A split class is one where two or more levels are taught together (e.g. 3rd class and 4th class) by the same teacher in the same classroom. This may be necessary in a smaller school where pupil numbers don’t allow for separate classes at all levels or in a larger school where the intake might fluctuate. The Principal is responsible for the allocation of teachers to classes. ESRI research (2014) which used data on 8,568 nine-year-old children from the Growing Up in Ireland study showed that children in a split class “did not perform any better nor any worse than children in single-grade classes”. It is believed that older children benefit by having the work they covered in the previous year reinforced and the younger children experience a broader spectrum of information, allowing many of them to advance. The Principal has to decide what is the best way to split the classes, where necessary, and in some cases it is by age, some alphabetically.