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DES invites submissions for 'Small Primary Schools Value for Money Review'


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 18/02/2011. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers News

text re imageThe Department of Education and Skills has commenced a value for money review of the provision of small primary schools and your views are welcome. For the purpose of the review a small primary school is taken to be one with less than 50 pupils. The objective of the review of small primary schools is to assess the efficiency, effectiveness and examine the value for money of these schools as currently configured and organised. The review should examine the scope for alternative organisational approaches to improve efficiency and effectiveness of provision.

The context in which the review takes place is the requirement in recent years to provide significant additional pupil places to cater for demographic growth and the likelihood that this will continue over the short to medium term, with consequential demand for resources. The provision of additional pupil places is costly in both current and capital terms. These challenges have been exacerbated by current economic conditions which are impacting on the Government’s ability to direct increased resources to meet these growing needs. Read more about the review and the guidelines on making your submission.



Comments

Marian Quinn

(18/03/2011 17:12)


I am the Principal of a small two teacher school in the Donegal Gaeltacht. We are one of many schools under threat by the curent proposed closures under the new 'Value for money' policy. How is it posible to review value for money in educational terms,in community terms and in terms of our native language? As a small school within the community here we play a pivotal role in providing a school building to the Colaiste Samhraidh each year. Many of the 'Mna Ti' are past pupils of ours,not just those living in Aphort but also those who are spread throughout the island in Fallagowan, Pooolawaddy and Screag. With the decline of the fishing industry & quotas our island community is dependant on the income which the Irish language brings to it. From the mna ti, the ferry boats, the local shops, the taxis, the B&B's when parents come to visit, the pubs. Everyone benefits.On Sundays the children from Dublin & Letterkenny mainly who are here to learn the language are completely involved with the mass which is sung n Irish by the chilren & their teachers & all musicians contribute. This is often recorded by Raidio na Gaeltachta and Highland Radio, our local station. There is no other source of income here outside of Social Welfare Payments(dole), which is why our language is so important on the island & why our schools here are so important. There has always been a school in Aphort. Our current building was built in 1915 but there were three or four others prior to this. The school at present is in great shape compared to when I began teaching there over 20 years ago. At that time and for about 10 yars we were top of the list of the 10 worst schools in Ireland from a building point of view. Now we have our refurbished building, extended with indoor toilet, an office, 3 electronic white boards, 12 new laptops and guess what, now we may be closed after all that wonderful investment in infrastructure! Does it make any sense to break a vital link in the community here by closing us down. We have a good reputation and many of our past pupils have gone on to 3rd level education, nurses, teachers, electronic engineers etc.One of the 1st children I taught here has just graduated with his M.A. I think it would be a very sad day for Arranmore if the schoolin Aphort were to close.

wwwSoNSie

(12/05/2011 00:27)


Due to the proposal made by an Bord Snip Nua and the current value for money review audit by the Department of Education & Skills which threaten our small rural National Schools with possible closure we have formed a steering group with the support of our local community and schools.

It is our goal to generate awareness locally and regionally about the current plans, possible future decisions and the impact of same for our schools in Westmeath. To this end we ask for your support for this grave and most important campaign to help protect our children and their future.

Please add your name to our online petition at Save our National Schools

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