Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (266)

Catherine Martin


266. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason an appeal under circular 0019/2019, appendix F(e), criterion E - small schools, by a school (details supplied) in March 2019 regarding staff retention was declined despite the school having the requisite number of pupils; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this DEIS school must now curtail many of its educational programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18596/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.

The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location.

The staffing schedule includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

As part of Budget 2012, the pupil thresholds in ordinary schools with 4 teachers or less were increased. The Small Schools appeal criterion allows such schools to appeal on the basis of projected enrolment for the coming September.

The school referred to by the Deputy is a DEIS Urban Band 1 school and therefore was not affected by the increased pupil teacher ratio in Budget 2012. The school submitted an appeal to the March meeting of the Primary Staffing Appeals Board and the appeal was deemed ineligible under the criteria as set out in Circular 0019/2019.

The school currently has an enrolment of 60 pupils which under the Staffing Schedule for DEIS Urban Band 1 schools warrants a teacher allocation of a Principal plus 2 Mainstream Teachers. The school also has a Special Education Teaching post.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.