[Sinn Fein]

19 September 2001


Woods must move to replace Fás staff

As many schools seem set to be short staffed during the Winter months due to the ending of Fás schemes for school caretakers, classroom assistants and secretaries, Councillor Nicky Kehoe has called for Minister for Education Michael Woods to make funds available as a matter of urgency to replace these vital staff. Fás workers on Community Employment schemes in schools have a broad range of administrative, maintenance and supervisory roles. Kehoe says that ``already overworked teachers in the city's schools will now come under unbelievable pressure as a result of the move.''

The Sinn Fein representative said;

``Schools have been underfunded for years and they have come to rely on Fás workers, but now the government is withdrawing these vital staff and it has not even set up any replacement structures. Teachers are now going to be asked to do their own job as well as that of two or three other people.

``For Michael Woods to withdraw the Fás staff as we face into winter is unbelievable. He must delay the implementation of this move until he has finalised alternative proposals for funding these vital services.''

ENDS


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