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ETBI Welcomes Budget 2017 Renewal of Investment in Education and Training

00_rgb_colour-small-no-textETBI welcomes the education provisions in Budget 2017 as representing a real beginning to reinvesting in education and training after long years of cutbacks’ says Michael Moriarty, General Secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).

Mr Moriarty particularly welcomed the following:

  • The increased allocation for school leadership and the rebuilding of the middle management structure in schools. If we want to implement educational reforms, we simply have to have senior staff with the authority and responsibility to lead and manage those reforms.  The burden of second-level school principals has become unbearable and the budget allocation in this area will enable better outcomes for our students.  
  • The restoration of 100 guidance posts will enable schools to support their students more effectively not only in terms of wellbeing but also in terms of careers guidance. Drop out from Higher Education in recent years has been exacerbated by cutback to guidance counselling.
  • The budget provision to implement the new Action Plan for Disadvantaged Schools is critical to improving the life prospects of students whose lives are blighted by socioeconomic circumstances, thus creating a more cohesive Ireland and ensuring that more of our children have the opportunity to make the most of their lives.
  • The increased capital spending that will deliver 20,000 additional school places and create thousands of badly needed jobs.
  • The provision for 900 additional resource teachers and 115 additional SNAs to improve the educational prospects of special needs students – again ensuring that more of our children have the opportunity to make the most of their lives.
  • The provision for the expansion of apprenticeship – something that is vital to providing skills for the economy and pathways to career and life progress for young people not suited to going to third-level on leaving school.

In concluding his remark, Mr Moriarty said:

‘While much remains to be done to regain the ground that was lost over the course of the great recession, Budget 2017 gives the education and training sector confidence that the darkest days are behind us.   All employed in education and training and all learners in education and training can take heart from budget 2017.  Hopefully what has been announced in today’s budget can be continued on the double in the years to come.’

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