Dáil debates

Thursday, 18 October 2007

5:00 pm

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue and thank the Minister, Deputy Gormley, and Deputy Andrews for being present. As noted by Deputy Quinn, I met the school principal in the forecourt of the girls school, which I was visiting, and he outlined the situation raised by Deputy Quinn, namely, that new students will be arriving at the school. The school is part of the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools, DEIS, disadvantage programme, which is an inclusive programme that for the first time draws together schools, pre-schools and second level schools in an integrated programme. We have all recognised in the past that funding needs to be focused on the most disadvantaged, which is happening for the first time in DEIS, rather than having a scattered approach where funding is spread among too many schools.

St. Mary's boys national school, Haddington Road, is in band 2 of DEIS but it is as a result of its previous participation in the Giving Children an Even Break programme that it qualified for the class sizes allocation, which is 20:1 in the junior classes and 27:1 in the senior classes. This obviously allows for the allocation of additional posts.

There is a very objective system for the allocation of teachers.


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