Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which she expects to
be in a position to address the issue of class sizes in the course of the next
two years at primary and post-primary level with particular reference to those
schools located in areas of expanding population; the extent to which a
strategy is being developed to deal with the situation; and if she will make a
statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 8th October, 2014.
Reference Number: 38444/14
Minister Jan O’Sullivan
My main priority for any additional resources for the foreseeable future will
be to cater for the continuing increase in demographics at all levels in the
education system. We have a growing population of young people in this country
and despite the difficult financial circumstances we face as a country, we
prioritised education so that the number of teachers we have in the system has
also grown in order to protect existing pupil teacher ratios.
Between this year and last year this has involved an increase of around 2,300
teachers in our primary and post-primary schools. This is a very significant
investment at a time of scarce resources. There is no funding available for
additional teachers to reduce class sizes and it is premature within our
budgetary context to be looking for this to be done.
If in future years there is funding available to reduce class sizes my
preference is that it would be targeted at reducing class sizes at the infant