2839 Clare Children in Class Sizes of 30 Plus before any budget cutbacks – BREEN

November 12th, 2008 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today revealed by Parliamentary Question that over 2839 Clare School Children continue to be taught in Class Sizes of 30 plus. “This is the situation before any further cutbacks are introduced and it does not augur well for the future of County Clare Schools.”
“We can all recall attending meetings with parents and children from all over County Clare prior to the last General Election where Fianna Fail promised that class sizes would be reduced. The previous Education Minister claimed by way of parliamentary question to me back in March that by the end of 2006/2007 that this Government had reduced the average class size in our primary schools to 24 and those schools were staffed on the basis of a general rule of at least one classroom teacher for every 28 children. These figures make a mockery of these claims not to mention the Education Ministers suggestions that his Budget cutbacks will have a minimal effect.”
“When I raised Class Size with the Minister last year I was told that there were 3,199 Clare Children in Classes of 30+, twelve months later we are only witnessing a marginal decrease of 360 in these figures.”

“Clare still has one class in the over Class Size Category but is not the only county in the country with of 40 pupils or over. Meath and Dublin City have one class of over 40 each, while Mayo has two classes of over 40.

“The situation for the future looks very bleak for children in County Clare, these class sizes are going to get worse when the cuts come in as this Government forces school children to pay for their mishandling of the public finances.”


Ceist Pharlaiminte 

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha

To the Minister for Education and Science


To ask the Minister for Education and Science the breakdown of primary school
class sizes in County Clare for the school year 2007/2008 showing in each case
the number of pupils in classes of 19 and under, 20 to 29, 30 to 39 and 40

plus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 4th November, 2008.
Reference Number: 37829/08


Minister Batt O’Keeffe

The class size data for primary schools in County Clare for 2007/08 which the

Deputy requested has been compiled in my Department and is attached.

Schools have flexibility in the way in which they assign pupils and teachers to

classes and the Department does not allocate teachers to specific classes or

age groups.

In any discussion of class size and classes where the number of pupils exceed

the average it is important to understand how the main staffing schedule sets

out to treat schools in like circumstances in a fair and consistent manner. The

current allocation is based on an average of 27 pupils per teacher and the fact

that schools make individual choices in assigning teachers to class groups.

With over 20,000 individual classes spread across all schools throughout the

country there will always be differences in individual class sizes.

It is of course the case that some schools can have class sizes of greater than

27 but this is often because of a local decision by a school to use its

teaching resources in order to have smaller numbers in other classes. Indeed,

very often when a particular school has a class of over thirty in a particular

grade, it is because there is another class in the same school with just 20

pupils or so.


Class Size Range PUPILS  
0-19         1963 
20-29       6893
30-39       3199
40            +41