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Increase in Pupil Teacher Ratio will result in job losses and a significant blow for marginalised learners

12 December, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said there are mounting concerns that increases to the pupil teacher ratios (PTR) for PLC programmes will result in teachers losing their jobs and courses being cancelled.

Deputy O’Brien said: “I am concerned that the increase in the Pupil Teacher Ratio from 17:1 – 19:1 for PLC Programmes announced during last week’s budget, will unfairly impact on marginalised learners.

“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) have said that the increase in the PTR will result in the loss of 200 whole time equivalent (WTE) posts, which if correct will mean an excess of 400 teachers losing their jobs or the loss of a significant number of teaching hours.

“In my own county there are fears that 25 full time equivalent or 50 part-time teachers across the three further education colleges in Cork could be lost and specialised courses at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa might come to an enforced end.

“The Government has talked a lot about incentivising people to upskill and retrain in order to enhance their employment prospects but instead they implement cuts in income supports for people who are unemployed and attempting to participate in further/adult education and training courses.

“Increasing class sizes in this this sector is a short-sighted measure because the resulting job loses will greatly off-set any potential savings and it will undermine the quality of learning for second chance learners, particularly those who may not be well suited to mainstream education.”

“I have raised this matter with Minister Quinn and he needs to explain what impact study was been carried out in advance of this cut.”

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