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 Header Item  Written Answers Nos. 200-216
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item National Educational Psychological Service Expenditure
 Header Item Teacher Training Provision
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staff
 Header Item Higher Education Authority Expenditure
 Header Item Student Assistance Fund
 Header Item Momentum Programme
 Header Item Adult Education Provision
 Header Item Modern Language Teaching
 Header Item Modern Language Teaching
 Header Item Computerisation Programme Expenditure
 Header Item Education Expenditure
 Header Item Education Expenditure
 Header Item Third Level Expenditure
 Header Item Teachers' Remuneration
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Croke Park Agreement

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 946 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 200-216

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 200. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of establishing the inclusion support service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17771/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I wish to advise the Deputy that a new Regional Support Service is presently being developed within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in order to assist schools in supporting children with special education needs.

This service will bring under their control the Special Education Support Service (SESS), the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and the Visiting Teacher Service for children who are deaf/hard of hearing and for children who are blind/visually impaired (VTSVHI) which until 20 March 2017 have been managed by my Department.

This change is consistent with recommendations of NCSE reports and with the review of the Visiting Teacher Service for Visually and Hearing Impaired children.  It will mean that schools will receive a better and more integrated service from this new Support Service.

The NCSE's Regional Support Service will build on the existing good work and support which NBSS, SESS and VTSVHI provide to children and their families as well as to teachers and schools. 

The services are being transferred to the NCSE initially on the basis of an existing level of service provision. The cost of fully incorporating the services into the NCSE support service will not be known until account is taken of any additional cost requirements for the NCSE in managing the services, while also taking into account any efficiencies that might be able to be made through greater coordination and integration of the services.

National Educational Psychological Service Expenditure

 201. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of providing an additional 100 NEPS psychologists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17772/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychology service to all primary and post primary schools through an assigned NEPS psychologist and in some cases through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA). Under this scheme schools can have an assessment carried out by a member of the panel of private psychologists approved by NEPS, and NEPS will pay the psychologist the fees for this assessment directly.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits that we will invest additional resources in the National Educational Psychological Service to ensure earlier intervention and access for young children and teenagers and to offer immediate support to schools in cases of critical incidents. The Programme commits to bring the total number of NEPS psychologists to 238 from the current sanctioned limit of 173. Delivery on this commitment is underway in 2017 with an additional ten NEPS psychologists due to be recruited by the commencement of the new academic year.

In answer to the Deputy's particular question, the direct cost of providing 100 additional NEPS psychologists would be approximately €7.3m per annum.   

Teacher Training Provision

 202. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the allocation to various bodies within his Department to provide for the education and training of teachers in special education; the number of graduates of initial teacher training whereby special education formed a compulsory part of the course; the cost of providing the equivalent of a module at initial teacher training level in special education to 100 teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17773/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department provides for a comprehensive system of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers in the area of special educational needs. Central to this is the Special Education Support Service (SESS) whose brief is to enhance the quality of learning and teaching of students with special educational needs through the provision of CPD and support for teachers in mainstream schools, primary and post-primary special schools, and special classes. The National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) also provides support and expertise to partner post-primary schools on issues related to behaviour.

  Details of expenditure in this area is set out in the following table:

Name of Support Service/Course 2016 Spend2017 Estimated Allocation
SESS €1,852,558€2,300,000
NBSS€1,065,374€1,100,000
SEN Post Grad Courses€741,984€750,000
Junior Cycle for Teachers€146,329€172,500


From 20 March 2017, the management of SESS and NBSS has transferred from my Department to the National Council for Special Education as part of an expansion of supports available to the NCSE. The NCSE is currently developing it's Regional Support Service to provide for enhanced access to support for schools who need such support.

  Programmes of initial teacher education (ITE) were reconfigured and extended in line with the Teaching Council’s Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers and the changes to ITE proposed in the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-2020.  Under the reconfigured model, inclusive education, including special education, is a mandatory area of study for all student teachers who are undertaking ITE programmes at primary and post primary levels.

  The first graduates of the lengthened and reconfigured programmes were in 2016.   There were c.3,600 graduates from the primary and post primary programmes in that year with approximately the same number expected to graduate in 2017.

  Information on the cost of providing a module on special education to 100 teachers in ITE is not available.

Special Educational Needs Staff

 203. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of increasing the low incidence proportion of the special needs allocation to schools under the new resource allocation model by 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17774/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th March 2017.

These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.

The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation processes at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) allocation process, which provided additional resource teaching supports to schools in order to support pupils assessed as having Low Incidence disabilities.

