12 October 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Members of Co Monaghan Vocational Education Committee on Monday expressed support for the view that religious minority schools should not be subjected to funding cuts apparently being contemplated by the Dept of Education and Science in respect of fee-paying schools.
On RTÉ’s The Week In Politics programme on Sunday, Minister of State at the Dept Alan Kelly suggested that the €95 million subvention provided for private secondary schools could be abolished in December’s Budget.
At Monday’s Ç meeting, Colr David Maxwell proposed that the Committee write to the Minister for Education on the matter, and show solidarity with religious minority schools in the fee-paying area such as Monaghan Collegiate School and the Royal School in Cavan.
He said that such schools were providing a service to religious minority communities and to talk of reducing the grant paid to them was totally unacceptable. The Committee should ask the Minister for an exemption for religious minority schools, which were there for a reason and did not practice the elitism that some schools in the fee-paying category were associated with.
Colr Maxwell thought funding for religious minority schools should continue going forward.
Colr Pat Treanor said this was a big issue and a delicate one. He thought that funding reforms were being contemplated for fee-paying schools where an equality of approach was needed. He agreed that a lot of minority religions would need some support in this area, but felt that these proposals were still at the discussion level.
Colr Maxwell emphasised that his proposal related to religious minority schools only.
VEC Chairperson Matt Carthy seconded Colr Maxwell, stating that there was a big distinction between schools such as the Collegiate and those schools which charged fees from the point of view of elitism.
P J O’Hanlon supported Colr Maxwell’s proposal and concurred with the sentiments he expressed.

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