WELB ‘efficiency’ cuts target primary school children

Like most other Governmental bodies, the WELB have placed a moratorium on the recruitment of staff as a means to met the stringent efficiency gains agreed by the Stormont parties in their three-year Comprehensive Spending Review (May 2008- April 2011). The impact of this has been to place an ever greater burden on those staff remaining on to provide front-line services.  

The WELB’s ban on recruitment has now impacted on music tuition for children attending local primary schools across Fermanagh. Following on from two tutors taking maternity leave, a third tutor in the county has been made redundant in a decision which clearly is geared towards running down this service in the future. As a result there is now no tutor to provide lessons to children anywhere in the county. This decision has undermined a longstanding commitment to musical education at primary school level.

This cut will affect working class children disproportionately. Children from wealthier backgrounds will be able to afford private tuition to allow them to continue their studies but those who can’t afford this will find themselves cut off from developing musical abilities. This will reinforce discrimination as children need to be able to play instruments to a high degree of confidence to attempt a GCSE in music and anyone who wishes to pursue a career as a professional musician needs to learn their instrument from a young age. This decision really sends a message that artistic self-expression is not essential or appropriate for children from working class families and will compound the negative impact of the recession on living standards.

The Socialist Party is working to highlight this issue locally and build a campaign involving affected parents to reverse this latest efficiency cut at the expense of working class children. For more information contact 07889087906.


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