The Oireachtas Education Committee is holding two days of hearings

Concerns are being raised about overcrowding and safety in the classroom.

It comes as thousands of students are starting or returning to school this week.

School principals, members of teaching unions and politicians are addressing an Oireachtas Education Committee this morning.

They're also discussing parental costs and pressures on principals.

Parents, principals, teachers unions, management bodies and department officials will outline their concerns over the next two days.

John Irwin from the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools says there’s a huge demand for a place in many schools:

"with approx additional 4,500 post primary places needed for this year alone and student numbers potentially growing to an additional estimated 50,000 post primary places by 2025, the scale of the challenge ahead is evident"