Almost 150 primary schools in Cork have class sizes of over 30, while some schools in the county even had class sizes of more than 40 last year.
That’s according to new figures released to Sinn Féin, which show that there are 147 primary schools with class sizes over 30 in Cork.
The figures form part of Sinn Féin’s ‘Keeping Our Schools Open’ document, launched this week, which outlines key proposals to ensure safe education for children during Covid-19.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said: “Sinn Féin wants to abolish all classes of over 30 kids and never allow them to return, and work towards attaining an EU average of 20 children per class.
“We want an immediate audit of school buildings to be undertaken, which identifies those schools that are struggling most to comply with social distancing and that require additional space.
“We commit to a fund of €300m, which will be used to create additional space for schools that need it the most,” the Cork South Central TD added.
Meanwhile, his party colleague Deputy Pat Buckley said: “Cork county has more than double the amount of schools with overcrowding as Dublin city has, despite a significantly lower population.”
Among the key proposals in Sinn Féin’s new document are the reduction of class sizes, an expansion of force majeure leave for parents who must stay at home to mind a child who is self-isolating, the recruitment of 500 additional SNAs at a cost of €14.4m, and the introduction of rapid, priority testing for all symptomatic students and staff.