Wednesday, 4 November 1987
Dáil Eireann Debate
Proinsias De Rossa: asked the Minister for Education to outline the reasons the teaching staff at St. Joseph's School  for Deaf Boys, Cabra, Dublin 7 has been reduced by ten in the past three years; the reason the number of speech teachers has been reduced from four to two; the reason the number of special teachers for woodwork and metal work has been reduced from five to three; if she will restore the staff numbers to their former level; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): Under the Rules for National Schools the number of teachers on the staff is directly related to the number of pupils attending the schools. According to the Department's records the teaching staff at St. Joseph's School for Hearing Impaired Boy's, Cabra, Dublin 7 has been reduced by seven since the commencement of the 1984-85 school-year and the school authorities have recently indicated that another teacher will resign in the near future. This will mean a total reduction of eight teachers since the 1984-85 school year. This reduction is a direct result of the decline in pupil numbers from an average enrolment of 297 pupils in 1984-85 to 232 pupils enrolled as at 30 September 1987.
The position in relation to the question of the number of specialist teachers employed is that for some considerable time the school has been allowed three teachers more than its normal quota to cater for special needs and subjects. This concession continues to be allowed. It is a matter for the school authorities to ensure that the staff available is deployed to the best advantage to cater for all subjects of the curriculum. The overall position is that the school continues to have more than a full quota of staff as determined by the pupil/teacher ratio applicable and in view of this it is not possible to consider any further appointments to the staff at this time. However, the matter of the staffing generally is being kept under constant review in consultation with the school management.
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