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Written Answers - School Staffing

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 247.  Deputy Tom Hayes Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the reason a DEIS Band 1 primary school (details supplied) in County Tipperary, which had two legacy posts, has not had these posts reinstated in their staffing schedule for 2012/13 as per his announcement that he was reversing the proposed cuts to DEIS Band 1 and 2 Schools, and that they would not lose any teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16960/12]

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.

Applying the new staffing schedule for Band 1 schools to this school, it is due to lose one mainstream class teacher for the 2012/13 school year due to falling enrolment.

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.

[797]The school to which the Deputy refers is a DEIS Band 1 School but was not among the 140 DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 schools included in the recent report on the impact, in terms of posts, that certain Budget measures would have on these schools, the main focus of which concerned additional posts allocated under disadvantage schemes pre-dating DEIS.

The allocation processes also include 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.

For the coming school year the existing staffing appeals criteria have been extended to enable some limited phasing arrangements for schools where the combination of budget and reform measures impact on a particularly adverse manner on a school’s overall allocation. The closing date for submission of appeals for the April meeting of the Staffing Appeal Board was 23 March, 2012.

The school to which the Deputy refers has not submitted an appeal.

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