Patrick Costello TD recently received a number of representations from constituents of St Louis infant school about the upcoming loss of a teaching post. Today in the Dáil the Deputy put their case to Minister Foley.
Full Speech Transcript:
I thank the Ceann Comhairle. I wish to express my support for St Louis Infant School where some parents in my constituency send their children. They have written to the Minister seeking reassurance on the imminent loss of a teacher. They have said that they would usually accept this reluctantly, but given that we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are very concerned about the implications for class sizes caused by the losing of a teacher. Given yesterday’s budget, will this school be able to retain its teacher?
The school is looking at an average size of 30 pupils in a class, which is significantly above both the 26 that we started with and the 25 which will be enabled by budget 2021. I underline again the issues on room capacity, the need for social distancing for health and safety reasons in a pandemic, and the loss of teaching time caused by the loss of a teacher and exacerbated by school closures, which increase the health and safety risks. I hope that the appeal will take into account the realities that this school is facing, the overly large class sizes that it is now going to face, and the health and safety issues that school has highlighted. I hope that the promise of budget 2021 will also reach this school.