Wednesday, 24 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
225. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the special position in St. Joseph's national school, Skibbereen, which also includes a class of children with severe and profound learning difficulties; and if, in the special circumstances, he will ensure that an additional teacher will be allocated to the school by September 2000. [14749/00]
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The staffing of primary schools is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous school year. This is in accordance with guidelines agreed between this Department and the education partners.
The current staffing of St. Joseph's national school is a principal and five mainstream class teachers based on an enrolment of 171 as at 30 September 1998. The enrolment as at 30 September 1999, on which the staffing for the 2000-01 school year is based, was 179. Unfortunately, this enrolment does not meet the enrolment required for the allocation of an additional teacher.
With regard to the special needs of the school, I note that the school currently has the services of a shared remedial teacher and a shared resource teacher, both of whom are based in the school and also a special additional assistant. These teachers will remain in the school for the school year 2000-01 in order to address the difficulties outlined.
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