Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Questions (138)

Robert Dowds


153 Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will establish a teaching panel for Gaelscoileanna at primary level or failing that, to give Gaelscoileanna the authority to interview teachers from the other teaching panels to ensure that teachers appointed to Gaelscoileanna have a sufficient standard of Irish. [6675/11]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

Over half of the Gaelscoileanna are under catholic patronage and the redeployment of surplus teachers from these schools is through the relevant diocesan panels. Under the existing redeployment arrangements a Board of management has the right to interview, once there is more than one teacher on a panel.

My Department had discussions recently with An Foras Pátrúnachta in relation to its request for a separate panel for Gaelscoileanna under its patronage. These discussions are on-going and a key issue for my Department is how best to facilitate this request in a manner that avoids the inherent inefficiencies of a separate panel for a relatively small number of schools. Given our budgetary situation we need to have sufficient flexibility in the redeployment arrangements to ensure that surplus teachers in all schools regardless of patronage type can be readily redeployed to vacancies wherever they exist.

The existing arrangements for the redeployment of surplus teachers operate between schools of the same patronage and are not certain to bring about the redeployment of all surplus teachers. To address the current limitations my Department will be seeking in the coming period to recommence discussions with the relevant education partners, including An Foras Pátrúnachta, on changes necessary to achieve our objective of absorbing all surplus teachers into vacancies that exist in other schools. These discussions can also deal with the request for a separate redeployment panel for Gaelscoileanna under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta.