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66% of primary school children being taught in classes with over 25 pupils – Nolan

6 July, 2016

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Carol Nolan, has expressed shock at the fact that two thirds of all pupils in mainstream classes at primary level are being taught in classrooms of 25 or more pupils. The figures were confirmed in a Parliamentary Question response to the Deputy.

Commenting on the figures, Deputy Nolan said:

“The figures provided to me by the Department make for stark reading. They show that 360,080 pupils at primary level are being taught in classes with more than 25 pupils.

“Of these pupils, 129,375 are being taught in classes of 30 or more pupils and this state currently has the second largest class sizes in the EU.

“It is a damning indictment of the current and previous government and shows clearly the need for greater investment in education.

“Oversized classrooms place a huge burden on teachers and can often mean that students do not receive individual support and attention when required.

“This can be particularly detrimental to students who have special educational needs.

“Research shows clearly the benefit of reduced class sizes, particularly for younger and disadvantaged students, in terms of educational outcomes for children.

“In our manifesto, Sinn Féin made provision for the reduction of the pupil teacher ratio and had identified €1.2 billion to invest in capital projects for education, such as providing additional classroom accommodation.

“This government chose to prioritise tax cuts which benefit those at the top most over investing in our children’s future.” 

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