Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Enda Kenny

Question:

171 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress, if any, made in respect of fulfilling the Government's promise to provide second teachers for existing one teacher schools; the position in respect of each one teacher school in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22232/98]

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.

John McGuinness

Question:

172 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will consider the requirement of a remedial teacher for Lisdowney, Gathabawn and Clontubrid national schools, County Kilkenny; if his Department has examined the application; and, if so, when a decision will be made. [22233/98]

Tom Enright

Question:

192 Mr. Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received an application for the position of a remedial teacher for Killadooley national school, Ballybrophy, Portlaoise, County Laois; and, if so, when a teacher will be approved and appointed for this school. [22335/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 and 192 together.

I am aware that the schools in question have made application to my Department for a remedial teacher service.

My capacity to allocate additional remedial teacher posts in any given year is dependent on resource availability and the level of competing demand from other special needs areas.

I recently allocated 60 additional remedial teacher posts to national schools with effect from September 1998. There are now 1,302 remedial teacher posts in place in national schools. I will continue to review needs in this area. In the event of additional remedial teacher posts becoming available for allocation, I can assure the Deputies that the needs of the schools to which they refer will be fully considered.

John McGuinness

Question:

173 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science if his Department has received the information regarding the application from Drumfea national school, County Carlow, for an extra teacher; if so, if the application has been assessed; and when a decision will be made. [22234/98]

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that Drumfea national school recently received sanction for the appointment of an additional temporary teacher for the remainder of the 1998-99 school year.

The board of management of the school in question was notified of this favourable decision on 21 October 1998.