Written Answers - Schools Recognition.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 679 No. 4

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  376.  Deputy Enda Kenny  Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe   the position regarding the development of a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; if his attention has been drawn to the growth of this all-Irish secondary school and the cost involved to the promoters of the school in having to pay teachers from their own resources; the assistance he expects to provide to this school during 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14206/09]

Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  The school to which the Deputy refers is operating with provisional recognition from my Department. It is entitled to grant aid for rental for its accommodation, for school transport and for the payment of teacher salaries. Teacher allocations to all second-level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. In accordance with these rules, each school is required to organise its subject options within the limit of its approved teacher allocation. The deployment of teaching staff, the range of subjects offered and ultimately the quality of teaching and learning are, in the first instance, a matter for each school.

In accordance with existing arrangements, where a school management authority is unable to meet its curricular commitments within its approved allocation, my Department considers applications for additional short term support i.e. curricular concessions. This concession is available as a short term support to enable essential curricular provision to continue.

The allocation processes also include appellate mechanisms under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The Principal of a school can submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeal Board which was established specifically to adjudicate on appeals on staffing allocations in post-primary schools. This Board operates independently of my Department. Discrete allocations are also made to second-level schools to cater for example for pupils with Special Educational Needs and those with language difficulties.

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