Fórsa has welcomed Government plans to expand the school completion programme, which helps students to complete their education to leaving cert or equivalent level.
Earlier this week, education minister Norma Foley announced a 5% increase in funding for the scheme and its expansion to cover 14 additional urban primary and 14 additional post-primary schools.
Fórsa’s School Completion Programme (SCP) Branch, which represents professionals working in the area, said this was a welcome boost to the programme, which was cut by 25% during the financial crisis a decade ago.
The union’s head of education, Andy Pike, said the 5% funding increase was a first step in restoring the programme to adequately meet the needs of young people. “We welcome the Government’s commitment to developing an inclusive vision for education and their emphasis on young people fulfilling their potential,” he said.
The union’s head of education, Andy Pike, said the 5% funding increase was a first step in restoring the programme to adequately meet the needs of young people.
School completion programme professionals working on the ground support young people most at risk of early school leaving or educational disadvantage in mainly DEIS primary and post-primary schools.
The union also noted that Micheál Martin had expressed commitment to the programme in his inaugural address as Taoiseach. It said the school completion programme had achieved some of the best outcomes for young people in the EU.
The programme was devised by the Social Inclusion Unit of the Department of Education until it was transferred to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2012. In 2014, operational responsibility for SCP was transferred to Tusla. In 2020, it was announced that SCP would return to the Department of Education, along with the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and the Educational Welfare Service.