Colleges to have 19:1 pupil-teacher ratio
Colleges of further education will have the same pupil-teacher ratio of 19:1 as secondary schools from next September following budget cuts, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
He told the Dáil the Minister for Education had asked every vocational education committee (VEC) chief executive to “carry out an impact analysis on what this will mean for courses and to report to him”.
The Taoiseach was responding to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who accused the Government of a “very savage and targeted approach” in attacking the pupil-teacher ratio at colleges of further education and cutting a variety of student allowances.
The colleges have a current ratio of 17:1 and Mr Martin claimed the cut would cost the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs. Up to 50 teachers would lose their jobs, many of them in specialist part-time courses.
He said Ballyfermot Senior College, whose graduates have won Oscars for animation, would lose 10 per cent of its staff. Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in Cork and the city’s VEC would lose up to 50 teachers.
When Mr Kenny said the Minister had asked VEC chiefs to carry out an impact assessment, Mr Martin criticised the cut being made before the assessment was carried out. He said the budget would reduce capitation rates for the colleges and also vocational training opportunity schemes allowances.