Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (127)

Bobby Aylward


127. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide extra support for teaching principals in primary schools in view of the increase in responsibilities, reports and paperwork that must be handled by teaching principals to date and the long hours involved in dealing with this work; the position regarding the possibility of allocating one release day per week to teaching principals; if he has investigated the possibility of creating a national cluster of panels to cover this release time, to ensure consistency of curriculum delivery and safeguard the educational experiences and outcomes of pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41131/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Since my appointment as Minister for Education and Skills I have met with a number of Teaching Principals and I appreciate the pressures they face. In Budget 2019, school leadership is again supported with an additional release day for teaching principals in primary schools and a further four additional release days for teaching principals in schools with special classes. These additional release days - 18, 24, and 30 depending on the size of the school - have been in effect since 1st September this year.

This builds on measures in previous budgets, including €0.4 million made available in Budget 2018 to fund almost 4600 additional release days for teaching principals in primary schools.

Since September 2018, there are arrangements in place for schools to cluster their principal release days into a full-time post which will assist teaching principals to more effectively plan their release days for the benefit of the school.

All proposals made in relation to education expenditure are considered in the context of budgetary matters, having regard to overall resource constraints and other competing demands in the education sector.