Fianna Fáil Education spokesperson Brendan Smith has welcomed the publication of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2011 – 2020, which is the result of a process started by the previous Government.


Deputy Smith said: “The strategy announced by the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn today is the result of extensive work carried out by the previous Government last year to set the course for radical improvements in literacy and numeracy standards in this country.


“Since Ruairí Quinn was appointed Education Minister, Fianna Fáil has consistently called on him to publish the strategy. I very much welcome that he has done so today. In particular, we support the value of taking a wider community approach to improving our children’s literacy and numeracy skills. Parents can play a hugely positive role in enhancing their children’s interest and aptitude towards reading and maths. The strategy also commits to improving public attitudes towards these subjects, which will also make a real difference in the longer-term.


“However for this strategy to work, Minister Quinn must ensure that sufficient funds are ring-fenced in the upcoming budget. Teachers must be given the necessary resources to allow them to commit to the ambitious targets set. The Minister has said that a circular will be issued to primary schools shortly requiring them to increase the time available for literacy and numeracy from this September. If that is the case, schools must be given every support in making those changes from the next school term.”