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Primary school standards have mainly 'stayed the same', say parents

In a new survey, 33 per cent of parents said that primary school education standards have risen, while 37 per cent said they had stayed the same. Over one-fifth said they had dropped.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

PARENTS HAVE HAD their say on whether Irish primary school standards have improved, in a new poll carried out for the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) by Red C.

According to the results, seven out of 10 parents believe that standards in primary school education have either risen or stayed the same in the past five years.

There were 729 respondents aged between 18 and 54 and, of those, 45 per cent had dependent children under 16 and the rest had no dependent children under that age.

The poll found that 33 per cent of parents with dependent children under 16 believed that primary school education standards have risen. Meanwhile, 37 per cent said they have stayed the same. Just over one-fifth, or 21 per cent, believed that standards have dropped while the rest, 9 per cent, said they did not know.

The same question was put to adults without dependent children. This showed that 22 per cent said standards in primary school education have risen, 25 per cent said they have dropped, and 42 per cent said they have stayed the same. The remainder, rounded up to 12 per cent, did not know.

Confidence

IPPN Director Seán Cottrell said the results showed that public confidence in standards in primary school education remains high:

The figures show that the quality and integrity of the teaching profession retains broad public support and, as primary school leaders, IPPN will continue to play our part in creating a learning environment that delivers high-quality education outcomes for all our children regardless of their background.

He added that the poll shows that parents “do not, in the main, buy into critical commentary from organisations such as the OECD’s PISA on student performance”.

However, he cautioned that this “must not be cause for complacency and the Government must invest more in primary school education”.

IPPN President Gerry Murphy described the poll as a useful barometer of public opinion on standards in primary school education.

He added that “continued Government investment, not cutbacks, in primary schools and public confidence in the integrity and performance of our education system are critical components in securing the future for our children and driving economic recovery from the bottom up”.

Read: Department to examine rehiring of retired primary school teachers>

Poll indicates three-quarters of parents want change in primary school patronage>

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