Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (68)

Carol Nolan

Question:

68. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if funding will be restored in budget 2019 for middle management teaching posts in national schools. [41417/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Approximately 3,000 leadership posts have been invested in our primary and post primary schools in the past year. 1 in 3 (34.5%) teachers are now in promoted positions in our schools.

Budget 2017 allocated €2.75m to allow for the commencement of restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model and meant lifting the rigidity of the longstanding moratorium on these posts at primary and post-primary levels. This recognises the key role school leadership has in promoting a school environment which is welcoming, inclusive and accountable.

This Government is committed to investing to support and empower school leaders and the recent expansion of the School Excellence Fund and an expansion of the coaching service available to school leaders will assist in this.

Schools will shortly be invited to apply to form part of a cluster to work together on innovative projects to enhance their schools in a range of important areas over the next 2 years. There will be scope for up to 42 clusters nationwide in the initial phase with each cluster containing between a minimum of three and a maximum of six schools. Priority will be given to applicant clusters containing at least one DEIS school.

I also announced that further funding is being made available to extend the coaching service currently available to school principals, to the Deputy and Assistant Principals on their leadership teams. The service to date has been one to one coaching for principals only. DEIS schools will be prioritised for the extension of the coaching service to incorporate team coaching for the Principal and their leadership team, with up to four sessions being offered to 100 DEIS schools in the first instance.

These measures are in addition to the other supports recently introduced through the Centre for School Leadership including mentoring, a new postgraduate diploma in school leadership and the additional 3,000 middle management posts in schools.