Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (379)

Joan Burton

Question:

379. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of school secretaries who have been employed directly by his Department in each of the past five years; if principals can apply for Department-paid status for their secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19792/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

A Scheme was initiated in 1978/79 for the employment of Clerical Officers in primary and post primary schools.

Currently there are 153 primary and 110 post primary whole time equivalent Clerical Officers (School Secretaries) employed in schools under the 1978/79 Scheme and paid through my Department’s payroll.

This 1978/79 scheme has been superseded by a more extensive capitation grant Scheme. The current grant scheme was agreed in the context of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, published in 1991. The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under the grant scheme.

It is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs. Where a school uses the grant funding for caretaking or secretarial purposes, any staff taken on to support those functions are employees of individual schools. Specific responsibility for the pay and conditions rests with the school.

On a related matter the Deputy may also be interested to know that I have recently relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ an additional School Secretaries up to a maximum of two per school. There are 91 schools in the C&C and ETB Sector who meet this criteria, based on the information currently available to this Department. This is an initial step and has taken immediate effect.