Written Answers - School Staffing.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 603 No. 6

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  676.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   if a primary school (details supplied) in County Westmeath will retain the additional mainstream teaching post as previously sanctioned. [18951/05]

Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  The school referred to by the Deputy is included in the disadvantaged areas scheme, DAS, and the Giving Children an Even Break, GCEB, programme. Under the disadvantaged areas scheme the school benefits from one additional ex-quota teaching post, additional capitation grants of €38.09 per capita, a refund of the television licence fee and eligibility for 95% building grants for building projects. Designated disadvantaged schools are included in the home-school-community liaison scheme and the school has access to the services of a home-school-community liaison co-ordinator.

Under the urban dimension of Giving Children an Even Break, the school is benefiting from supplementary funding to provide additional educational supports for pupils who are considered to be at risk of educational disadvantage and early school leaving. The level of funding provided under this scheme is commensurate with the number of at risk pupils in the school. The school is not considered eligible for additional teaching staff under this scheme, based on the level of concentration of at risk pupils within its enrolment.

As the Deputy is aware, a new general allocation scheme has been announced under which schools will be provided with resourcing teaching hours, based on their enrolment figures, to cater for children with high incidence special needs such as dyslexia and those with learning support needs. The introduction of this new system will involve the provision of an estimated additional 340 permanent posts in primary schools from September next. A further 320 posts are being provided on a temporary basis to facilitate the transition to the new system and to ensure continuity of service for children who have previously been given an individual allocation until those children leave the primary school system.

The general allocation for the school in question is 12.5 hours. In addition, the school may retain one teaching post and 15 part-time hours under transitional arrangements to cater for the needs of individual pupils with high incidence special needs until such time as these pupils leave the school. The school’s resource teaching allocation under the new scheme is based on its status as a mixed school, that is, the first post is allocated at 145:1. Schools whose allocations are based on 80:1 are those disadvantaged schools that are specifically eligible for additional staffing [1879]under the urban dimension of the Giving Children an Even Break scheme. This school is not eligible for such additional staffing and so does not qualify for the special 80:1 ratio for resource teacher allocation.

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