Tuesday, 12 July 2022
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I thank the Minister of State for his remarks at the end. I do not think it can be a case of reconfiguring the existing cohort of staff that we have. The reality of that would mean a reduction in the staff or the number of hours for a particular school. Those schools were allocated those positions for a reason, which is the high absenteeism rate. I ask the Minister of State to bring back to the Minister the request for a review of all counties to see where the absenteeism rate is at a high level and aim the resources there. That is what needs to happen. As I said, we have a particular difficulty with regard to getting kids into school. In the long run, it will cost us an awful lot more money. The Minister of State made a point about future budgetary allocations. If we do not deal with this now, we will be spending money in other areas, be it justice or wherever, in the future. As I said, the staff we have in place are working well and working within the resources they have to keep the figure to 18% or 20%. That can be decreased if we get in more staff. As I said, it will cost the State less in the long run.