Friday 23 February 2018

Primary class sizes to pay price for special needs U-turn

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

PRIMARY school class sizes could grow even larger to pay for the rowback on special needs education cuts that were announced last week.

Class sizes are already the second largest in the EU, with primary schools currently allocated one teacher for every 28 pupils. But it is feared this could increase to one teacher for every 30.5 pupils to cover the cost of the reversal.

The threat of more overcrowded classrooms comes as Education Minister Ruairi Quinn seeks to recoup the €21m cost of maintaining resource teacher support for children with complex disabilities, such as autism.

In order to pay for it, the question of raising the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) has moved centre stage.

Requiring primary schools to have another 2.5 pupils for each teacher allocated translates into a cut of 500 mainstream posts.

Irish Independent

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