first_imgFine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh has slammed claims that small schools across Donegal are in danger of closing down.Deputy Joe McHughIt follows a meeting organised in Carndonagh to express concerns that some smaller schools are in serious threat of closure or amalgamation.The meeting was organised by the Fianna Fail party and addressed by Inishowen Deputy Charlie McConalogue. Reacting to the meeting, which was attended by up to 200 people, Deputy McHugh said he welcomed meetings on the education system in Donegal.“I wholly welcome public meetings to help inform the public and answer questions they might have on a particular subject, especially when it is focused on as serious and important a topic as education and small schools.“However I received a number of calls from constituents following last night’s meeting, where one person explained they were told of a “ticking time bomb” of small school closures in Donegal.“I think it is important to highlight the facts – no school at primary or post primary level has closed in Co. Donegal since 1st January 2011, while two primary schools have amalgamated. There is unilateral agreement that this is a serious issue, and we must acknowledge that minority religious schools are feeling the pressure more so than others- an issue I have raised directly with the Minister and have called for these schools to be given special consideration,” he said. He added that it is also important to remember that this is a sensitive issue, which can have a wider impact on enrolment at very good schools and that a better understanding of the situation is required.“I think it is necessary to assure parents that smaller schools are still both viable and of an equal academic standard. It is also important to remember that if the enrolment of a school drops below 8 pupils on two consecutive years, the school is closed.“Apart from that, all decisions about closing or amalgamating schools are decisions for the patron of the school, rather than the Department of Education.

”He added it is also worth highlighting that while the recent pre-budget campaign by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) was set up amid genuine fear around potential difficult modifications to the pupil/ teacher ratios, these changes did not occur and the status quo was protected in Budget 2014, as reiterated by An Taoiseach in the Dail Chamber last night.“This is despite facing serious economic challenges, through continued mismanagement and a complete dereliction of responsibility by the previous administration running the affairs of the state. 
” McHUGH SLAMS CLAIMS THAT SMALL DONEGAL SCHOOLS ARE ‘TICKING TIME-BOMBS’ was last modified: December 11th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Charlie McConaloguedeputy joe mchughsmall Donegal schoolslast_img read more

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