Why it’s #TimeForDEIS?
Number of days without a Ministerial response
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 has benefitted from such reductions, INTO is calling on the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh to directly intervene to lower class sizes in our most disadvantaged schools from September and announce this change in the forthcoming staffing schedule.
Why do lower class sizes matter?
Reductions in class sizes were not granted to our most disadvantaged schools in recent budgets. 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 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.
A 2017 report by the Educational Research Centre called ‘Addressing Educational Disadvantage’ found that evidence indicated that children perform better in smaller classes, especially in the earlier grades. The report also found that the number of students in a class should be fewer than 20 in order to maximise the beneficial effects.
It’s time to invest in lower class sizes and help improve the life chances for these pupils.
This early intervention will reap a high dividend helping these children to fulfil their potential later in life.
Follow the campaign on social media – #TimeForDEIS