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Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 24 May 2022

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Ceisteanna (371, 372)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

371. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education if he will provide information on the current pupil teacher ratio in primary schools. [25952/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

372. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education if he will provide the estimated cost of a one-point reduction in the pupil teacher ratio. [25953/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 371 and 372 together.

Under the Programme for Government there is a commitment to seek to make further progress in reducing the pupil teacher ratios in primary schools. 

At primary level, the annual staffing schedule determines the allocation of teachers to schools. The current allocation is on an average ratio of 1 classroom teacher for every 25 pupils. 

The staffing schedule has been improved under both Budgets in the past two years. For the 2022/23 school year, the staffing schedule for primary schools has been improved by one point and schools will be provided with class teachers on the basis of 1 teacher for every 24 pupils which means that our primary schools will be staffed at the most favourable level ever seen in September. 

1,750 additional posts in schools are being provided in the 2022/23 school year, including 1,330 teaching posts to cater for a reduction in pupil teacher ratio and additional teachers in special education. This builds on a similar one point reduction in Budget 2021, which supported the creation of 1065 posts. Budget 22 also provided lower staffing retention levels for all primary schools. 

The latest figures in relation to pupil teacher ratio shows an improved ratio of teachers to pupils from 16:1 to 14.5:1 at primary level when comparing the 2015/16 school year to the 2020/21 school year.  This compares favourably with the OECD pupil teacher ratio which is 1:15. In the same period the staffing schedule improved from 28:1 to 25:1 for this school year.

A one point improvement in the staffing schedule at primary level would cost in the region of €15.5 million per annum.

Question No. 372 answered with Question No. 371.
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