Written Answers. - Teachers' In-Career Development.

Noel Treacy

Question:

439 Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the serious frustration among second level school managements and their teachers and pupils as a result of the failure of her Department to provide a special accountancy course during the summer holiday period to appraise them for the 1997 leaving certificate commerce course; the reason this course is only being held during the month of October; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16709/96]

I am not aware of any serious frustration concerning the in-career development in accounting for teachers, which will take place during the period 14 to 25 October, 1996.

Notification of this programme issued to schools last May, following consultation with the education partners, management representatives, teacher unions, parents representatives. The programme is a continuation of in-career development for accounting teachers, the first phase of which commenced in 1995 with an extensive programme of two-day seminars for teachers, held in September and October of that year.

In considering the best timing of the second phase, account was taken of the generally held view that the period leading up to the certificate examinations is not a good time to run major in-career programmes. It is not feasible to run major in-career programmes of the type in question during the summer holiday period, as inevitably, numbers of teachers would not be in a position to attend. The Deputy will appreciate that it is highly desirable that all accounting teachers should attend the complete programme.
I am satisfied that the topics to be covered in the forthcoming phase are those which will be of most relevance to teachers in delivering the second year of the revised leaving certificate accounting course. Accordingly, the timing of the forthcoming phase is appropriate as far as the effective delivery of the revised accounting syllabus is concerned.
I would add that in addition to the in-career development programme referred to, a freephone helpline is being established for operation from Monday 30 September to Friday 11 October to assist teachers who may have queries.