It is an oft-repeated claim that Norn Irish school kids punch above their weight when it comes to school test results. So they must be doing something right in schools.
Nevertheless, the teaching unions demand more is done.
The unions say one in eight pupils in Northern Ireland is being taught in a class of more than 30 pupils although the average size is just over 20.
The INTO and the UTU have been working closely together on the campaign and say reducing class sizes would also provide posts for newly qualified teachers who cannot find jobs.
Now, when I was at St Malachy’s, many of my classes were of 31 students, and it didn’t exactly cause the school to stop. So I’m not entirely convinced by the class size argument.
What is more telling is the last line of the quote: the unions are admitting that a large driver for this is because they want more jobs for teachers. When it’s quite obvious (through the wonders of supply and demand showing where the demand is) that there are too many teachers in Norn Iron for the population. As opposed to over in England, where’re they’re crying out for new teachers. Perhaps, INTO and UTU, you could recommend that for the best start to their careers, these new teachers could go to England for a few years and get jobs there until they felt the need to come home? Or would that hurt your membership numbers too much?