The new Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on the allocation of a Baseline component provided to every mainstream school and, a school’s educational profile, based on the number of students with complex special educational needs in the school, the percentage of students performing below a certain threshold on standardised test results and the social context of a school.

Whereas the low incidence resource teaching allocations for the 2016/17 school year were used as the basis to create the complex needs component of the new allocation model, this will change over time, as pupils from this category leave and are replaced by pupils who fulfil the complex needs criteria for the new allocation model, as set out in DES Circulars 0013 and 0014. The complex needs component of the profile will form one part of the profiled allocation with the extent of allocations being made to any component of the model being relative to each other and the number of qualifying pupils in each category.

There are currently approximately 7000 posts allocated to schools in the Low Incidence/Complex needs component of the school profile, at a current cost of approximately €420M.

Assuming no other changes were made to this base allocation level, or cost, the estimated cost of increasing the low incidence/complex needs proportion of the special needs allocation to schools under the new resource allocation model by 5%, would be €21M per year, by 10% would be €42M per year, by 15% would be €63M per year, and by 20% would be €84M per year.

An additional 900 teaching posts have been provided to support the introduction of this new allocation model. The provision of an additional 900 teaching posts is a very significant investment in the provision of additional teaching support for pupils with special educational needs in our schools. This is additional to an increase of 41% in the number of resource teachers allocated to schools annually by the NCSE since 2011.

Higher Education Authority Expenditure

 204. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of providing 100 higher education places for students of returning emigrants or those that came through the direct provision service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17775/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department allocates recurrent funding (including core grant funding and free fees funding) to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to the HEA designated higher education institutions. The HEA allocates this funding to the institutions and the internal disbursement of funding is then a matter for the individual institution. Higher Education Institutions are autonomous bodies and are responsible for their own day to day affairs, including the allocation of all of its income (both public and private).

The estimated cost of providing higher education provision is between €10k and €12k per student per annum therefore total cost for 100 places is between €1m and €1.2m.

Student Assistance Fund

 205. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the current allocation to the student assistance fund and the scheme for students with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17776/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The 2017 allocation for the Student Assistance Fund and the Fund for Students for Disabilities is €17,422,000.

  The Higher Education Authority determine how this funding is allocated between the two funds based on applications received from the Higher Education Institutions. 

Momentum Programme

 206. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the cost of providing 100 places for persons with disabilities on the momentum scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17777/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan The Momentum programme was open to all long-term Jobseekers, including those with a disability.

  To be eligible to participate in the programme, individuals must have met the following criteria:

  - Be unemployed for 12 months or longer and

  - Be in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance/Benefit or on the Live Register for 12 months or longer (signing on for Social Insurance Contribution Credits for 12 months or longer) and

  - Be actively seeking work.

  I am informed by SOLAS that the estimated cost of training a participant, including a person with a disability, in the Momentum programme was approximately €3,200.

Adult Education Provision

 207. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the detail of the allocation to provide training places for adults with literacy problems and learning difficulties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17778/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan Education and Training Boards, funded through SOLAS, provide a range of programmes to cater for the literacy needs of adults, details of which are published in the annual FET Services Plan. In 2016, an allocation of almost €30 million was provided for this purpose.

Modern Language Teaching

 208. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the detail of the allocation that was made to the modern languages in primary schools programme in the last year of its existence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17779/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative (MLPSI) was a pilot scheme with an annual budget of approximately €2.5m. Funding ceased for this initiative from 2012.

Modern Language Teaching

 209. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of teachers at second level to teach a modern foreign language; the cost of increasing this by 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17780/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Teacher allocations to all second level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment.  The criteria for the allocation of posts are communicated to school managements annually and are available on the Department's website.  In accordance with these rules each school management authority is required to organise its subject options within the limit of its approved teacher allocation.

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act 2012).  The deployment of teaching staff in the school, the range of subjects offered and ultimately the quality of teaching and learning are in the first instance a matter for the school management authorities.

Computerisation Programme Expenditure

 210. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of introducing a computer science curriculum at primary and secondary level, including staff and equipment, if such a programme was to be offered in all schools to all students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17781/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Exact expenditure figures regarding the teaching of Computer Science or Coding in schools are not available, as funding is not allocated by my Department on a subject-by-subject basis.  However, work in this area is taking place at both primary and post-primary levels. 

  Statistics from the last academic year indicate that there were in excess of 10,800 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) interactions by the Professional Service for Teachers (Technology in Education) (PDST TIE) with teachers where ICT training, including coding, was specifically targeted. Interactions range from a 2 hour session in a local education centre to a 20 hour summer course or a suite of sessions. In addition 239 ICT tutors were trained. 

