Martin Farren

Labour councillor, Martin Farren, has welcomed recent figures released by the Department of Education which confirm that no primary school in Donegal is faced with closure in September 2014.

Only one school in Donegal is faced with losing a teacher.

This 4-teacher school has 85 pupils and so is on the threshold for a reduction of 1 teacher.

Schools who can demonstrate that they are likely to increase their enrolment can appeal against the loss of a teacher and retain that teacher. 

Tony Bramwell 007


“For months now Fianna Fail has been scaremongering about the closure of small schools in Donegal but now the facts speak for themselves”, he said.

“For the first time ever a Labour Minister of Education has made public a list of school enrolments for the whole country so that parents can see exactly what the status of their children’s schools actually are with regards to the number of teacher posts available to the schools.

“They can see the facts on the Department’s website and should not be stressed out by opposition scaremongering.

No Policy

There is no government policy of forcibly closing small schools. 

Ultimately, it is up to each school to decide how it can best serve the children in their community and having accurate facts will help the decision making. 

It is worth noting that, for the whole country, 73 schools were due to lose a teacher in the 2012/13 school year. 

The appeals process reduced that number to 43. 

Reacting to Threats

In 2013/14, 49 schools were due to lose a teacher and that was reduced to 32 on appeal. 

Given early, accurate facts school management boards and parent associations can react to threats to loss of teaching posts and/or closures.

The Labour Party and the Government recognise that small schools are an important part of the social fabric and that they will continue to be.”