Primary school pupil-teacher ratio ‘to be reduced by one student per class’



a little girl wearing a hat: Halle Langan 8 returning to school in Gardiner Street Primary School in August.


© Leah Farrell
Halle Langan 8 returning to school in Gardiner Street Primary School in August.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS pledged that pupil-teacher ratios at primary level will be reduced by an average of one student per class. 

In today’s Budget 2021 speech, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said this will be achieved by the addition of more teaching posts.  

“I’m delighted to announce today a further reduction in the staffing schedule at primary level by reducing the pupil-teacher ratio by 1 point to 25:1, by providing over 300 mainstream teaching posts,” McGrath said.

This is in addition to over 265 posts I’m providing for to meet demographic pressures across primary and post primary levels. 

McGrath had earlier acknowledged the “huge efforts of our teachers” in facilitating the return to school of students in September. 

On special education needs, the minister also outlined a government pledge to hire 990 extra Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and 403 additional teaching posts. 

“This will mean that at 18,000 we have more SNAs in schools than ever before and 17,500 special education teachers,” he said. 

Reacting to the government’s plans, primary teachers union the INTO said: “The INTO acknowledges the Budget 2021 commitment to reduce supersized classes by an average of 1 pupil next year.”

“We note the allocation of additional teaching posts to support children with special educational needs. We await further detail on the allocation of these posts.”

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