Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education & Skills Brendan Smith has accused the Government of introducing an increase the pupil-teacher ratio at second level through the back door. 


Deputy Smith has expressed concern about the impact on students of the changes announced today in the allocation of Career Guidance Counsellors.


“This will have an impact on the majority of secondary schools around the country as they are forced to count any Career Guidance posts within their general teacher allocation,” said Deputy Smith. “The move will result in subject choices being limited in many schools.  It will also pose a threat to the Leaving Cert Applied and the Transition Year programme in some schools.


“Career Guidance at second level is more important now than ever before, as students make essential decisions about their future in difficult economic times. We must provide young people with the help, guidance and information they need to pursue appropriate further education and training to ensure they can avail of future job opportunities.


“The Government is misleading young people, their parents and their teachers by claiming it is protecting frontline education services. That is quite clearly not the case. There is no doubt that changing the allocation of Career Guidance Counsellors will directly impact on teacher numbers and put extra pressure on our schools.”