Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Bigger classes will reduce education standards

30 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Michael Ferguson MLA has written to the British Education Minister asking her to investigate class sizes in schools across the Six Counties and to ensure that there are proper teacher pupil ratios in all classrooms.

Commenting upon the request Michael Ferguson said,

"Year-on-year cuts to school budgets by Boards axing services at the behest of the British Government is resulting in larger class sizes which can only have an adverse impact on learning.

"Already 23% of school leavers are barely able to read and write. This year a Public Accounts Committee report was also scathing about the failure of the Department of Education to meet its own literacy targets. This situation is being compounded by the increasing loss of teachers and the resulting larger class sizes. We now have one Year Five class in a West Belfast School with 39 pupils.

"This current British government is eroding the educational entitlement of our children and young people while the DUP, like Nero, fiddles as Rome burns. We need our own local education minister to address these matters and if the DUP are not prepared to support a local minister then they are as responsible as the British Government for denying our children and young people are proper education." ENDS

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