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Written Answers - School Staffing

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 29.  Deputy Joe Higgins Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he still intends to press ahead with cuts to learning support teachers under the general allocation model; if so, if he will detail those planned cuts and the timescale for them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2940/12]

 33.  Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he still intends to press ahead with cuts to learning support teachers under the general allocation model; if so, if he will detail those planned cuts and the timescale for them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2939/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 33 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that there are no plans to cut the overall number of learning support/resource teachers provided to schools under the General Allocation Model (GAM). The Deputy has misunderstood the changes that will be made to the General Allocation Model.

GAM allocations for primary schools will be updated from September 2012, through a redistribution of the existing GAM learning support resources, based on the number of classroom teaching posts in each school in the previous school year. Classroom teacher posts are themselves based on the previous school year’s enrolment figures.

[302]This will provide for a more equitable distribution of the existing GAM resources for schools, based on updated enrolments. The existing GAM resources were originally allocated in 2005 based on 2003/04 school year enrolments and for most schools, has not been updated since, despite the likely changes in the enrolment of individual schools since that time. In taking the decision to update the GAM the Government has also taken into account concerns expressed by the Ombudsman for Children that the GAM has not been updated.

While the overall level of learning support resources being provided under the GAM will not change, as the revised allocations will be based on updated enrolments, there will inevitably be some schools that will lose posts and other schools that will gain posts. Schools will be advised of their new GAM allocations for September 2012 in the coming weeks.

The revised allocation procedures will also allow GAM allocations to be updated annually based on the number of classroom teaching posts in each school in the previous school year.

Teaching posts previously designated for English Language Support will also now be combined with GAM allocations to create a single simplified allocation process to cover both the GAM and language support through general allocation.

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 9.


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