Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Staff

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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85. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will ensure that a school (details supplied) is provided a third teacher for the 2022-2023 academic year following an application to her Department in order to support increasing enrolment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23808/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the centrality of staffing allocations for schools.

As the Deputy may be aware, the key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.

The staffing schedule has been improved under both Budgets in the past two years. For the 2022/23 school year, the staffing schedule for primary schools has been improved by one point and schools will be provided with class teachers on the basis of 1 teacher for every 24 pupils which means that our primary schools will be staffed at the most favourable level ever seen in September. 1,750 additional posts in schools are being provided in the 2022/23 school year, including 1,330 teaching posts to cater for a reduction in pupil teacher ratio and additional teachers in special education. This builds on a similar one point reduction in Budget 2021, which supported the creation of 1065 posts. Budget 22 also provided lower staffing retention levels for all primary schools. This has made it easier for small primary schools to retain a classroom teacher even where there has been a slight decline in enrolment numbers.

The staffing process contains an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria, including a specific one aimed at small schools, to an independent Primary Staffing Appeals Board. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

The school referred to by the Deputy has submitted a staffing appeal. The appeal will be considered by the Appeals Board and the school will be informed of the outcome at the end of this month.

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