Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
399. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the schools on Dublin's northside which have been included in the initiative giving children an even break; the support made available under the scheme in respect of each; and if he will indicate those in respect of which a teaching post was due to be withdrawn under the new schedule of pupil to teacher appointments 2001 to 2002. [15121/01]
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The detailed information sought by the Deputy is currently being compiled within the Department and it will be forwarded to the Deputy shortly. The new programme giving children an even break programme has both an urban and rural dimension. A total of 815 schools have been invited to participate in the urban dimension. I am committed to supporting urban schools with the highest concentrations of disadvantaged pupils in the maintenance of maximum class sizes of 20:1 in junior classes, infants through second class, and 29:1 in senior classes, third through sixth class, over the three-year period. In addition, all participating schools will receive additional funding to be used in the provision of a range of in school and out of schools supports for the pupils concerned over the three year period.
The retention of the additional teacher posts under the new programme is subject to existing enrolment levels being maintained over the three-year period of the programme and the implementation of the maximum class sizes within the schools concerned. In line with normal staffing arrangements for national schools, teacher post allocations made under the programme are determined by reference to enrolments in junior and senior classes on 30 September in the previous school year.
Following the review of pupil enrolments on 30  September 2000, some schools which were included the new programme were due to have teaching posts allocated under that programme withdrawn at the end of the current school year owing to falling enrolments. Notwithstanding  changes in enrolments in September 2000 and in view of the special nature of the scheme, I have authorised the retention of the posts involved up until the 2002-2003 school year. The position will be reviewed in the light of enrolments on 30 September 2001.
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