Written answers

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Department of Education and Science

School Staffing

9:00 pm

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 550: To ask the Minister for Education and Science when extra teaching staff will be appointed, having particular regard to the local demographics at a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13534/06]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous school year. The actual number of mainstream posts sanctioned is determined by reference to a staffing schedule which is issued to all primary schools each year.

According to data submitted to my Department by the board of management of the school referred to by the Deputy, the enrolment in the school on 30 September 2005 was 187 pupils. In accordance with the staffing schedule, Circular No. 0023 of 2006, which has issued to all primary schools and is also available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, the mainstream staffing in the school for the 2006-07 school year will be a principal and seven mainstream class teachers. Within the terms of the current staffing arrangements for primary schools there is provision for additional posts, referred to as developing school posts, to be assigned to schools on the basis of projected enrolments for the next school year. Under these arrangements, a developing school post may be sanctioned provisionally where the projected enrolment at 30 September of the school year in question equals or exceeds a specified figure. If the specified figure is not achieved on 30 September, sanction for the post is withdrawn.

It is open to the board of management to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent appeal board which was established to adjudicate on appeals on mainstream staffing allocations in primary schools. Details of the criteria and application dates for appeal are contained in the staffing schedule. They are also available in Circular No. 0024 of 2006, Appeal Board for Mainstream Staffing in Primary Schools, which is available on my Department's website. Hard copies of the circular have been issued to all primary schools.

It is proposed that the first meeting of the appeal board will be held in May. Further meetings will be held in July and October. The closing dates for receipt of appeals are 12 May, 24 June and 18 October, respectively. Appeals must be submitted to primary payments section, Department of Education and Science, Athlone, on the standard application form, clearly stating the criterion under which the appeal is being made. The standard application form is available from primary payments section or on my Department's website.

The appeal board operates independently of the Minister and my Department and its decision is final. I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to intervene in the operation of the independent appeal board.

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