The Joint Managerial Body (JMB) on behalf of the boards of management and school management in voluntary secondary schools welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills of additional resources for the education sector and post-primary schools in particular in Budget 2017.
John Curtis, the General Secretary of the JMB believes, ‘The additional deputy principal posts that will be provided for in schools with enrolments of 700 students and over, the commencement of the restoration of middle management posts, the strengthening of the guidance counselling provision, the commitment to provide for around 300 extra resource teaching posts and to increase the number of Special Needs Assistants will alleviate some of the pressures in our sector and are all commendable measures’.
The education sector has suffered from severe cuts through the years of the recession and it is gratifying and encouraging to hear Minister Bruton say that, ‘Education is at the heart of everything we are trying to deliver as a government’. The JMB believes that a continuous process of prioritising investment in education is essential for many years to come to address the cumulative effects of a decade of under-investment. For instance, Ireland has a higher ratio of students to teaching staff at secondary level than the European average and this is something that must warrant attention in order to ensure the ongoing quality of the education we offer in our schools. Likewise, the funding apportioned to schools to allow them to operate effectively will have to increase and the dependence on the generosity of parents, especially in the voluntary school sector, is unsustainable.
‘It is an issue of ongoing concern to us that there is inequity in the funding schools in our sector receive compared to schools in other sectors and this needs to be addressed. School management, staffs and parents will need to be supported through a succession of Budgets to ensure that the educational experience we offer the students in our care is of the highest quality. We look forward to working with Minister Bruton and his officials and to the prioritisation of education and the increased provision of resources in the years ahead,’ states John Curtis.