Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
Question 260: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if, in the context of the attached correspondence (details supplied), he will review the decision to suspend payments of allowances to new entrants pending a review; in view of the impact that this will have upon persons who are currently obtaining their professional qualifications and are due to graduate in the next four months or so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8469/12]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 230 and 260 together.
Under Circular 70/2011 teachers who have been engaged in a public sector teaching post on or before 4 December 2011 are eligible to retain the allowances they were entitled to be in receipt of on that date. Existing teachers will not be paid any additional allowance where they acquire any further qualification on or after 5 December 2011.
Circular 3/2012 issued on 31 January 2012 provides that, pending the outcome of a review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, allowances are not payable to new beneficiaries; ie those who become eligible for receipt of the allowance in question on or after 1 February 2012. Examples of such allowances include any form of qualification allowance or the supervision and substitution payment paid to teachers, and the secretary to the Board of Management allowance paid to school principals. The only exceptions to this prohibition are principal and deputy principal allowances.
I am not in a position to comment on the position of existing teachers who, on 5 December 2011, were undertaking courses until the outcome of the of the public service-wide review of allowances is known.