Budget 2018- More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’.

‘More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’. 

Budget 2018 includes several measures in relation to Primary Education which are welcomed by IPPN. 
Pairic Clerkin, IPPN CEO, today welcomes provision for the reduction of the pupil teacher ratio in primary schools to 26:1. He states “This is a step in the right direction and will have significant impact on Teaching and Learning outcomes for all our children”. 
However, implementing this new ratio at a time where teacher supply is at a critically low point will bring challenges. IPPN, as the professional body for school leaders is working with the Department of Education and Skills to provide alternative solutions as a matter of urgency.
Ireland, over the past number of years has been losing many of our highly trained Primary Education graduates to more lucrative job offers abroad. School principals often find themselves in situations where teachers are not available to fill vacant positions. 
The provision of 1.300 additional teaching posts and the parallel announcement of 1,000 additional Special Needs Assistants is a significant commitment on behalf of the government to Irish education. However, failure to direct some of this additional funding to the restoration of resource teaching hours can be considered a lost opportunity.
A very special welcome is also given by IPPN in relation the allocation of €0.4 million to enhance school leadership in primary schools by increasing the number of release days available to teaching principals. This has been a key priority for our members. 
Other welcome initiatives, include:
  • A further €1.5 million will be allocated to provide for the further expansion of the DEIS Plan to deliver equality of opportunity in schools, building on the €15m additional funding for DEIS in 2018 secured in last year’s Budget.  
  • Funding of €2 million will be allocated to develop and implement a pilot model of in-school speech and language therapy.     
IPPN welcomes the introduction of the new Sugar Tax. David Ruddy, IPPN President says: ‘Our membership is acutely aware of the negative effects of sugar sweetened drinks on our children. This initiative also aligns very well with the work of primary schools throughout the country involved in healthy eating initiatives, physical education and active school programmes.
Queries - sinead.coakley@ippn.ie

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