On Friday afternoon 24th June at the end of the school day, and on the last week of term Principal of Scoil an Droichid Fionnguala Mc Cotter was informed by the Department of Education (DE) that funding for our much needed nurture group had been cut in the June monitoring round, despite an identified need by the Education Authority (EA) and that same department. Nurture Groups have been in operation for some years, 30 schools in the North of Ireland and 11 schools in Belfast, with a notable absence of Irish Medium Schools (IM). Scoil an Droichid applied and were eligible in this initial cohort. Two years later DE finally realised the inequality of this first pilot scheme and the need for a second cohort of IM schools. Scoil an Droichid and Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagáin were instructed to open these essential nurture groups in September 2016. Thus, our schools employed and trained nurture teachers and assistants. EA provided whole staff training in both schools. Resources were ordered and rooms refurbished and huge investments made. Parents and children were informed and provision celebrated by all.
Our communities are utterly devastated and deeply disappointed at the Minister’s questionable decision, particularly at this late stage considering our careful planning and preparation. Is this the beginning of the attack on IM schools? Please join us tomorrow at 10am at Stormont. WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO OUR CHILDREN AND COMMUNITIES. Tacaigí lenár dteaghlaigh # CeartaDaonnaCeartaTeanga