The Green Party in Ireland doesn’t currently have any TDs., although they had six seats in the previous Dáil. They have sixteen councillors on the island of Ireland working at local government level and one MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) in Northern Ireland. They say that removing barriers to education, at all levels, is one of their key policies.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party remove the embargo on the filling of middle management posts in primary schools?
Green Party: Our policy is to strongly invest in education and this will include investing in such posts.
Seomra Ranga: What is your party’s position on church control in Irish education, the divestment process and the place of religion in school enrolment policies?
Green Party: We believe that the divestment approach is too slow to solve problems of inequality of access to education. We have a strong policy on reforming schools admissions, that no child should be prioritised or refused admission to school on the basis of their religion or special needs, regardless of who the patrons of the school are.
Seomra Ranga: How will your party support the development of technology in primary schools, including meaningful access to quality broadband and the updating of basic technology hardware?
Green Party: We support increased investment in this area.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party restore the pay of entrants to the teaching profession since 2011 to that of earlier entrants and end the scandal of a two-tier pay scale?
Green Party: We will reform starting teacher pay so that it becomes fairer.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party end the public service pension levy?
Green Party: Not immediately, but will examine over course of next Government if we are part of it.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party increase funding to primary schools in order to help them adequately meet the day-to-day costs of running a school?
Green Party: Yes.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party further reduce class sizes to the average EU levels of 20 per class?
Green Party: Yes we will lower teacher:pupil ratios as part of the goals of our increased investment in education. We wish to to this in such a way that would give individual students more opportunities for small group learning experiences.
Seomra Ranga: Will your party reverse the cuts to pupils with special educational needs and allow them their full access to additional teaching supports?
Green Party: Yes.
Seomra Ranga: What is your party’s vision for primary education in Ireland in the 21st century?
Green Party: Our vision is outlined in our education policy. https://greenparty.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Green-Party-Education-Policy-2015.pdf
Editor’s Note: All political parties/groupings were sent the same set of questions on the same day and given five days to respond. To make a comparison, the responses from the other parties are also now on the site – except for Fine Gael, People Before Profit and Anti Austerity Alliance. None of these parties responded to the questions, despite a reminder email also being sent.