Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (202)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

202. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider reviewing the teaching allocation given to physics (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16220/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Teacher allocations to all schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. The criteria for the allocation of teaching posts are communicated to school managements annually and are available on the Department website. 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.

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).

Circular 0015/2019 which is available on my Department's website introduces a new scheme to share teachers between recognised post-primary schools and is intended to provide schools with flexibility around the provision of certain subjects that are experiencing a supply shortage. The scheme, which is a result of work carried out by the Teacher Supply Steering Group, is expected to ease recruitment pressures in some specific subject areas such as STEM including Physics, modern languages, Irish, and Home Economics.

Addressing the supply issues is a matter of national priority for the Government and it is hoped that Principals and boards of management in schools will seize the opportunity to engage with other schools in their local areas.