A study on education funding commissioned by Donegal County Council has concluded the skills and knowledge base within the county could be eroded if there are more cuts in resources.
The "Profiling Challenges to the Education Sector in Donegal" report is based on 2012 figures, and was carried out by the council's Research and Policy Unit on behalf of the Childrens Services Committee's Economic Security Sub-Group.
The Report highlights that while budget reductions have been applied in a uniform manner across the country, their impact is more severe where high levels of deprivation previously existed, and it is widely acknowledged that Donegal has, for many years, experienced some of the highest levels of deprivation and poverty in the state.
Liam Ward, Chair of the Economic Security Sub-group, says by creating further challenges to disadvantaged families in terms of access to educational opportunities and thus limiting careers choice, the potential for unemployment and poverty traps are increased and the social fabric that builds families is undermined.
The report also highlights the importance of support staff, including Education Welfare Officers, Education Psychologists and Special Needs Assistants.
Issues for parents include the cost of books and voluntary contributions and confusion around the School Transport Scheme.
The report was launched by LYIT President Paul Hannigan, who says despite the growing challenges, the education sector in Donegal has been very successful.
However, he has warned the situation is reaching a crisis point, and that's been highlighted very clearly in this document...............
The text of the report can be accessed here - http://www.donegalcoco.ie/NR/rdonlyres/72528355-5558-4D47-AAB8-067C171D8962/0/ProfilingEducationChallenges.pdf