Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Questions (93, 94, 95)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

88 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding fee-paying schools (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4445/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

Teachers are allocated on the basis of a pupil teacher ratio of 20:1 in fee-paying schools. Under the recent budget measures this will increase to 21:1 with effect from September, 2012. The budget measures also provide for guidance to be managed in the future by all schools from within their standard staffing allocation.

Schools will have autonomy on how best to prioritise its available resources to meet its requirements in relation to guidance and the provision of an appropriate range of subjects to its pupils. Decisions on how this is done are best determined at individual school level. I am confident that schools will act in the best interest of students when determining precisely how to use the teaching resources available to them.

A key priority for me is to continue to prioritise and target available funding at schools with the most concentrated levels of educational disadvantage. All 195 second-level school in DEIS will be given targeted support by a more favourable staffing schedule of 18.25:1. This is a 0.75 point reduction compared to the existing PTR of 19:1 that applies in non-fee-paying second-level schools.

In order to inform future policy on the potential extent and nature of Exchequer investment, including funding for teacher posts, in the fee-charging sector in future years the Department will conduct a specific analysis on tuition fee income available to schools in the sector and its utilisation.

Willie Penrose

Question:

89 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding staffing at a school (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4460/12]

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Willie Penrose

Question:

90 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding staffing at a school (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4461/12]

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I propose to take Questions Nos. 89 and 90 together.

The Statistics Section of my Department's website contains extensive data at individual school level in county order. The most recent information available relates to the 2010/2011 school year. Statistical information in respect of the current school year is currently being compiled in my Department and is due for publication in September 2012.

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on my Department's website. 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 schedules for the current school year and for the coming school year were published on my Department's website in March and December 2011 respectively.

My Department's focus is on implementing the staffing arrangements for the coming school year and I do not propose to divert scarce staffing resources to deal with the individual type queries from the Deputy. My Department will be notifying schools in the coming weeks of the new staffing arrangements for 2012/13 school year.