Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue is warning that Fine Gael’s right wing education policies will have an extremely damaging impact on our schools.

The Donegal General Election candidate explained, “While Fine Gael has been content to outsource education policy to Labour for the last five years, the party’s own manifesto reveals its true colours with a series of right wing education proposals straight out of the Tory policy manual.

“Fine Gael have proposed punishing performance targets, which will remove teacher autonomy and further penalise schools in less advantaged areas. This system of standardised testing displays a complete disregard for teachers and the public school system.  These right-wing initiatives have been shown elsewhere to significantly decrease teacher’s employment security and morale.

“Tying financial resources and performance metrics to standardised tests, as Fine Gael proposes, is also unfair and damaging for schools in less advantaged areas as they tend to have lower education achievements.

“Most worryingly, the Fine Gael manifesto includes a proposal to introduce so-called School Support Teams with ‘special powers’ to take over and turn around failing schools.  These proposals are inspired by the right-wing Charter school movement in the US and the Tory-implemented ‘Free Schools’ in the UK.

“It’s clear from their manifesto that Fine Gael intends to double down and truly put its right-wing stamp on education if re-elected to government.”