Minister snubs ETB’s plea for additional supports

By Dionne Meehan

MINISTER for Education Norma Foley has ignored Donegal Education and Training Board’s plea to implement additional supports for students and teachers affected by the defective block crisis, it has been claimed.

In a letter sent to the minister, Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) asked for help for school staff and families to ease their mental and financial stress caused by the defective concrete blocks crisis across the county.


Donegal ETB suggested a range of supports which would include additional guidance councillors for schools, home school community liaison co-ordinators and funding for families to support the purchase of school uniforms.

Despite having their letter acknowledged, Chairperson of the ETB, Donal Coyle said that is “not good enough” that no significant support has been offered by the department.

The matter was discussed at this week’s meeting of Donegal ETB, just days after Cllr Coyle’s party colleague, Education Minister Norma Foley visited Donegal, including Cllr Coyle’s home town of Letterkenny.

“We need to see supports put in place for our students and we need it now,” Cllr Coyle said.

“There are huge levels of stress, mental health issues and financial stress which leaves it very difficult for students to concentrate.

“Also, we have to remember that many members of staff are also affected.

“Students in Moville Community College, Crana College, Deele College, Finn Valley College, Errigal College and Mulroy College have all been impacted by the defective block crisis,” he said.


Mr Coyle said it is “unprecedented” what is happening in County Donegal.

“When your home is affected, it affects everybody in the home.

“I think the department have to step up to the plate and I’m imploring the minister to do what has to be done to put in supports for students,” he concluded.

In its letter to the Department, Donegal ETB, which oversees the running of 15 post-primary schools across the county, also asked for funding to provide after school study facilities, school meal allowances and extracurricular activities for schools and at weekends.

They have also suggested increased support for staff.

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