Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (103)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

103. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will instruct his Department to carry out a review of the workload of principal teachers with particular emphasis on the role of teaching principals in view of reports that increasing workload pressure, responsibility and accountability is leading to a general negativity about the role of school leadership. [32399/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department is focused on improving its systems and requirements to ensure that the administrative burden for Principals, schools and for the Department itself is minimised as far as possible. To this end, a range of initiatives have been and continue to be undertaken by my Department. One such example is the introduction of electronic submission of primary schools' annual enrolment returns resulting in significant administrative efficiencies to this annual process for both schools and my Department. In recent years, my Department has also simplified the teacher allocation and redeployment processes with a view to giving earlier certainty to schools in relation to their teacher allocation and the arrangements for the filling of teaching posts. Other developments in recent years have included the introduction of an Online Claims System (OLCS) for teacher payroll and the payment of part-time teachers through the Department's payroll. The latter ended the previously burdensome system under which each school, funded by grant payments, was required to make its own arrangements to pay part-time teachers. Across all areas of my Department, we are continuously seeking to identify opportunities, ranging from small administrative changes to the more significant and major reforms, to streamline our processes, achieve better value for money and ultimately improve the education provided to our students. My officials will continue to work, in consultation with stakeholders as appropriate, on addressing this issue on an on-going basis.