Written Answers. - School Staffing and Accommodation.

John McGuinness


133 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science the reasons for the delay in appointing a fourth assistant teacher to St. Patrick's national school, Clogh, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny; if temporary accommodation will be provided at this school due to the increase in numbers and the projected attendance for Sep tember 2001 of 124 pupils; if the provision and funding for the new extension is fully agreed; if so, the name of the local architects with whom the school should liaise; the steps taken by his Department to appoint a resource teacher; the reasons the communications between his Department and the school are so poor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17514/01]

Liam Aylward


152 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will review the offer of 7.5 hours per week resource service offered to a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny under the revised staffing schedule for disadvantaged schools where the children require one to one tuition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17597/01]

Liam Aylward


153 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will arrange immediate approval of the application by the board of management of a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for temporary accommodation to staff a fourth assistant teacher appointed from 25 June 2001; the progress to date on the application for a permanent extension to this school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17598/01]

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 133, 152 and 153 together.

The staffing of primary schools is determined by reference to the enrolment of the schools on 30 September of the previous school year. This is in accordance with guidelines agreed between my Department and the education partners.

Sanction of the appointment of the fourth mainstream class teacher under maximum class size guidelines for the 2000-01 school year was given in September 2000. However, as accommodation was not available, the post was not filled.

The staff warranted for the 2001-02 school year includes a principal and four mainstream class teachers. In addition, the school retains the services of a shared learning support teacher for the coming school year.

Regarding the question of the appointment of a resource teacher, my Department sanctioned 7.5 hours part-time resource support to cater for the special needs pupils enrolled in the school in question.

My Department's inspectorate has been requested to investigate the feasibility of allocating a full-time resource post to a cluster of schools in the Castlecomer area, including St. Patrick's national school. The resource teacher needs of St. Patrick's national school will be considered in this context.

An application for permanent accommodation was received by my Department in April 2001. This is being examined in the planning and building unit of my Department and a response will be issued to the board of management of the school as soon as possible.

An application for temporary school accommo dation was received in my Department last month. The provision of one classroom in temporary accommodation has been approved and the school authorities have been advised to engage the services of a local consultant to prepare the necessary documentation.