Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (256)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Question:

256. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a class size has been increased in a school (details supplied). [34721/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

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 30th September.

The school referred to by the Deputy is due to have a teaching post suppressed due to a fall in enrolments in September 2018.

The staffing process includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. The school referred to by the Deputy submitted a staffing appeal to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board.  The appeal was refused on the basis that the grounds of the appeal did not warrant the allocation of an additional post under Circular 0019/2019.

The configuration of classes and the deployment of classroom teachers are done at local school level. My Department's guidance to schools is that the number of pupils in any class is kept as low as possible taking all relevant contextual factors into account (e.g. classroom accommodation, fluctuating enrolment etc.). School authorities are also requested, where possible, to use their autonomy under the staffing schedule to implement smaller class sizes for junior classes.