Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (46)

Finian McGrath

Question:

46. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding second level subject choice and the leaving certificate (details supplied). [23657/14]

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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.I recognise that teacher allocations set the parameters in relation to the number of subjects on offer in schools. However, 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. Sharing arrangements between post-primary schools can help to ensure that the range of subjects available to pupils is maximised.

If schools have difficulties with providing individual subjects (e.g through a retirement of a teacher in one of the subjects concerned) some short-term support is provided through the curricular concessions process to enable them to meet their curricular needs. The detail of this process is set out with the criteria for the allocation of posts and is also available on the website.

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.