Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay South, Chris Andrews, has strongly condemned the move by the Department of Education to reduce the number of teachers at St. Louis Infant School, Rathmines.
Teachta Andrews said:
‘’By reducing the four 1st class groups down to three, it will see the pupil to teacher ratio hitting up to 32 pupils per teacher.
“Pupil to teacher ratios of this size are unacceptable, this current Government gave a commitment in its Programme for Government to reduce the current pupil-teacher ratio, not drive it up even higher.
“Aside from the negative effects of such a high ratio during normal times, to increase these class sizes to over 30 pupils during a pandemic and the current Level 5 lockdown is a truly reckless move by the Department of Education.
“Rathmines has one of the highest 14-day COVID-19 incidence rates in Dublin.
“St. Louis Infant school did appeal this decision, but the Board of Appeals ruled against it citing the Board could only consider the criteria which was drawn up pre-COVID-19, so none of concerns relating to the increasing class sizes during pandemic could be considered.
“These are not ordinary times we live in; the Board of Appeals must take into account this pandemic and impact their decision may have on the health and well being of these children, teachers and their families.
“I’m calling on the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, and the Department of Education to reverse this decision and prevent the teacher-pupil ratio increasing amid this pandemic.”