Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (193)

Brendan Howlin


193. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of improving the staffing schedule in primary schools to reduce class sizes by one point in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30335/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Budget 2019 marks the third year of a major reinvestment in the education. In 2019, the budget for the Department of Education and Skills will increase by €674 million, a 6.7% increase on last year. In total, the Education budget will have increased by €1.7 billion compared to 2016.

Budget 2019 will see numbers employed in our schools reach the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded, including more than 370 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes.

For the current school year, the staffing schedule at Primary level operates on a general average of 26 pupils to every 1 teacher (26:1) which is historically the lowest ever allocation ratio at primary level.

The 2018/19 school year saw an increase of over 6000 teaching posts in our schools compared to the 2015/16 school year.

Each 1 point adjustment to the primary staffing schedule is estimated to cost in the region of €13.5m per annum.