5th December 2019
Over the last week, almost 9,000 emails have been sent by members and parents concerned at the current state of affairs in our most disadvantaged schools.
Today, INTO is sharing the voices of those directly affected. Pupils from 3rd Class in Our Lady Immaculate SNS, Darndale tell the Minister why they need smaller classes now.
At INTO Congress 2019, our membership voted to challenge social inequalities in our primary schools. These social inequalities are clearly manifest in our DEIS band one schools, which serve our most marginalised communities.
In light of the failure of government to reduce class sizes in DEIS band one schools, while every other school in the country benefitted from such reductions, INTO is today launching a national campaign to highlight the positive effect of lower-class sizes on our most disadvantaged schools. INTO is calling on the Minister to intervene in the forthcoming staffing schedules and lower-class sizes in DEIS band one schools from September 2020.
Following reductions in recent years, children in leafy middle-class suburbs are provided with a teacher based on classes of 25 pupils. While our union believes lower class sizes will benefit all pupils, it is simply unacceptable that these reductions were not applied to those schools who need them the most. Schools in our disadvantaged communities secure a teacher for every 24 pupils (senior classes) and 20 pupils (junior classes). These class sizes do little to address the particular challenges of such schools.
It’s time to invest in lower class sizes in our most disadvantaged schools and help improve the life chances for these pupils. This early intervention will reap a high dividend helping children to fulfil their potential later in life.
The voice of teachers, school staff and parents will be loud and it will be clear – fair is fair, it’s time to protect our most vulnerable.
Find out more and add your voice to this campaign by visiting the #TimeforDEIS campaign page.