Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Department of Education and Skills
394. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if secondary school principals have the authority to remove a subject from the school syllabus for leaving certificate if there are fewer than ten students willing to participate in that subject; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29240/21]
395. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the options available to fifth year students whose school refuses to offer them their subjects of choice for the leaving certificate thus affecting their career path and future when there is a dedicated teacher in the school already teaching the subject; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29241/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 395 together.
Teacher allocations to all second level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. In accordance with these rules, each school management authority is required to organise its subject options within the limit of its approved teacher allocation. It is a matter for the school to employ teachers up to the limit of its approved allocation and at its discretion to deploy those teachers to the subject areas that the school chooses to provide.
A school authority may, from time to time, encounter unanticipated difficulty which it has not been in a position to immediately resolve, through its school planning and management processes in meeting essential curricular commitments to pupils within the normal staffing allocation. In such circumstances, my Department will consider requests by a school authority for a staffing concession as short-term support i.e. curricular concessions.
If a School Authority is not satisfied with the decision of the Department in regard to its application for a curricular concession, it may appeal to the Post Primary Independent Appeals Board. The Post Primary Appeals Board, which operates independently of the Department, considers appeals by school authorities against decisions of the Department in regard to teaching staff allocations to all Second Level Schools. The Board will only consider appeals made by the relevant school management authority and its decisions are final.