Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (89)

Billy Timmins

Question:

89. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding class sizes in County Wicklow (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42759/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on the Department's website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location. The configuration of classes and the deployment of classroom teachers are done at local school level. The staffing arrangements for schools for the current school year, 2013/14 are set out in Department Circular 0013/2013 which is available on the website. My Department publishes annual statistics on class size data for each school. The most recent statistics are for the 2012/13 school year. The national average class size is 24.7 pupils. However, with over 20,800 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.