Tuesday, 14 June 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
702. Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science if she will review the decision to withdraw a teacher from a school (details supplied) in County Limerick under the new special education needs allocation; if this is in contravention of guarantees given on the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19200/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): The introduction of the new scheme for allocating resource teachers to schools to cater for pupils with high-incidence special needs, such as dyslexia, and those with learning support needs 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.
Allocations are based on pupil numbers, while taking into account the differing needs of the most disadvantaged schools and the evidence that boys have greater difficulties than girls in this regard. As the Deputy is aware, my Department has now issued a letter to all primary schools notifying them of their teaching allocation under the new general allocation model for the 2005-06 school year. The letter also includes details of clustering arrangements that may apply.
The school in question currently has the services of one shared full-time resource teacher. The teacher is based in the school referred to by the Deputy and shared with two other schools. The school’s entitlement under the general allocation system is 20 hours. The school has been placed in a new cluster arrangement with the introduction of the new model and, as a result, no longer remains the base school for the resource teacher.
I confirm to the Deputy that the school has submitted a proposal regarding a revision of the clustering arrangements that had been notified to it. The proposal involves retaining the resource teacher on a permanent basis in the school. My officials are examining the proposal and have discussed the matter with the school. My Department will be in further contact with the school authorities as quickly as possible.
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