Quinn: Isolated areas may need small schools if community is to survive
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has moved to calm fears over the future of small schools.
Speaking ahead of a visit to several facilities in Co Clare this morning, Ruairi Quinn said the situation needed to be dealt with on an individual basis.
Increasing teacher-pupil ratios have raised serious concerns over the viability of one and two teacher units, particularly in West Clare.
Speaking to Clare FM, Minister Quinn said he welcomed calls for negotiations with representatives.
"There is a problem in rural Ireland. There is a difficulty around isolated communities that need to have a school if that community is to survive," he said.
"That's a totally different situation to one where you might have two or three schools within a couple of kilometres of each other.
"It's not a black and white issue where you have big schools and small schools...We need to have that discussion school by school so to speak."