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Written Answers - School Staffing

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 96.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the action he is taking to ensure there are no teaching posts lost at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 24 from next September; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19629/12]

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 the detail of the reform of the allocation process which is designed to bring a more equitable distribution of existing posts between schools. The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the GAM (learning support) allocation for all schools. This inevitably involves changes to existing clustering arrangements whereby a teacher is shared between schools. A further change is that schools in any locality are being empowered to cluster and arrange their GAM resources in a manner that best suits their local needs. There are also new and separate arrangements for how resource hours for individual pupils are converted into teaching posts in schools. The requirement for resource hours in a school varies from year to year depending on the number, if any, of its pupils with autism etc. Small schools generally have a lower requirement for resource hours. The new arrangements take account of the later timescale for the allocation of these hours necessitated by individual assessment by the NCSE. All of the changes are designed to enable a more efficient operation of the teacher allocation and redeployment process in the new climate of a fixed ceiling of teacher numbers.

[177]The Deputies will be aware that Budget 2012 provided for the phased withdrawal of approximately 428 posts allocated to some schools under disadvantage programmes prior to the introduction of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) Initiative in 2005. As already announced, the withdrawal of 192 posts from primary schools outside DEIS Band 1 and 2 and from DEIS second level schools will proceed, including the 38 posts from 15 non-DEIS schools.

The staffing circular 0007/2012 also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. The existing staffing appeals criteria have been extended to enable 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. Schools that are due to lose 3 or more posts as a result of a combination of the budget and reform measures will be able to apply to the Staffing Appeals Board with a view to seeking to have a portion of the loss in posts deferred to the 2013/14 school year. The first meeting of the Appeals Board takes place this week and the Boards of Management of the applicant schools will be notified of the outcome of appeals as soon as possible thereafter. 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 Appeals Board will have been considered.

Question No. 97 answered with Question No. 53.

Question No. 98 answered with Question No. 92.

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