I won’t be voting for a party based on promises of reducing class sizes but it seems to be the thing that politicians believe is the number one issue in education. Ultimately, once one hits around 18 pupils, anything above that has little impact, i.e. the difference between 30 and 25 is negligible. Anyway, despite this research, most people correlate that fewer numbers gives more attention to individual children. (Mathematically, 30 pupils get about 9 minutes per day on average and 25 pupils get 11 minutes – anyway, I digress) At the IPPN conference, the politicians took to a game of auction politics, with each party saying they would lower class sizes. By the end of it, we wouldn’t have been surprised if we had no children in our class, such was the nonsense of it all. The dust has settled and here are the class sizes that the parties have promised in their manifestos.
- Fine Gael: 19 in early years, 23 in other classes
- Labour: 20
- Fianna Fáil: 23
- Sinn Féin: 20
- Green Party: no figure given
- Social Democrats: no figure in manifesto but 24 was mentioned at the IPPN conference
- Renua: no figure given and no condemnation of current class size
- AAA/PBP: no figure given
If class size is your thing, Fine Gael look like a good option. Labour and Sinn Féin also are in the running for lowest class size. However, none of them hit the magical number of 18 (the maximum figure where class size makes a difference)
If class size isn’t your thing and you are happy with the current set up, then Renua look like your best bet. They aren’t even giving out about class size.