Saturday 24 February 2018

Lack of funding in primary schools has left us bottom of the class

Ireland spends €7,220.70 per primary pupil per year, Finland spends €9,266.80, Sweden €10,938.80 and Switzerland spends a whopping €18,566.10. Stock Image: GETTY
Ireland spends €7,220.70 per primary pupil per year, Finland spends €9,266.80, Sweden €10,938.80 and Switzerland spends a whopping €18,566.10. Stock Image: GETTY

Seamus Mulconry

Last week a Government spokesperson gave a short but brilliant master class in the art of spin.

Responding to (accurate) claims that Ireland was the worst in the class when it came to spending on primary schools, he helpfully pointed out the quoted figures were a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, they are not an accurate comparison with other European countries, as the huge impact of the multinationals in Ireland skews our GDP to an extraordinary degree.

So far, so accurate, but then he reassured us we were, in fact, spending above the average for education as a percentage of Government spend. We might not be top of the class, but we were above average. Kudos to the Government.

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