Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Michael Kitt has called for the re-instatement of the 6.5% reduction in funding through TÚSLA for the School Completion Programme in schools with DEIS status. 

He has also urged the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly, to ring-fence funds for the School Completion Programme (SCP).

The School Completion Programme was established to encourage young people to stay in education and complete their Leaving Cert and is specifically targeted at children who are at risk of early school leaving.

Deputy Kitt commented, “It is extremely disappointing to see the Government attacking such an important and effective school programme.  The Fine Gael-Labour coalition has made it clear that the knowledge economy is a vital part of our economic recovery, but it now slashing a valuable programme designed to keep disadvantaged children in the education system.

“Almost 700 schools and 36,000 students are involved in projects and initiatives under the scheme, and all of them will now see their funding reduced.  This will have a serious impact on the delivery of this programme and could have a harmful effect on educational outcomes for these young people.

“I have asked Children’s Minister James Reilly for a comprehensive breakdown of all of the schools affected within the Galway-Mayo-Roscommon region and am awaiting a reply from the Child and Family Agency. I have also emphasised the importance of this scheme to the Children’s Minister James Reilly and have called on him to reconsider this budget cut”.