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Sr Stan warns over cuts in education

Social justice campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has warned that swingeing spending cuts in primary schools will have serious repercussions for the most vulnerable children. She said the cuts imposed in October's Budget could mean that children will pay a severe and disproportionate price for the current downturn.

Social justice campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has warned that swingeing spending cuts in primary schools will have serious repercussions for the most vulnerable children. She said the cuts imposed in October's Budget could mean that children will pay a severe and disproportionate price for the current downturn.

Addressing a primary school principals' conference in Killarney, Sister Stan acknowledged the Government's severe budgetary constraints and agreed that tough decisions must be made.

But she criticised as 'appalling' budget cuts like those imposed on schoolbook grants for the very poorest children, claiming they were 'an indication that Government thinking about education is badly skewed'.

She warned they would sadly result in a less literate and less capable emerging workforce and in a reduced commitment to equality of opportunity.

She forecast that rising unemployment would lead to a jump in the pre-recession figure of 11% of our children living in dire poverty.

This in turn would heighten the risk of more of them not reaching their potential.

Sister Stan said the most vulnerable children, including those from poor, Traveller and immigrant families, need access to books, special support, and small classes whether or not they live in officially designated disadvantaged areas.

Story from RTÉ News: http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0130/education.html

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