Thursday, 7 March 2013

Ceisteanna (90, 97, 102)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which he expects to be in a position to retain the required complement of teachers at primary and second level throughout the country throughout the course of the current year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12190/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

97. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied regarding the adequacy of sufficient number of teachers available at primary and second level to meet the requirements as determined by various school authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12197/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

102. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which he expects to be in a position to control class sizes in the coming year notwithstanding the difficulties arising from the Memorandum of Understanding entered into by his predecessors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12202/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90, 97 and 102 together.

The Government has protected front-line services in schools to the greatest extent possible in the recent budget and there will be no reduction in teacher numbers in primary schools and in free second level schools for the 2013/14 school year as a result of the budget. The DEIS scheme for disadvantaged schools is also fully protected with no overall changes to staffing levels or funding as a result of the budget.

Teacher allocations are approved annually in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. The staffing arrangements at primary and post primary level for the 2013/14 school year have been published and are available on the Department website. The allocation process at individual school level is currently underway. At post primary level and in accordance with existing arrangements, where a school management authority is unable to meet its curricular commitments within its approved allocation, my Department considers applications for additional short term support i.e., curricular concessions.

The allocation processes at both primary and post primary level also include an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the annual staffing arrangements. The Appeal Boards operate independently of the Department and their decisions are final. The final staffing position for all schools at primary and post primary level will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staffing Appeal Boards will have been considered.

Questions Nos. 91 and 92 answered with Question No. 43.