Over 7,000 Kildare pupils taught in classes of over 30

A Rathangan class has 37 pupils

Henry Bauress henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Reporter:

Henry Bauress henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Over 7,000 Kildare pupils taught in classes of over 30

File photo

Schools in Sallins and Maynooth school had the two largest class sizes in county Kildare in the 2015-16 academic year.

An analysis of the class size statistics published by the Department of Education, shows Scoil Uí Fhiaich in Maynooth and St Laurence’s in Sallins have the average class size of 30.54 and 30.52 respectively.

Both schools have the most pupils taught in classes with 30 or more students.

In the Sallins school it is 73.7% or 521 students while in Maynooth case it is 70.8% involving around 339 pupils.

The Leader worked out the weighted average class size of just under 100 primary schools in the county, based on the proportion of total students in each school which were taught in classes of a certain range.

The figures are indicative and a rough guide to where population or teacher pressures lie within the county.

The county had 29,017 students in the the hundred odd schools.

Of these 19,731 were taught in classes with a weighted average of between 23.87 and 28.63 pupils.

The average for the county is 25.87.

It is estimated that around a quarter of students, 7,052, are taught in classes with 30 or more students.

After St Laurence’s, others schools with relatively high average class sizes are St Peter’s in Monasterevin (29.81), Aghards in Celbridge (29.58), Scoil Ui Riada in Kilcock (29.22), Straffan NS (29.11).

While Scoil Ui Riada in Kilcock has an average of 29.22, St Joseph’s NS there has an average of 25.52.

Rathangan Boys NS had an average of 28.71 and 38.2% of its 254 students were taught in 30 plus classes.

It had the largest class in the county, 37, it appeared from the figures supplied.

In the Dail on June 29, Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon (FG) said he was disappointed with the criteria for getting extra teachers.

He raised the case of the boys national school in Rathangan where the Government recently funded a redevelopment of the school.

But he said they had a third class with 37 pupils, where a single teacher will not be able to cope and reach every child.

“There are days when a child will need a little extra attention and help, but with 37 pupils in the class the teacher will not possibly be able to do this,” he said.

The teacher allocation for 2016-17 is based not on pupils this year, but of those in the school last year.

See below for list of Kildare class sizes. Use the zoom tool or pop out window for easier reading.