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Written Answers - School Staffing

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 15.  Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if his attention has been drawn to the fact that due to changes in learning support and resource teaching hours, some teachers are receiving travel expenses to travel to schools many miles from their own to make up their hours; his views on whether these changes are costly and unnecessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19495/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Shared full-time posts and travel between schools is a long standing feature of the primary system. There were a plethora of long-standing clustering arrangements in place which were not the most practical, efficient or cost effective way to allocate resources. The new arrangements I announced last December are designed to address the limitations of the current arrangements and will operate from September 2012.

Schools are being empowered to cluster and arrange their General Allocation Model resources in a manner that best suits their local needs, including in a manner that reduces travel between schools. This school led process has resulted in over 96% of the overall GAM allocation being in full-time stand-alone or shared posts.

Aside from the reforms to the GAM, the allocation of resource hours for individual pupils vary from year to year. This is because of the ongoing individual assessment of pupils through the NCSE must operate on a later timescale. The new arrangements involve the allocation of a network of permanent posts in base schools and again are designed to make the system work more smoothly at school level.

All indications to date are that the new clustering arrangements being made by schools will have the desired effect on the ground. My Department will continue to work with schools and the relevant education partners to ensure that the new arrangements operate as efficiently as [142]possible. As the process proceeds this work can take account of any appropriate local arrangements that might be made to further optimise travel arrangements.


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