Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
Question 193: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the total travel expenses paid to teachers shared between schools, in tabular form, for each of the years 2008 to 2012; the number of teachers who availed of such expenses; the average payment made per teacher; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7563/12]
Question 194: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the projected travel expenses which will be paid to teachers shared between schools following the revisions to the general allocation model; the methodology employed to arrive at this projection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7564/12]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 193 and 194 together.
The information sought by the Deputy from 2008 to 2012 is set out in the table. Shared-full-time teaching posts and travel between schools is a long standing feature of the primary system. The cost of this travel in 2011 was just over €1.3m. My Department does not anticipate any significant increase in these costs in 2012. The teaching allocation for many schools under the General Allocation Model (GAM) has not been updated since it was first introduced in 2005. This has led to inequity and inefficiencies. The GAM clustering arrangements that date back to 2005 may no longer be the most appropriate and efficient arrangements for 2012. The updating of the GAM allocation for all schools is now being done and this will take effect from September 2012. Under the new and simplified arrangements the GAM hours are being allocated in 5-hour blocks (equivalent to 1 school day) to facilitate clustering of hours into full-time posts and which will also, where feasible, facilitate a teacher going to a neighbouring school from the start of a school day. The Department will be giving autonomy to schools to decide who to cluster their GAM hours with. This should facilitate schools clustering with their nearest neighbouring schools and thereby ensure that travel and travel costs are minimised. The Department will be working closely with schools and the relevant education partners to ensure that the arrangements operate as efficiently as possible.
|Summary of Travel Expenses paid to Primary Teachers from 2008 to 2012 to date|
|Year||Total Expenditure paid in the year||Number of teachers||Average payment per teacher|
|2012 to date||169,344.03||276||614|