Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (75)

Brendan Smith


73 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of resource teacher and learning support posts allocated in each year since 1997, including the number to be allocated for the 2012/2013 school year. [34072/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in my Department. 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.In the current school year there are circa 6,700 resource and learning support (General Allocation Model) posts in primary schools.

Under the proposed reforms for the coming school year the combined resources available for GAM (General Allocation Model) and language support (currently 4,700 posts) will be used to create a single simplified allocation process to cover both the GAM and language support. Schools will have autonomy on how to deploy the resource between language support and learning support depending on their specific needs. The new GAM arrangements also provide for additional permanent teaching posts (350) to be given to schools with high concentration of pupils that require language support. Further additional temporary EAL support will also be provided, as necessary, to schools that will have high concentrations of pupils that require language support in the 2012/13 school. These allocations will be made on the basis of appeals by any of these schools to the Staffing Appeals Board.

The NCSE has notified all schools of their allocation for the 2012/13 school year of resource hours for low incidence special needs. The arrangements for how schools access these resource hours in teaching posts are set out in the Department Staffing Circular 0007/2012. Under these arrangements a network of over 2,500 full-time resource posts has been put in place in close to 1,700 base schools throughout the country. The list of these schools and the criteria used to select them is set out in the published Circular. These resource posts are allocated on a permanent basis and the teachers in them will undertake NCSE approved (low incidence) resource hours in the base schools or in neighbouring schools. Schools that are unable to access these hours will be allocated mainly temporary part-time posts. It is also open to schools to make a joint application for a full-time temporary resource post. The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and all appeals to the Staffing Appeals Board will have been considered.