Saturday 24 March 2018

Recovery lies in education of our children

* Average class sizes in Ireland have returned to 2002 levels following successive budget cuts. Ireland now has the second largest class sizes in the EU, with almost a quarter of children (120,000 pupils) in classes of 30 or more.

We have an average of 24 children in our primary school classrooms (the same level as 2002), which is four more children than the EU average of 20. Portugal and Greece, who like Ireland have both suffered major economic turmoil, have average class sizes of 20 and 16 respectively.

The Scandinavian model is presented to us as an example of what we should be aspiring to and, after firsthand experience in Norway and Finland, it is easy to see why their pupils are performing better. I visited Nodnes School in Bergen, the second largest city in Norway.

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