Parents at city primary school asked to pay teacher’s wages

Scoil Bhríde in Menlo: parents up in arms.

Galway City Tribune – The parents of children at a city primary school have blasted as “absolutely ridiculous” the suggestion that they each should pay €550 to fund an extra teacher.

There was shock and outrage from parents of fifth and sixth class students at Scoil Bhríde in Menlo as it became apparent these classes would be amalgamated next term – resulting in 41 pupils having just one teacher between them.

And to the dismay of their parents, the school only informed them of the move two days before the school term ended in June.

One such parent is Keith Forde, who says the school would have known they were a teacher short as early as last September.

“The letter came home in the kid’s school bags two days before they finished up for the summer and it wasn’t even signed,” said Keith.

“We’ve actually been talking to other school principals and what they’ve been saying is they probably would have known about this as far back as September.”

In a meeting with the Board of Management, it was suggested it might be possible to appoint a teacher if parents were to cough up an extra €550.

“As a group, we thought that was absolutely ridiculous and it was shot down straight away; they were basically saying we would to have to employ a teacher ourselves.

“It was a proposal that wasn’t a proposal; they wrote it down on a piece of paper but the class representatives couldn’t bring it with them or couldn’t take a picture of it – you couldn’t make this stuff up,” said Keith.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Skills confirmed that staffing levels are based on pupil enrolments on September 30 of the previous year.

“The school did not submit an appeal for the March or May meetings of the primary staffing appeals board. The next meeting of the staffing appeals board will be held in October 2018,” the spokesperson stated.
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