July 25, 2020
We need to learn lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and end the days of overcrowded classrooms for good – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin have published a Dáil motion calling on the government to immediately begin the process of drastically reducing school class sizes.

The motion, which will be debated in the Dáil during Sinn Féin’s private members time on Tuesday night, also calls on the government to ensure that the roadmap to reopen schools is adequately resourced and that there is a dedicated strategy to support students who have fallen behind in recent months.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that the government need to learn the lessons of the Covid-19 crisis and to reduce class sizes once and for all.

He said:

“While no one could have predicted the Covid-19 pandemic, it is an obvious fact that reopening schools has been particularly challenging because we have some of the highest class sizes in Europe.

“The failure of successive governments to tackle the issue has put us in a particularly vulnerable position, with many schools stretched close to breaking point prior to the pandemic. It has also resulted in schools being understaffed and deprived of basic resources.

“We are using our private members time in the Dáil next week to call time on overcrowded classrooms and to begin immediately and drastically reducing class sizes. We must abolish the days of class sizes of 30+ students.

“It has been over four months since schools closed and we still have not had sight of any roadmap for reopening.

“Investment will be crucial. It is scandalous that some schools still do not have reliable hot running water in their buildings and this motion will compel the government to ensure that schools have the resources they need in terms of staffing levels, hygiene and space to safely reopen.

“We await Monday’s announcement of a roadmap – but we have been here before and a roadmap has not arrived; leaving parents and school staff deeply worried

“We are also very aware that despite everyone’s best efforts many children have fallen back in recent months. That is why we have proposed a dedicated strategy to prioritise those who have lost out most; including additional support for Special Education, Special Education Teachers, SNAs, as well as investment in Home School Community Liaison, Guidance Counsellors and School Completion

“We are in this situation of uncertainty and worry for parents because of a failure to plan by this government and a failure to invest by successive governments. Tackling out of control class sizes must be a key priority in the time ahead.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

Recognition of Palestinian Statehood an important step for Palestinian people – @MaryLouMcDonald

"The government must now utilise every tool at their disposal to hold Israel to account and to demand full adherence to international law.”

Liam Dennehy Quinn has been waiting more than six months for an urgently needed spinal surgery. He's been in hospital for more than six weeks and can't leave because the severity of his scoliosis puts him at risk of choking episodes.

Liam needs that surgery this week urgently

We will only fix the housing crisis & bring down the cost of homes and rents by increasing supply.

Sinn Féin’s new affordable housing scheme will deliver tens of thousands of homes over 5 years; as part of the biggest social & affordable housing plan in the history of the State.

Sinn Féin is determined to deliver fair funding for public services & Minister Caoimhe Archibald has today secured more funding for those services.

We will continue to stand up for workers & families, & challenge the British government for the funding needed by the Executive.

Load More