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Successful Appeal by Brittas Bay National School Regarding Loss of Teacher

Green TD – Steven Matthews has welcomed the Department of Education’s decision to backtrack on the proposed loss of a teacher for Brittas Bay National School – Réalt na Mara. The decision followed a long-term campaign by parents and school management which was backed by Deputy Matthews. Discussing the development, Deputy Matthews said:

“I am absolutely delighted for the whole school community in Réalt na Mara to have this decision reversed. I first became involved with the campaign to keep their current teaching staff of 6 teachers for the coming school year when parents wrote to me with their genuine concerns of the potential impact on their children’s education if they were to lose a teacher. The potential knock-on impact for such a small school would have been huge and could have led to oversized classes, a reduction in afterschool activities and generally pose huge challenges in the day to day running of the school.

“I visited the school recently and met with the principal, Ms Gallinagh, teaching staff and students. I was extremely impressed by the school spirit and I was delighted to get a tour of their beautiful vegetable garden and their ongoing work on a sensory garden. The students were so engaging and knowledgeable on climate, transport and environment and we had great chats and questions and answers session. It is a wonderful school community that deserved this win.

“In recent months I have had the opportunity to raise this issue with the Minister for Education Norma Foley both in the Dáil and in frequent communications with her office. I am hugely grateful to her officials who took on board the points I put across on behalf of the school but also the campaign from school management.

“I know how challenging the process has been for all involved and in particular when their series of appeals were rejected, appearing to put an end to the matter in recent weeks. However, I was extremely glad to be able to help facilitate one final appeal mechanism for the school which was ultimately successful, and they can maintain their teaching staff for the coming school year.

“I am in frequent contact with parents in the school and with the school principal and I have offered assurances to them that they have my ongoing support and I welcome the opportunity to support such a wonderful, rural school that is very much as the heart of the community in Brittas. If any other schools are experiencing similar concerns, I would encourage them to get in touch with me directly and I will offer any support I can, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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