Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne TD says he is concerned by the findings contained in a recent ESRI study which shows significant regional disparity in the provision of PLC places across the country. Deputy Byrne has called on Minister for Education Richard Bruton to address the findings contained in the report.
Deputy Byrne said, “This is an excellent report from the ESRI and I commend them on it. Overall it is broadly positive and Solas have made a number of recommendations in response to this report. Fianna Fáil will carefully consider these recommendations.
“One of the most significant findings in the report relates to the distribution of PLC places at county level. For example the report finds that in Offaly in 2011/12 the number of PLC places available was just over a tenth of what might be expected given the population of the county. Cavan, however, had almost two and half times the level of provision that might be expected on the basis of population.
“In all, seven counties had less than half the number of PLC places that could be expected on a per capita basis – Clare, Donegal, Kildare, Meath, Roscommon, Offaly and Wexford.
“The ESRI does not make any findings with regard to the causes of this but it is something that must be further investigated and addressed so that all counties can provide a level of PLC courses appropriate to their population. Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward comprehensive proposals to deal with this regional disparity in the availability of PLC courses.”