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Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 17.  Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will respond to the view that his policy on small rural schools is fundamentally flawed, misguided and devoid of planning and what is needed is a coherent, long-term and well-resourced strategy for sustainable schools into the future. [19509/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Budget 2012 introduced a phased increase in the pupil threshold for the allocation of classroom teachers in small primary schools. This increase is necessary given our budgetary constraints and rapidly rising school population. It is being phased in over three years to allow communities consider options for re-organisation. We have to ensure that the very valuable but limited resources we have available in the system are used in the best and fairest way across the whole system.

I consider that evidence-based policy making is vital. A value for money review of the provision of small primary schools is currently underway in my Department and should be finalised soon. This review is aiming to be as comprehensive and informative as possible in order to provide an evidence base for formulating future policy. I will publish the review and I look forward to hearing views and contributions from the House to further debate on this issue.

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