Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe says that figures showing that there were 142 primary school classes across the South Dublin County Council area that had 30 pupils or more during the academic year 2021-2022 underline the need for increased investment in our education system in the upcoming budget.

SDCC represented the second highest figure in the state, only coming behind Cork County which represents a much greater area.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Too many of our children’s quality of education is being affected by high class sizes. There are countless classes that are far too big, in buildings too small, and not fit for purpose. We need to end supersize overcrowded classrooms in our education system

“In the South Dublin County Council area, there were 142 classes with 30 pupils or more. These students are at a serious disadvantage even before they even begin their education.

“Sinn Féin wants to abolish all classes of over 30 students, never allowing them to return, and commits to working towards attaining the EU average of 20 children per class.

“Some classes in this area have 35 children. This is almost twice the EU average. We know that evidence shows that pupils do better and are better served with smaller class sizes.

“When class numbers are smaller, modern teaching methods work more effectively, and teachers can spend the quality time needed with children. This is particularly important for children with additional needs, for those who need additional support and students from disadvantaged communities.

“Sinn Féin in Government would reduce the pupil/teacher ratio in primary schools to the EU average of 20 children per class by September 2024, we would build additional classroom space required to implement reduced ratio and facilitate smaller class sizes.

“A two point reduction to the pupil-teacher ratio in each of the next 2 years would cost €62m in total, €31m per year. It is both achievable, affordable and the right approach to take.

“These are the changes and actions that the Government should be taking now. It is time to invest significantly in our education system. Children can’t wait. Our children deserve the best in terms of their education and currently they are not getting the quality of education that they need and deserve.”