Éirígí For A New Republic has repeated its call for an end to the public funding of private fee-paying schools. The call comes a week after it was revealed that private schools in the Twenty-Six Counties received €90m of state funding in 2018. Speaking from South Dublin, Cathaoirelach Éirígí, Brian Leeson said,
“The revelation that 51 fee-paying schools received €90m is state funding last year came as no great surprise. After all, this network of elite schools has received similar levels of public funding for many decades.
The fact that these private schools receive both public funding and private funding, in the form of student fees, provides them with a major financial advantage over non-fee paying schools.
This extra funding allows them to have smaller class sizes, more specialised teachers and better facilities than their public counterparts. It’s no surprise, therefore, that fee-paying schools dominate the upper end of the various school tables that are produced each year.
Private fee-paying schools are located at the very apex of a schools system that is designed to entrench class and religious division within our society. These schools provide children from wealthy backgrounds with a significant educational advantage over children from poorer backgrounds - an advantage that invariably leads to higher educational and subsequent career achievements.
Private schools are just one more mechanism for those who are already wealthy to gain an advantage over those that are not - just one more mechanism for the wealth and privilege of one generation to be passed to the next.”
Leeson concluded by calling for the creation of a new education system,
“Éirígí is again calling for the creation of a new secular, single-tier, public education system that will provide all children with an education that is best suited to their abilities regardless of their religion, skin colour or class. The creation of such an education system is one of the key building blocks that will be needed to build a new and better society within a New Irish Republic.”