FINE Gael TD John Paul Phelan has welcomed the assurance by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the Government will not pursue a policy of shutting down small, rural primary schools.
“This week An Taoiseach stated at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that he spoke with Minister Ruairi Quinn, who confirmed there is no government policy aimed at shutting down small, rural schools,” Deputy Phelan said.
“As a representative of several affected rural communities, I saw this issue as a matter of priority and sought clarification from the taoiseach, especially as so many schools were unsure of where they stood in relation to this matter. This was leading to a sense of trepidation and inability to plan for the future. Parents simply didn’t know whether or not to enrol their children for the coming year.
“This assurance is a tremendous relief to teachers, parents and pupils in rural Ireland,” he said. “Small schools are an integral part of the life and future of these communities, affording children the opportunity to be educated in the bosom of where they are from.”