Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ceisteanna (66)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

69 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to allocate a school (details supplied) five hours per mainstream teacher learning support instead of four hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23375/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Skills)

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on my Department's 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 arrangements in schools for the 2012/2013 school year can also be affected by changes in their enrolment, the impact of budget measures and the reforms to the teacher allocation process. A key part of the reforms of the allocation process was to facilitate a long overdue updating of the GAM (learning support) allocation for all schools. The criteria for the allocation of GAM hours by school type including DEIS schools are outlined in circular 007/2012. The reform inevitably involves changes to existing clustering arrangements whereby a teacher is shared between schools. A further change is that schools in any locality are being empowered to cluster and arrange their GAM resources in a manner that best suits their local needs.

The staffing arrangements include provision for an appeals mechanism for schools to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. The school referred to by the Deputy submitted an appeal and the Board upheld this appeal at its meeting on the 18th and 19th April 2012. The school has been notified accordingly.