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Sinn Féin backs INTO campaign on class sizes

6 February, 2007

Speaking in support of the INTO’s campaign to force the Government to live up to it’s commitment in the Programme for Government to reduce class sizes, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe TD said that ‘the fact that we have the second highest average class size at primary level in the EU highlights serious under funding in this area’.


The Dublin South-West TD said: “With more than 80 per cent of primary school children in significantly bigger classes now than when the Government took office in 2002, questions must be raised regarding funding at primary level. It is obvious that with more children in a class, the less time a teacher can give a child one-on-one attention. A child cannot learn effectively in an overcrowded classroom. With over a quarter of children in classrooms with 30 other children, overcrowding is a serious problem that can only be rectified by the political will ensuring that more investment and resources are allocated to primary level.


“The Minister for Education Mary Hanafin continues to give the excuse that she has had to reprioritise spending for children with special needs and newcomer children in need of English language provision. As far as I am concerned these are mere pretexts to cover the Government’s continuing underinvestment in primary schools and its failure to fulfil its commitment to reduce class sizes for under-nines to less than 20. In a time of unprecedented wealth, the Minister should not be playing the needs of different groups of children against each other while standing over tax cuts for the top earners.”




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