Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Status.

Tuesday, 23 March 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 502 No. 3

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  637.  Mr. R. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of pupils at primary level in classes of over 30; and the number in classes of 31, 32 and so on. [8191/99]

  638.  Mr. R. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of pupils in schools designated as disadvantaged in classes of over 30; and the number in classes of 31, 32 and so on. [8192/99]

  639.  Mr. R. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of teachers needed to eliminate classes of over 30 in all primary schools and in disadvantaged schools without increasing the average class size elsewhere. [8193/99]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 637, 638 and 639 together.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to class sizes both nationally and in schools designated as disadvantaged is as follows and is compiled from data collected in the 1997-98 annual census of national schools. The 1998-99 census is still being processed and the information is not yet available.

Class Size(Pupils) No. of Classes No. of Pupils
30 986 29,580
31 886 27,466
32 864 27,648
33 766 25,278
34 625 21,250
35 581 20,335
36 328 11,808
37 173 6,401
38 96 3,648
39 58 2,262
40 15 600
41 10 410
42 4 168
46 1 46
49 1 49

All Schools Designated Disadvantaged

Class Size(Pupils) No. of Classes No. of Pupils
30 35 1,050
31 30 930
32 29 928
33 39 1,287
34 19 646
35 16 560
36 6 216
37 5 185
38 3 114
39 2 78
40 1 40

Maximum class size guidelines are as follows: 35 in the case of a single grade class group; 34 in the case of a class group of two consecutive grades; 31 in the case of multi grade class group and 28 in the case of one teacher schools with four or more standards.

Schools have up to 1 November of a given school year to apply for a teacher under maximum class size guidelines. The onus is on boards of management to ensure that all classes are arranged so that they are operating within maximum class size guidelines. It is only where a board of management cannot organise classes to operate within these guidelines that an application for an additional teacher should be made to the Department.

There are currently 318 primary schools in the disadvantaged areas scheme with an overall enrolment of 72,947 pupils. These schools are allocated sufficient staffing to enable them to adhere to the maximum class size guideline of 29 pupils in all classes in schools designated as disadvantaged.


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