In the 1997-98 school year, one teacher schools needed a minimum enrolment of 25 pupils before a second teaching post could be sanctioned. With effect from 1 September 1998, I have reduced this figure to 18. As a result, 25 one teacher schools have been allowed a second teaching post from the start of the current school year.
Furthermore, in the 1997-98 school year, the retention figure for the second teaching post was 23. By reducing this figure to 18 from 1 September 1998 a total of 28 schools continue to operate in the 1998-99 school year as two teacher units.
In addition, I have allowed 14 schools which had enrolments below 18 pupils, to continue as two teacher units for the current school year. In total, therefore, 67 schools have benefited from my initiatives in support of one teacher schools.
In the course of the current school year, I will continue to examine a range of options with a view to identifying the most appropriate way to fulfil the Government's commitments to the remaining one teacher schools, as outlined in An Action Programme for the Millennium. There are ten such schools in County Mayo.