Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
Question 220: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied that there are enough teachers available to meet the demand for teachers due to the recent retirement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7859/12]
Question 257: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he believes that there will be any vacancies available in schools for recently graduated teachers and unemployed teachers who are seeking teaching posts arising from the public sector retirement deal; if there are such vacancies to indicate when he believes they will become available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8456/12]
Question 262: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of teachers at primary level and at second level who are expected to retire by the end of February 2012; the number that will be re-employed up to the end of the current school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8473/12]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 220, 257 and 262 together.
At the outset, I want to be very clear that vacancies created in the teaching profession by the forthcoming wave of public sector retirements up to February 29th 2012 will be filled. Students and pupils will not be left without teachers to teach them as a result of retirements. Furthermore, the turnover in teaching staff will provide many newly qualified teachers with opportunities to gain employment. The filling of vacancies in individual schools will be addressed by Boards of Management at school level.
I am also seeking to reduce the impact of these retirements on students preparing for the State examinations. I am allowing schools to re-employ teachers who retire between 1 December 2011 and 29 February 2012, and who had been teaching classes due to sit State exams in 2012, until the end of the school year. I do not have information of the numbers of retirees who will be re-employed under these special arrangements as it will be a matter for the school and teacher concerned to decide if they wish to avail of them.
In the case of teachers who are not teaching exam classes, replacements can be employed until the end of the school year, subject to the numbers framework.
The information available to the Pensions Unit of my Department in relation to projected retirements nationally from 1 January 2012 to 29 February 2012 are of the order of 729 Primary teachers, 507 Secondary/Community & Comprehensive School teachers and 220 Vocational teachers.
The Government has prioritised, as best as possible, the filling of front-line posts in the Education sector within the constraints of the Employment Control Framework. For example, schools are permitted to fill teaching vacancies that arise within their approved staffing allocations. I am confident that the large pool of qualified and registered teachers will be in a position to continue to provide high quality education to students.
Question 221: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has proposals for a central database of all positions to be filled in primary schools that both prospective teachers and schools could register with similar to the website www.publicjobs.ie for the Public Services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7860/12]
The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act 1998. The Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure document 2011 sets out the procedures for appointment of teachers and special needs assistants at primary level.
From 1 December 2011 all advertising of teaching and special needs assistant positions at primary level must be through one of the four listed websites, which include sites run by the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) and the management bodies. Vacancies for the post of principal may also be advertised on www.publicjobs.ie.
I issued Circular 31/2011 in May of last year which requires that, from September 2011, schools at primary and post-primary level maintain a list of appropriately qualified registered teachers who notify the school that they are available for substitute teaching at short notice.
Jobseeking teachers at primary level may also register with the IPPN www.educationposts.ie website for both permanent and temporary roles or may also register with SubSearch, which is run by the INTO. I have no plans to further rationalise recruitment procedures at primary level at this time.