Primary schools in Donegal are among the most overcrowded in the country, according to figures released by the Irish National Teachers Organisation.
Nearly ninety per cent of primary pupils in the county are in classes greater than the EU average. Over a fifth are in “supersized” classes of thirty or more children.
Latest figures show that 21 per cent of primary pupils are in classes of 30 or more, 66 per cent of pupils are in classes of 20 or more 13 per cent of pupils are in classes under 20.
More than 3,900 pupils in Donegal are in classes of 30 or more. The INTO said the figures showed the impact of increasing school numbers and government cutbacks on the ground in schools. The General Secretary of the INTO, Sheila Nunan described the findings as a wake-up call for the Minister. Ms Nunan said Irish class sizes in some Irish counties were now the highest in the EU. She called on the Minister to stop the rise in over-crowded classes and not to increase class sizes in the budget.
“Irish class sizes are back to where they were a decade ago and getting worse. In 2002, average class size in Ireland was 24.5 the same as it is today. More than one hundred thousand children (121,353) are in classes of thirty pupils or more, up ten thousand on the previous year,” said Ms. Nunan.