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Sinn Féin call for new long term education plans – O’Brien

6 October, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the Minister for Education and Skills to ensure that she has accurate figures for the future planning for schools giving rising numbers of children attending primary schools.

The Cork North Central TD said:

“Today I asked the Minister what the cost of reducing the primary school pupil teacher ratio by one point for each of the next five years, accounting for rising demographics and the cost of additional school and classroom build to cater for reduced class sizes during each of these years.

“The Minister’s said that it would cost €18million to reduce the pupil teacher ratio by one point each year, but this does not account at all for the rising number of children that will be attending primary schools over the next few years and the additional physical classroom space they will need.

“It seems bizarre that the Department of Education are working off figures with such glaringly obvious errors within them.

“I would call on the Minister to not only ensure that her Department are using accurate figures for future planning, but move towards a more long term planning ethos with her Department.

“Not only do we have to know where children born today are going to go to primary school in five years’ time, but also where they are going to go to secondary school in twelve or thirteen years’ time.

“I would be hopeful that the Minister would take this on board so that Ireland can become a state where children will no longer go through the whole of their school life being educated in prefabs.” 

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