Update: Pupil Teacher Ratios and Special Needs Teachers – Education 8th October, 2014

8th October 2014 - Bernard Durkan TD


Ceist Pharlaiminte

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 ongoing issue of class sizes/pupil teacher
ratios and special needs teachers and assistants in the most detrimental
affected schools throughout the country; if her Department has identified those
areas throughout the greater Dublin area that have experienced the most
dramatic demographic changes; if she has examined the extent to which class
sizes have exceeded the national average in these areas; her plans to take
remedial measures to address such issues in the course of the current year or
in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 8th October, 2014.
Reference Number: 37916/14


Minister Jan O’Sullivan

Schools with significantly increasing enrolments are catered for within the
staffing arrangements by being allocated teachers on the basis of their current
pupil numbers rather than on a previous year basis which is the case for the
majority of schools.
The staffing appeals process has been extended to include a new criterion wich
helps  those schools that make a significant contribution to the provision of
school places ,which assists the response to demographic growth within their
area, and as a result are under significant pressure on their class sizes at
infants level.

I have already stated publicly that because of increasing demographics my
Department requires additional resources to simply maintain existing levels of
service. 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 further improvements and it is premature within our budgetary
context to be looking for this to be done.

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