WRITTEN ANSWERS. - UNDERSTAFFING IN SCHOOLS.

MICHEAL Og MacPHAIDIN

asked the Minister for Education whether he is aware of the considerable difficulties experienced by primary teachers as a result of understaffing in schools having averages ranging from 75 to 95; that, hampered both by the large number of pupils and the large number of classes, the teachers in such schools find it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve successful results; and whether, in view of these circumstances, he will sanction the appointment of junior assistant mistresses in such schools.

I have at present under consideration the staffing of schools generally. A change, however, such as that indicated in the question would entail additional expense and it is important that, in the event of any change in the regulations relating to the staffing of schools, this should, as far as possible, be avoided.