Written Answers. - Teaching Posts.

Noel Ahern

Ceist:

543 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Education and Science if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 153 of 26 March 1998 in relation to staffing requirements at Sacred Heart Boys' national school, Ballygall, Dublin 11, which is threatened with the loss of its 16th teacher which is causing great stress and concern to parents as it will result in two classes of 40 pupils each and a split class of 35, he will give the position on the matter; if he will approve the retention of the 16th teacher; if he will give details of the criteria under which decisions are arrived at for schools with disadvantaged status and other schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12361/98]

Proinsias De Rossa

Ceist:

544 Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Education and Science if his Department will reconsider the decision to withdrawn a teacher from the Sacred Heart School, Ballygall, Dublin 11, in view of the fact it will result in class sizes of 40 or more pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12362/98]

I intend to take Questions Nos. 543 and 544 together.

The staffing of primary schools, including schools designated as disadvantaged, is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous school year.

The sixteenth teaching post at Sacred Heart Boys' national school will be lost at the end of the current school year because the enrolment at the school in September 1997 declined to 471 pupils, seven points below the figure set for the retention of this post. Accordingly, the authorised staffing level for the school for the 1998-99 school year is a principal, 15 teachers and a further two remedial teachers.

Schools which are unable to organise their classes in compliance with maximum class size guidelines may apply to my Department for additional staffing. If the managerial authorities of this school project feel the September 1998 enrolment at the school is likely to be such that it cannot be managed within recommended maximum class size guidelines, details of the projected enrolment should be forwarded to my Department immediately.