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Written Answers - School Staffing

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 195. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  his views [776]on the suppression of four teaching posts in a school (details supplied) in County Donegal in the past year; if he will review the staffing situation of the school and retain at the very least their concessionary post. [16504/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the allocation process which is designed to bring a more equitable distribution of existing posts between schools.

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching posts. The changes are designed to give a more equitable distribution of existing posts between schools, give earlier certainty to schools about their staffing allocations and, where possible, simplify and streamline existing processes and give greater autonomy to schools.

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It also includes changes to NCSE approved (low incidence) resource hours in the base schools or in neighbouring schools. This approach builds on the interim arrangements that operated in 2011 but in a more structured and transparent manner.

Arising from the decisions taken following Budget 2012, of the 328 DEIS Rural primary schools, 16 of these schools with legacy posts will lose one teaching post each, including the school referred to by the Deputy. The allocation process also includes an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the circular referred to above. The closing date for submission of appeals for the April meeting of the Staffing Appeals Board was 23 March, 2012. I can confirm that the school to which the Deputy refers has submitted an appeal.

The Appeals Board meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 April, 2012 which will be prior to the release of the main redeployment panel and allow for any impact of the Board’s decision on redeployment panels to be effected. Once the Appeals Board meeting has taken place schools will be notified of the outcome of their appeal. Further meetings of the Appeals Board will be held as required in June and October, 2012. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until later in 2012. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staffing Appeal Board will have been considered.

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