Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (516)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

516. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education if she will address a matter regarding a school (details supplied) that has been informed it will be losing a teacher which will then lead to class sizes being increased, which will not be possible given social distancing measures required. [38657/20]

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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.

There is no change to the mainstream staffing of the school referred to by the Deputy for the 2020/21 school year.

Primary schools are currently provided with class teachers on the basis of one teacher for every 26 pupils which is at its historically lowest level. Budget 2021 has implemented a further 1 point reduction for the 2021/22 school year. In addition, there has been a three point reduction in the retention schedule, which will help to ensure that less pupils are required to recruit or retain a teacher.

The staffing schedule for the 2021/22 school year, which stands at an average of 1 teacher for every 25 pupils, will be published early next year. It is at this stage that all primary schools will be able to ascertain their teacher allocation for the 2021/22 school year.