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21% of students in Offaly/ North Tipperary are being taught in classes of 30 or more – Nolan

15 June, 2016

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Carol Nolan has today slammed the Government’s lack of vision in respect of Education. Deputy Nolan was speaking in the Dáil chamber in relation to the revised estimates for Education and Skills.

Deputy Nolan said:

“Class sizes in Ireland remain the second highest in Europe with almost 1 in 4 pupils in mainstream classes being taught in classes of 30 or more.

“That’s 129,428 pupils – an increase of over 30,000 since 2010.

“In my own constituency of Offaly and North Tipperary, 21% of students are being taught in classrooms of 30 pupils or more.

“I welcome the Government’s target to reduce the pupil teacher ratio to 27:1 in 2016.

“However, there is no mention of any plans to reduce the pupil teacher ratio in DEIS schools nor is there any plan here to address the issue of oversized classrooms.

“Minister, why are you happy to turn around to a parent of a child with a disability and tell them that the government of one of the richest countries in the world cannot afford the resources their child needs to access education on an equal footing to his peers?

“Why are you happy to introduce tax cuts that benefit the top earners in society, while our children are being taught in overcrowded classrooms?

“Why are you happy to take 4 billion euro out of the state coffers, while our schools are struggling to keep the heat and lights on?

“Our Education system badly needs investment and resources, it needs vision and new thinking and that is not what has been delivered here today

“This Government is simply continuing where the last one left off – prioritising tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of our public good.

“That is not new politics. That is just more of the same and it is not good enough for our children.” 

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