   The PDST-TIE national support service promotes and supports the integration of ICT in teaching and learning in primary and post-primary schools.  

  Primary

  The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is currently in the process of developing a new primary mathematics curriculum to include computational thinking (including coding), and flexible and creative thinking skills.   

  Junior Cycle

  The NCCA has developed a short course on Coding, which is available to schools for their Junior Cycle programme on an optional basis. The course can build on coding skills that primary students might have experienced, while offering insight into possible future studies in computer science and software engineering.  Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) is my Department’s support service providing CPD opportunities for teachers to support the implementation of the new Framework for Junior Cycle. The JCT will provide CPD in relation to the Coding short course in 2017. 

  Senior Cycle

  The introduction of Leaving Certificate Computer Science is an important step in increasing subject choice for students in the 21st Century. The NCCA was requested by my Department to examine the introduction of Computer Science in schools from September 2018.   

  Work by the NCCA is underway on developing the draft Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject specification in 2017, informed by the Report on the Provision of Courses in Computer Science in Upper Second Level Education Internationally, published in February 2017. A steering group is being set up by my Department to develop and oversee an implementation plan for Leaving Certificate Computer Science, with a view to commencing introduction in schools from September 2018.  This group will also look at potential costs in terms of infrastructure and equipment. 

  As part of the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, €210 million will be distributed to schools for the purchase of ICT Infrastructure to support the implementation of ICT in the curriculum commencing with €30 million in the first half of 2017 which has already been distributed to schools.  

  Furthermore, on top of all these initiatives, a large number of schools are running voluntary coding programmes through initiatives such as Coder Dojo (over 200 dojos in Ireland),  Hour of Code where over 200 events took place in Ireland, and the  annual computer programming Olympiad held at Dublin City University.

Education Expenditure

 211. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the annual cost of the active schools flag initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17782/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department initiative where schools are recognised for striving to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. 

  My Department allocated €175,000 for the initiative in 2016.

Education Expenditure

 212. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of introducing a well-being programme in primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17818/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Wellbeing is concerned with enhancing the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of students. Therefore, the area of learning includes Physical Education (PE), Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE). Schools can include other areas in their provision for wellbeing, such as guidance.

At primary level wellbeing includes PE and SPHE. There are many supports available to primary schools in the area of student wellbeing including the Wellbeing in Primary Schools Guidelines (2015). They provide a Framework for schools to present, in an integrated way, the existing elements of good practice to promote positive mental health and direct them to new practices as appropriate. Once students reach second level, then the new guidelines on Wellbeing in Junior Cycle, published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, will assist schools in supporting and developing their students wellbeing. 

My Department is strongly supportive of the promotion of positive mental health awareness in both primary and post-primary schools, and student wellbeing is a priority of mine as Minister.  The Department adopts an holistic and integrated approach to supporting the work of schools in promoting positive mental health, and to supporting those with a broad range of problems, behavioural, emotional and social.

The process spans the curriculum in schools, whole-school ethos, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, student support and pastoral care, and the provision of professional development for teachers. It also involves other supports such as educational psychological services, guidance and counselling services, and interface with other agencies, both nationally and locally.  It is not possible to put a specific cost on the operation of the wellbeing programme in schools.

Third Level Expenditure

 213. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of providing 100 additional places at higher education for subjects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17819/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Please see below the total cost per undergraduate student per year in each of the requested specialisms.  For professional accreditation, students would need to follow some of these undergraduate courses with a relevant postgraduate qualification.

SpecialismCost per UG student per yearCost for 100 UG students per year
Nursing€10,500€1,050,000
Speech and Language Therapy€10,000-11,000€1,000,000-1,100,000
Clinical Psychology€7,500-8,000€750,000-800,000
Educational Psychology€7,500-8,000€750,000-800,000

Teachers' Remuneration

 214. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of restoring all teachers to the 2010 payscale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17820/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As a consequence of the financial crisis, there was a need to enact a number of measures to reduce public expenditure so as to stabilise the country's public finances. A previous Government reduced the salaries and allowances payable to all new entrants to public service recruitment grades by 10% with effect from 1 January 2011. This decision also required that such new entrants would start on the first point of the applicable salary scale, which in the case of teachers had the effect of reducing their starting pay by a further 4-5%. Later in 2011, the Government placed a cap on the overall level of qualification allowances that could be earned by teachers.

Subsequently in 2012, following the public service-wide review of allowances, the Government withdrew qualification allowances for new teachers altogether. However, the Government partially compensated for this by deciding that new entrant teachers would henceforth commence on a new salary scale which had a starting point higher than the starting point of the old scale.

