Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
703. Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the situation of a school (details supplied) in County Galway which took in 48 pupils in 2008 after being told that was the figure needed in order for it to qualify for three teachers and which has now been told that the criterion has been changed to 49 pupils which will be applied retrospectively, meaning it faces losing one of its teachers; and if he will ensure that such criteria are not applied retrospectively. [23135/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): I am committed to providing information in relation to the allocation of teachers to schools and as a new feature on my Department’s website. The process has begun with the provision earlier this year of initial information on the allocation of mainstream classroom teachers to primary schools under the revised schedule for 2009/10.
In terms of the position at individual primary school level the key factor for determining the level of resources provided by my Department is the pupil enrolment at 30 September 2008. The annual process of seeking this enrolment data from schools took place in the autumn and the data has since been received and processed in my Department enabling the commencement of the processes by which teaching resources are allocated to schools for the school year that begins next September.
My Department has written to the primary schools that are projected to have a net loss or gain in classroom teaching posts in September, 2009. As part of my efforts to ensure that relevant information is openly available to the public detailed information on the opening position for primary schools is now published on my Department’s website. This provisional list sets out the details on individual schools that, taken collectively, are projected to gain 128 posts and to lose 382 posts — a net reduction of 254 posts. It is my intention to have this information updated and ultimately to set out the final position when the allocation processes are completed.
The final position for any one school will depend on a number of other factors such as additional posts for schools that are developing rapidly and posts allocated as a result of the appeals processes. The operation of redeployment arrangements also impacts on the final position as a teacher can remain in his or her existing school where a suitable redeployment position does not exist. The final staffing position for all schools will therefore not be known until the autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed for mainstream classroom teachers and appeals to the Staffing Appeals Board will have been considered.
I understand that the school referred to by the Deputy submitted an appeal to the Primary Staffing Appeal Board. Following consideration of the case at its meeting on 14 May 2009, the Board refused the appeal. The Board of Management of the school has been notified in this regard. The decision of the Appeal Board is final.
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