to many young peoples' lives and will have serious implications for wider Irish society and the economy."