The INTO is campaigning for a two-point reduction in the average class size in primary schools in Budget 2024.
Notwithstanding the one-point reduction introduced by Government last September, Ireland’s average class sizes rose slightly due to the dramatic annual increase in pupil numbers, including those fleeing war and natural disasters.
A reduction of two pupils per class will be required from Budget 2024 to ensure that Irish class sizes are brought into line with our EU counterparts.
Having class sizes of 20 would enable teachers to meet the broad spectrum of needs that children are presenting with. Teachers can use modern teaching methods more effectively and spend more time with each child with smaller class sizes. This is particularly important for children with additional needs and those from disadvantaged communities.
This proposal would cost €13.5 million in Budget 2024 and €41m in a full year.
A one-point improvement in the staffing schedule at primary level, including both DEIS and non-DEIS schools, would cost in the region of €6.8 million from September to December 2023 and €20.5m per annum thereafter.
Source: Dáil Parliamentary Questions no. 94, 26 April 2023.