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School Staffing

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 December 2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Questions (121)

Seán Kyne

Question:

121. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether there is a critical number of teachers required to fulfil the full curriculum in secondary schools and if he acknowledges that the future survival of a secondary school in a rural location could be endangered where teacher numbers fall below a critical level. [51962/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Teacher allocations to all second level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. The criteria for the allocation of posts are communicated to school managements annually and are available on the Department website.In accordance with these rules each school management authority is required to organise its subject options within the limit of its approved teacher allocation.

At post primary level and in accordance with existing arrangements, where a school management authority is unable to meet its curricular commitments within its approved allocation, my Department considers applications for additional short term support i.e., curricular concessions. The allocation process also includes an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the published staffing arrangements. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decisions is final.

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act 2012). The deployment of teaching staff in the school, the range of subjects offered and ultimately the quality of teaching and learning are in the first instance a matter for the school management authorities. Preparation for the staffing and redeployment process for the 2014/15 school year is currently underway in my Department. The staffing arrangements for all schools for the 2014/15 school year will be published early in 2014.

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