Conference Motions

Primary School Education

Session 4 : Public Services

Motion 47 )

1. This Conference recognises the enormous value of primary education in laying
the foundations of learning, and the internationally-acknowledged high quality of the Irish primary education system.

2. However, Conference notes that the most recent comparative report – the OECD’s “Education at a Glance 2018” – shows that

(i) Ireland’s per student expenditure across levels from primary to tertiary education is lowest at primary (Table C1.1); (ii) funding per student at primary level is well below the OECD average (Table C1.1); and (iii) average class size in Irish primary schools is 25, compared with an OECD average of 21 and an EU average of 20 pupils (Table D2.1).

3. Accordingly, Conference demands:

  1. A commitment by the Minister for Education and Skills and the Government to reducing primary school class sizes
    to the EU average within the coming five years by way of annual revision of the staffing schedules.

  2. Designated disadvantaged (DEIS) schools to have significantly preferential class size provisions.

  3. That class size reductions and teacher supply issues are addressed in consultation with unions in the context of falling enrolments in primary schools from 2019 onwards.

  4. The immediate restoration of capitation funding to its 2009 level of €200 per pupil.

  5. Provision of required supports for school Principal Teachers and greater investment in all categories of school leadership; and

  6. The direct payment by the Department
    of Education and Skills of all non-teaching staff, such as school secretaries and caretakers.

Proposer: Irish National Teacher's Organisation
Vote Result: Adopted