Budget 2020 provides the fourth successive year of major reinvestment in our education and training system as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, our plan to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. In 2020, the budget for the Department of Education and Skills will increase by €360 million, a 3.4% increase on last year. In total, the Education budget will have increased by almost €2 billion compared to 2016.
Over 580 additional posts in schools will be funded to cater for children with special needs, growth in student population and small schools. This builds on the Budget 2018 measure which provided a one point improvement in the staffing schedule in primary schools which brings the position to the most favourable ever seen at primary level and Budget 2019 which provided over 1300 additional posts in schools.
The Statistics Section of my Department's website contains extensive data in relation to our schools including pupil teacher ratios and teacher numbers. The latest figures in relation to pupil teacher ratios show an improved ratio of teachers to students from 16:1 to 15.2:1 at primary level and 13.8:1 to 13:1 at post primary level when comparing the 2015/16 school year to the 2018/19 school year. It is expected that these ratios will further improve when the statistics for the 2019/20 school year are published.