D'Arcy stated that the announcement of smaller class sizes and more teachers in Budget 2016 are very positive measures.
“The education budget will see €144 million in additional investment next year, allowing for a number of initiatives that will benefit students and teachers. Two of the key initiatives are smaller class sizes and more teaching places.
“Educational research shows that smaller classes lead to better learning outcomes for pupils, particularly in primary schools. Smaller numbers give teachers more time to work with individual pupils. From next September average class sizes will decrease from 28 pupils to 1 teacher, to 27 pupils to 1 teacher. This is a very positive development.
“Budget 2016 also includes provision for 2260 additional teachers, which will be provided in primary and post-primary schools. This consists of:
“Today’s Budget includes the payment of a minor works grant in 2015 and the beginning of a new €80 million two year summer works programme. Schools will also be invited to apply for a new summer works scheme which will commence next year. The scheme will see €80 million invested in enhancing schools between 2016 and 2017 – half of this amount in each year. I be working with our local schools to ensure that we are well placed to benefit from this educational investment.
“This Budget is a very positive one for the education sector and as someone who worked within the sector I warmly welcome the investment.
“The last few budgets have been hard, but they have made it possible for Ireland to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery. The top priority of this year’s budget is to keep that recovery going, while providing relief and better services for the Irish people.”