Sinn Féin TD for Louth has said that Government must act urgently to reduce ‘unacceptably large class sizes’.
New figures from the Department of Education, show that there were 27 primary schools in Louth with 30 or more students in Louth for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘Government has failed to plan and properly fund schools, which has resulted in unacceptably large class sizes including in Louth. This has been raised as a concern for many years now, by unions, parents and headteachers yet government has failed to act despite these warnings.
‘Starkly, the new figures highlighted that there are many students in classes of 30 or more spread across 27 different schools in Louth. This is clearly unacceptable.
‘The problem is particularly acute in the North Louth area, with schools in the Cooley peninsula showing largest class sizes of 28 at Ardaghy NS, 29 at Monksland NS Omeath; 30 at Dulargy NS in Ravensdale and Rampark NS and 31 at St Oliver’s in Carlingford.
‘The issue is not confined to North Louth. In Blackrock, Scoil na Creagha Dubha, St Fursey’s NS and St Francis NS all have largest class sizes of 32.
‘Large class sizes have a detrimental impact on the quality of education teachers can deliver. This undermines the teaching environment and children’s ability to learn to the best of their ability.
‘I am urging the Minister to urgently address this issue. There can be no more delays or excuses. All our children deserve the best chance in life, through high quality education that should be a right and not subject to a postcode lottery.
‘Sinn Féin wants to put an end to classes of over 30 pupils and ensure standards never slip to this stage again.
‘We are committed to working towards the EU average of 20 children per class which supports education and learning, and allows for children who may need additional support or guidance to have that opportunity’.
“Government need to get their act together and cut class sizes to fair and appropriate levels so children in Louth get the education they deserve.”