Written Answers. - Blackrock (Louth) National School.

Dermot Ahern

Ceist:

409 Mr. D. Ahern asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the fact that Blackrock national school, County Louth has lost one of its teachers as a result of the recent redeployment in spite of the fact that next year, based on September 1996 figures, this school will be able to re-employ the additional teacher; her views on whether this places an undue difficulty on the school staff, parents and the children; the plans, if any, she has to ensure that the pupil/teacher ratio in the affected classes is kept as low as possible; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16397/96]

The staffing of a national school for a particular year is determined by the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous year.

The authorised staffing at Blackrock national school for the current school year, which consists of a principal and 12 assistant teachers, is based on an enrolment of 383 pupils in September 1995.

At this stage, it is not possible to indicate the likely staffing situation at the school in the 1997-98 school year. The first stage in determining the 1997-98 staffing allocation will not commence until data relating to enrolments at 30 September, 1996 is submitted to my Department. Thereafter, checking and analysis of the data must be undertaken. In the circumstances, the Deputy will appreciate that it will be some time yet before many consideration can be given to the 1997-98 staffing allocations.

However, I assure the Deputy that if the current enrolment at Blackrock national school is not capable of being managed within recommended maximum class size guidelines, it is open to the managerial authorities of the school to contact my Department in the matter.