EDUCATION Minister Jan O'Sullivan says she will be "fighting hard" to ensure there are no further cuts in her department in next month's Budget.
Speaking in Limerick, Jan O'Sullivan said the increasing demographic pressures on the education system is foremost on her mind.
She also vowed to ensure there is no change to the current pupil teacher ratios - but could not say when a likely reduction can be expected.
"I want to make sure there are no disimprovements with regard to student-pupil ratio," she said. "I don't know at what point we would be in a position to look at reducing the pupil-teacher ratio, that may not be this year but I would hope it wouldn't be too far away.
"The main concern for my department is first of all to maintain the education system without any further cuts."
This month, the Irish Independent revealed that one in four children in primary schools this year will be squeezed into classes of 30 or more.
At least 125,000 pupils will be in these "supersize" classes - up from 96,000 in 2006-07.
When asked if she was concerned her funding would be diminished in any way, Ms O'Sullivan replied: "I am very strongly fighting for my budget.