Cram school: Two-thirds of primary school pupils stuck in overcrowded classrooms (


30 thoughts on “Size Matters

  1. bertie blenkinsop

    4 of those lads look like they were in The Thrills and the kid nearest to the camera looks like he’s 10 years too young for that class.

  2. Bort

    In my day, (86-94) there were 2 classes in each year in my primary school. 40+ in each class. What’s over crowded?

    1. Alex

      40 to a class? The lucky bas***ds. In my day we had to lick the classroom floor clean while the teacher beat us silly with bamboo or willow.
      Seriously, what is the Irish obsession with comparision of past and present wrongs?
      Vradkar and his cohorts are about to p*ss away one thousand million euro on a pet project ( childrens hospital) while leaving tens of thousands in real difficulty.

        1. millie st murderlark

          I believe it’s approx. 20-24 per class. Am obviously open to correction here, not being a teacher.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      In all my years in primary and secondary there was never less than 30 in the class and most of primary there was 40. When did class numbers get so small?

  3. AFoxIndeed

    8 kids in the pics and i can see at least 6 empty desks, room for some more!… or just someone chose a terrible picture to use

  4. Not Gerry Adams

    The government is paying millions in hiring and employing SNAs – special needs assistants – who usually hold no qualification. SNAs are not teachers but are paid huge salaries for what is a position that needs no qualifications and has little or no beneficial outcomes for children (versus hiring an actual qualified teacher).

    1. Cian

      No and No.

      A SNA has a specific role to support one (or more) children during the school day. They have massive benefits for the children that need them.
      A SNA salary starts at €23K and goes to a maximum of €39K – I’m not sure if you could honestly describe 23K as a “huge salary”. For comparison primary school teachers start at €36K and max at 68K.

    2. LeopoldGloom

      Wow, you are so very wrong. SNA’s work with kids with some very specific needs, mostly 1 to 1. Autism, Deafness/Hearing issues, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and various other issues. They help give these kids a fighting chance, and also help them from preventing the other kids being distracted by what might be otherwise considered bad behaviour.

      They ensure the teacher can focus on the rest of the class, and not have to spend all of their time on 1 child.

      Teachers are speficially tasked to work as “resource” meaning they take these kids out of the class for sessions a few times a week with their SNA and do things to help their learning and development. SNAs are paid relatively poorly for the work, and the jobs is not guaranteed. If there are no students coming in that meet a certain criteria, they are dropped.

      1. curmudgeon

        The rest of the private sector work force. Same for their pensions, holidays and job security and sick pay.

        1. Zaccone

          €23k is huge? Most of the private sector is on far, far more than that.

          If the pay, pensions, holidays, job security and sick pay are so good then why don’t more people quit their private sector jobs to do it? Why haven’t you?

          1. curmudgeon

            23k??? Starting salary for a post 2011 teacher is 36k and guaranteed to go as far as 68k. Excluding allowances. And a defined benefit pension to boot.

            Now where in the private sector do you have a job that will pay you nearly as much out of college for seven months work per year? And a comparable pension???

          2. Zaccone

            The starting salary for an SNA is €23k. Which is what was being discussed in the post you referred to?

            Almost no teachers walk into a full time job straight out of college and 36k, though, for what its worth. It takes them a few years to get full time work. By which time most private sector jobs (ie in tech) would have higher salaries.

            But if it pays so well and its so easy then why aren’t you doing it? And why aren’t people lining up to do it?

          3. Joe

            But then take into account time worked in the year and it will outweighs private sector pay. yes I’m aware teachers do unpaid overtime but most private sectors jobs do that also.

  5. postmanpat

    “…the UAE (not that there’s anything wrong with that).” ….whatever you say Ciara.

  6. curmudgeon

    Teachers want it every which way. You either have 15 per class or you have teachers earning unjustifiably salaries and massive pensions for what is 7 months work per year. Teaching unions have voted for more pay every time. Why don’t they have placards proclaiming “Crap infrastructure ok! Lower pay no way”

    1. LeopoldGloom

      It’s not really 7 months a year though. The amount of time (the good ones) teachers spend planning, correcting, extra curricular easily sees them doing an extra 10-15 hours outside of their contracted hours. They quite often don’t get breaks due to supervision duties. They are treated with contempt by some parents as nothing more than daycare.

      Ask any parent what is like looking after a 4-13 year old and they’ll tell you how tired they are if you press them, because it is tiring if worthwhile. Now multiply that by 30, add in disruptive beaviours now and then and a host of distractions. Add in parents with bad attitude.

      We mock the “working hours” and holidays, but teaching is a tough and tiring gig at primary level at the very least.

      There are definitely bad teachers out there who do the bare minimum and swan off at first chance. There should be mechanisms to be able to dismiss these types, but there are not.

      1. curmudgeon

        Absolute rubbish. Several months of the year off. When in work they’ve got half the hours of most construction or IT workers. There are also a massive amount of free classes.

        Reducing their pay and making them pay into their pensions would mean the education budget could be used to build more infrastructure and half class sizes.

  7. Dave

    25-30 here in France (public secondary level). 18 is dreamland stuff for most places/people

  8. GiggidyGoo

    Maybe have primary schools open 12 months and halve the class numbers- teaching each half on a half day basis. Full day work of 8 hours for the teachers, normal 4 week holidays per annum with an extra teacher or two employed for cover. No school shutdowns.

    1. Mart

      Who’s going to create the lesson plans? And who’s going to do the marking? Or maybe they could just improvise the lessons and not bother checking anyone’s work? Clueless.

    2. curmudgeon

      Teachers live in a world of their own. We pay for it. Right now most of them are holidaying around the world and air bnb ing out their gaffs for three months. This sensible suggestion won’t get anywhere because the teacher unions are in bed with politicians (many of whom including our last taoiseach are teachers themselves).

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