Irish Pupils are being Crowded Out

Data released from government shows class sizes remain too high.

The Department of Education and Skills has published a statistical bulletin which finds that two thirds (or 63 per cent of all schoolchildren) are being taught in classes of 25 or more, five above the EU average of 20. Additionally, some 110,000 children (or 19.8 per cent of all primary schoolchildren) are being taught in classes of 30 or more.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has called on the government to reduce class sizes to 20. However, the statistics make for bleak reading with only 11 per cent of Irish primary schoolchildren learning in a class of less than 20.

Teachers want to give students the type of individual attention and support that enables them to bloom. Smaller classes really matter, especially for younger children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Commenting on the data released, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:

“These statistics confirm what we already know, class sizes in this country are far too high. You simply wouldn’t see such figures in another EU member state. With only 11% of Irish children learning in a class of fewer than 20 students, the EU average, it’s clear they are being short changed. Smaller classes support inclusion and diversity of children and allow for more individual attention. That’s why we are calling for priority to be given to class size reduction in October’s budget.”

Read a copy of the Department of Education and Skills statistical bulletin (PDF).