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration to start. I have used this to negotiate substantial improvements in pay for new teachers. The agreement reached with TUI and INTO in September will see pay rises of between 15-22% (between €4,600 and €6,700) for new entrant teachers.  The agreements also provide for earlier permanency for younger teachers, new promotion opportunities and new flexibilities in working hours.  The pay increases for new teachers were also available to ASTI members under the proposals which members recently balloted on.  

The agreements have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for more recently recruited teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale.  This is substantial progress and strikes an equitable balance with other claims for funding on my Department, particularly needs such as enhanced service for children with special educational needs, for disadvantaged schools, for growing schools, for Higher Education and for apprenticeships. 

It must be borne in mind that the pay reduction for post-2011 entrants to the public service applied to all public servants and not just teachers, and that any restoration of these measures in respect of teachers would be expected to be applied elsewhere across the public service. While I am not in a position to provide an estimate of the total cost of restoring all post-1 January 2011 entrants in all areas of the public service to the pre-2011 pay scale arrangements, I can say that in the case of education and training sector employees, including teachers, the estimated cost would be between €65 and €70 million per annum.  Clearly, the cost across the entire public service would be substantially higher.

Further negotiation on new entrant pay cannot focus on just one sector. A broader assessment of pay and new entrant pay across the public service will be informed by the analysis of the Public Service Pay Commission.

The Government established the Commission to examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay. The Government also supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI legislation, having due regard to the priority to improve public services and in recognition of the essential role played by public servants.

I accept that the teacher unions have outstanding pay demands and that the new entrant deal does not travel the full distance that they set out to achieve. However, it does represent significant progress, and the door is not closed to the trade union movement seeking to advance the issue further in the context of future public service pay talks. Indeed, negotiations on a successor agreement to Lansdowne Road will shortly get under way.

Departmental Reports

 215. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of the implementation of the Ward and Cush reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17821/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Haddington Road Agreement provided for the establishment of Expert Groups to consider and report on the level of fixed-term and part-time employment in teaching and third-level lecturing, having regard to the importance for staff of employment stability and security and taking account of system and employer needs and Teaching Council registration requirements.

The Ward Report in relation to teachers was published in September 2014 and the Cush Report in relation to lecturers was published in May 2016. The reports recommend a suite of measures which are designed to lead to more job security for and improve the position of fixed-term and part-time teachers and lecturers.

The measures contained in the Ward and Cush reports relate to how available hours of teaching and lecturing work in the system are allocated, but they do not involve the creation of additional hours or positions. For that reason, these measures do not involve additional costs to the Exchequer.

Croke Park Agreement

 216. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the estimated cost of allowing teachers to use extra curricular activities to fulfil Croke Park hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17822/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Croke Park hours are part of wider productivity measures introduced under the Public Service Agreements that require all public servants to work additional time for no additional payment.

The Croke Park hours represent a real reform with significant benefits for parents and children. In schools, the Croke Park hours are 33 additional hours a year at post primary (36 hours at primary) worked by teachers. They are a valuable resource within the school system which allow certain essential activities involving the entire teaching staff or groups of teachers to take place. These include staff meetings, parent-teacher meetings, school planning, subject planning and mandated Continuous Professional Development.

Before the Croke Park hours were introduced, these activities ate into tuition time. This meant that schools closed for full days or half days in order to carry them out, causing interruption to tuition and significant inconvenience for parents, as well as child care costs – particularly for primary parents.

It is important to note that many public servants committed significantly more hours than this under the public service agreements. Across the public services – education, health, local authorities, civil service etc. - the additional time being provided represents about 450,000 additional hours per annum or the equivalent of between 12,000 and 13,000 public service posts. That is a serious productivity benefit for the Exchequer. Replacing those hours would cost hundreds of millions of euro.

In response to concerns expressed by teacher trade unions regarding the use of the Croke Park hours, my Department agreed with TUI and INTO to carry out a review of their usage under the Lansdowne Road Agreement. This review, which also involves the school management bodies is now under way and will have regard to teacher professional judgement, system and school requirements and experience to date of best practice in the use of the hours.

The review provides for an up-front increase in the quantum of time allowed for planning and development work on other than a whole-school basis. The original Croke Park Agreement provided that all Croke Park hours (36 for primary and 33 for post-primary annually) would be worked on a whole-school basis. The Haddington Road Agreement provided that up to 5 of the hours could be worked on a less than whole-school basis (e.g. small groups of subject teachers). The recent agreement increases this maximum to 8 hours in September 2016 and 10 hours in September 2017.


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