Deputy Jackie Cahill
Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has said that pupils in the county’s primary schools are enjoying the benefits of the lowest ever national pupil teacher ratio as a result of Fianna Fáil’s influence on the minority government.
Deputy Cahill was commenting as it emerged that for the forthcoming school year, the pupil teacher ratio will be 26:1 meaning one teacher for every 26 pupils. This, according to the Department of Education, is the lowest ever recorded at primary level.
“Eight schools in the county have obtained new mainstream teachers already, which have helped to reduce the pupil teacher ratio. It is hoped that additional teaching allocations can be made following final calculations of pupils and needs," he said.
Deputy Cahill said that facilitating the FG minority government had been a difficult but correct decision for Fianna Fáil. Pupils and schools in the county are now seeing the benefits of the Confidence and Supply arrangement.
“It’s not ideal, but it is important to say that Fianna Fáil changed the dynamic and focus of the Government. It’s now much more about investing in public services such as education rather than Fine Gael’s preference of cutting taxes for the very well off," said the Thurles-based TD.
He said that it had taken a lot of effort and focus for Fianna Fail to convince Fine Gael to invest in employing new teachers for schools. Delivering a quality education had been, and continued to be, an overarching guiding principle for Fianna Fáil and for him as a TD.
“We know that smaller class sizes deliver better learning outcomes for children and in particular for children with learning difficulties," said Deputy Cahill.
Ahead of the next Budget, Fianna Fáil was determined to secure further investment in the education system and in public services in general, such as housing and health.
"That’s our priority – delivering services that matter most to people in their daily lives,” he said.