Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (213)

Jonathan O'Brien


213. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will utilise under-employed teachers and trainee teachers for after-school programmes. [5070/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department through the teacher support services engages teachers on a full time basis for the provision of continuing professional development (CPD) through secondment from their schools. In order to be eligible for secondment teachers must be registered with the Teaching Council and be in a recognised post in a recognised school.If there is not sufficient capacity in the full time seconded personnel to meet the demand for CPD part time personnel are engaged for a limited amount of days per annum to provide training for teachers in priority areas. Again these personnel must be registered teachers and must have been in a teaching position within the last two years. As the Deputy can no doubt appreciate, in an evolving school environment and with the reform agenda continuing apace it is vital that teachers who are engaged in the provision of CPD have recent and relevant experience.

The School Completion Programme (SCP) aims to retain young people in the formal education system to completion of senior cycle and to generally improve the school attendance, participation and retention of its target cohort. The SCP is one of three service strands, which also includes the Home School Community Liaison and the Education Welfare Service, being integrated under the remit of the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency. The SCP is a key programme under my Department's DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) action plan.

In 2014, funding of over €24 million is being made available through grant aid arrangements to support 124 school based projects and a number of related initiatives throughout the country. Each project is managed by a Local Management Committee (LMC) which assesses the needs of local students to devise an integrated, costed and targeted proposal of interventions to support these young people. Within the administrative structures the employment of project staff is within the remit of the LMCs. In the development and implementation of local programmes each project considers the competencies it requires in respect of the personnel who are key in delivering each element of its programme. Many SCP projects utilise the services of teaching professionals to deliver those elements of the programme which involve a direct focus on teaching and learning.