Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 05/09/2013. Tags: Teachers News
Many second-level teachers in Ireland have lost their job at a time when the number of pupils at these schools has increased.
This is according to new statistics published by the Department of Education, which revealed that 720 post-primary schools have 650 fewer teachers on their books, while student numbers have climbed by 3,800.
The release of the figures has allowed comparisons to be made between the academic years 2011/12 and 2012/13. An extra 200 full-time teachers would have been expected to cater for the 3,800 rise in student numbers - yet the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) confirmed that 434 full-time positions were lost.
As a result of the cuts, students are likely to have less choice when it comes to selecting the courses they want to take, while the time allocated to speaking with guidance counsellors may also be impacted.
Gerard Craughwell, President of the TUI, commented: "In light of these figures and the additional pressures being placed on the second-level education system due to the roll out of school self-evaluation, the additional administrative requirements arising from the forthcoming legislation on school enrolment and the critical erosion of the management structures in schools, it would be an act of wanton vandalism and wilful destruction to increase the pupil-teacher ratio."
At primary school level, the figures showed that almost one in four children were in classes of 30 or more pupils in the last academic year, with the average class size rising to just under 25. In addition, it was found that the number of children attending primary school rose by 10,000 last year.
The news comes as the Irish Examiner reports that primary school education groups have joined up to form the National Alliance for Primary Education, which is aiming to prevent next month's budget from including further spending cuts related to education.
According to the group - which is to start a postcard campaign on the matter - any more reductions would affect children and their constitutional right to education.
Written by Donal Walsh
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