Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (56)

Denis Naughten

Question:

56. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an assessment of the impact the changes to pupil-teacher ratios is having on class numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32189/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Pupil teacher ratios for the 2012/2013 academic year are currently being compiled and will be available during the summer of 2013. Figures for the 2011/2012 academic year are available on the Department's website at http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/.The staffing schedule is the mechanism used for allocating mainstream teaching posts to all schools. It operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location. It currently operates on the basis of a general average of 1 classroom teacher for every 28 pupils with lower thresholds for DEIS Band 1 schools. The configuration of classes and the deployment of classroom teachers are done at local school level. My Department publishes annual statistics on class size data for each school. The most recent statistics are for the 2011/12 school year. The national average class size is 24.4 pupils. However, with over 20,700 classes in over 3,100 primary schools throughout the country there will always be variations in class sizes at individual school level. My Department's guidance to local school management is that such variations should be kept to the minimum.