Tipperary principal and INTO rep says class sizes need to be urgently addressed if schools to reopen

Photo © Tipp FM

Class sizes will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency if primary schools are to return with social distancing.

Principal of Cahir Boys National School, and INTO representative, Brendan Horan says he doesn’t see how schools can reopen any time soon.

The union is calling for clear instruction and guidance from the government on what’s to be done to ensure the saftey and health of staff, pupils and parents.

Speaking to Tipp FM, Brendan Horan said classes in Ireland are just too big at the moment:

“We’ve been fighting to lower class sizes in order to reach the European average for the last 20 years. We’ve made small progress but it’s never been fully accepted by the establishment that we are 20% above the European average.

“All we’ve ever been campaigning for was the European average and that’s 20:1.

“At least if you had class sizes of around 20:1, you would address so many issues that this [pandemic] has highlighted.”

Recent reports have suggested that children aren’t substantially contributing to the spread of the virus.

But Brendan Horan has told Tipp FM, he wouldn’t put a lot of stock into those reports just yet:

“Well the difficulty is that the research behind it was very questionable. There were seven pieces of research that were produced and two of them were not even peer reviewed before they were published. Three of the otheres were questioned as to their level of research and quality.

“So, the difficulty is that the research out there is not definitive. We are looking for definitive information.”