10/04/2015

FF Warns 'Spiralling Class Sizes' Will Result In 'Major Deterioration'

Failure to act on spiralling class sizes will result in a "major deterioration of education standards", Fianna Fáil has warned.

TD for Laois – Offaly, Sean Fleming, has called on the government to "take action" to reduce class sizes.

Deputy Fleming said: "27% of pupils in Laois primary schools are in 'supersize' classes of more than 30 pupils, and the county also has one of the worst Pupil-Teacher Ratios in the country.

"It is completely unacceptable that a quarter of all classrooms across the country now breach the already too high pupil teacher ratio of 28-1.

"The problem is much worse in Laois as the county has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. 27% of pupils in Laois primary schools are already in oversized classes. These figures have got worse in recent years.

"The percentage of primary school pupils in class sizes of 30 or more has increased from 23% in 2011 to 27% today in county Laois. This deterioration is the fourth worst in the country with 22 other counties faring better than Laois since 2011.

"There is absolutely no doubt that children stuck in these supersized classrooms may suffer a lower standard of education despite the very best effort of teachers.

"Class sizes are getting larger and we need more teachers. The same schools in areas of growing population in Laois are being expected to take on more pupils every year without the additional resources they need.

"All of this is happening at a time when supports for children with special needs have suffered successive cuts, creating a ripple effect right across the primary school system.

"I am calling on the Government to take immediate action to reduce class sizes. This is an investment in our future. The Minister cannot stand by and allow class sizes to continue to spiral out of control."

(MH/CD)

Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 March 2024
SDLP Launches Petition For Restoration Of Integrated Schools Funding
The SDLP has launched a petition calling for the restoration of funding for new buildings at ten integrated schools across NI. The petition follows the recent announcement of the withdrawal of this funding as part of the financial package agreed between Executive parties and the UK Government.
21 March 2024
Call For Education On Violence Against Women And Girls
The Education Minister, Paul Givan, has been challenged by the SDLP on the proposed introduction of mandatory education around violence against women and girls in schools.
13 October 2014
Govt Education Spend Will 'Do Nothing' To Tackle Class Sizes - FF
The government proposal to fund 1,000 extra teachers will "do nothing" to improve rising class sizes, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has said.
16 October 2019
Students Given Chance To Create Wellbeing Logo
Senior cycle students have been given the chance to create a logo representing wellbeing in education through a new competition. The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD launched the art and design initiative on Wednesday 16 October to encourage students to make their mark.
04 June 2019
Status Yellow Rainfall Warning Issued Across 11 Counties
Met Éireann have issued a Status Yellow weather warning for rain across 11 counties. The warning, which came into effect at 7am this morning, is in place for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan. The warning will remain in place until 6am tomorrow, when it will be reviewed.