The submission referred to by the Deputy, concerning the need of schools in County Sligo for a resource teacher post, has been received in my Department.
In March 1997, the outgoing Minister for Education agreed staffing arrangements for primary schools for the 1997-98 school year with the Irish National Teachers Organisation. These agreed arrangements were based on the allocation of surplus posts available for redistribution from the demographic dividend for the 1997-98 school year.
For the current school year, a total of 31 additional resource teachers have been allocated to primary schools. This brings the total number of resource teachers in the primary system to 77.
I am at present reviewing provision across the special needs area, including the resource teaching service, to ensure that all available resources are deployed as effectively as possible.
I can assure the Deputy that the needs of the national schools to which he refers, in south Sligo, will be fully considered in the context of any additional allocation of resource teachers which may be undertaken.