Minister must make class sizes smaller in budget

05 October 2017

Speaking on World Teachers’ Day, Labour Party Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said more must be done to address issues that teachers face in the classroom such as class size, in Tuesday’s budget.

“I want to wish all Irish teachers a happy World Teachers’ Day. Teachers right across Ireland do wonderful work inspiring and caring for our young people.

“It is important that as we face into a budget that we deal with some of the issues that teachers face in the classroom rather than focus on tax cuts that will make very little difference to our lives.

“In 2016, Labour delivered the first improvement to class sizes in a decade but the last Budget saw that progress grind to a halt, with the latest figures showing that Irish class sizes are still significantly higher than international norms. I know that from talking to teachers that smaller class sizes would be beneficial not just to them but to our youngest citizens too

“Labour has long argued that smaller class sizes give a teacher more time to spend with each child, and can have a particularly positive impact on young children, and those in disadvantaged communities.

“In our fully costed alternative Budget, we have put the cost of reducing primary school class sizes by one point this year at €5.5m.”

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