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Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 18 September 2013

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Questions (329, 370)

Jim Daly


329. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether 39 students in an infant classroom is acceptable practice by school management; the steps he has taken to ensure such a situation does not arise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37843/13]

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Simon Harris


370. Deputy Simon Harris asked the Minister for Education and Skills his response to a recent study showing that a county (details supplied) has the highest number of children per classroom in the country; the actions he will take to rectify this matter and reduce class sizes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38073/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 329 and 370 together.

The context for any discussion about class sizes is that my Department, like all other Government Departments, is operating within a budgetary programme that is designed to return the Government finances to a sustainable basis. My focus is on ensuring we have school places and teachers for all the additional pupils entering our schools each year. There is no scope to give any consideration to the provision of additional teachers in order to reduce class sizes.

Classroom teachers are currently allocated under the published Staffing Schedule on the basis of a general average of 1 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's guidance to schools is that variations in class sizes should be kept to the minimum.