“The need to have additional investment in primary education with a particular focus on pupil teacher ratio in Junior and Senior Infants” – Deputy Brendan Smith.

Again in Dáil Éireann I raised with the Minister for Education and Skills the need to have additional investment in primary education with a particular focus on pupil teacher ratio in Junior and Senior Infants.

I had detailed discussions at local and national level with INTO Representatives in relation to the issues they identified as priorities for Budget 2018.

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For Written Answer on : 27/09/2017 

Question Number(s): 106 Question Reference(s): 40989/17 

Department: Education and Skills 

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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he proposes to implement to honour the commitments in the programme for a partnership government in relation to a reduction in the pupil teacher ratio in junior and senior infants, the annual increases in capitation rates and the reduction in primary school class sizes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

Budget 2017 set out the resources available for schools in the 2017/18 school year. The budget provides for over 2,400 additional teaching posts for our primary and post-primary schools in the current school year.

Budget 2016 provided for an improvement in the staffing schedule in primary schools by 1 point, from 1 teacher for every 28 pupils to 1 teacher for every 27 pupils for the 2016/17 school year and it should be noted that the current staffing schedule of 27:1 for primary schools has restored it to the position it was at prior to the fiscal crisis. The staffing schedule for post primary will be 19:1 for the 2017/18 school year.

The Action Plan for Education outlines hundreds of actions to be implemented over the 3 year period 2016 to 2019 which include restoring capitation funding as resources permit.

The process is underway for restoring grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff. The ancillary grant was increased by €6m in 2016 and €5m in 2017 in order to enable primary schools implement the arbitration salary increase for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation.

The Programme for Government has a commitment to reduce class sizes at primary level and it is my intention to make further improvements to class sizes over the life of the Government.

However, I recognise that there are needs across the system which have to be balanced in the decisions made in each Budget.

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For Written Answer on : 27/09/2017 

Question Number(s): 107 Question Reference(s): 40990/17 

Department: Education and Skills 

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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will give consideration to issues identified as a priority for budget 2018 by a trade union (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) email sent to Dept on 22/09/2017 @13:49

REPLY

Decisions in relation to Budget 2018 will be taken as part of the estimates process and will be announced on Budget day.

The 2017/18 school year brings a significant increase of over 5,000 in teacher numbers in our schools compared to the 2015/16 school year.

While I am aware of the issues outlined, there are needs across the system which have to be balanced in the decisions made in each Budget.

 

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