Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (213)

Catherine Murphy


213. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of uncovered absences by a qualified substitute teacher in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7832/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Substitute teachers are employed by the managerial authorities of schools and paid salary by my Department.

The number of substitutable days in primary schools where no substitution cover was claimed in the 2017/18 school year was 92,299. The number in post primary schools excluding ETBs was 25,608. This information has been extracted from the Online Claims System (OLCS). The Online Claims System (OLCS) is the system designed to enable schools to record all absences (substitutable and non-substitutable) for all Staff Members paid directly on the Departments payroll and to make claims for substitution. The information in relation to the 2018/19 school year is not available.

Some of the reasons as to why there is no substitute claim recorded by the managerial authority of the school are as follows:

Professional Teacher Development - In some cases the schools were closed as teachers attended in service training for the new primary curriculum. These absences are recorded as professional teacher development and as such is normally a substitutable absence but if the school is closed for the training then no substitute is employed.

Force Majeure/Illness in Family - The first day of this leave absence is not substitutable.

Self-Certified (Uncertified) Sick Leave - This leave is no longer substitutable except in smaller primary schools for multiple absences on the same day. This does not apply at post-primary level as all self certified sick leave absences are non-substitutable.

Job–Sharing - If a teacher is job-sharing and goes on leave for e.g. Maternity Leave, Sick Leave their leave is entered in one block and there will only be a substitute recorded for that teacher for one week out of every two as their job-sharing partner is working the other week.

Visiting Teachers - These teachers must have their leave recorded on OLCS but due to the nature of their posts they may not always be replaced by a substitute.

Teachers with Regular part-time Contracts of less than 25 hour e.g. Teacher absent on maternity/sick leave etc. with a contract of 10 hours per week. The leave is entered for the total absence but less than 5 days per week are substitutable, leaving the other days of the week displaying as no substitute used.

Principal Release – A number of these days are covered by the Primary Principals release supply panel. Currently there are a number of temporary teachers employed who cover these absences across a number of schools. These absences are recorded but no substitute is required.

Supervision and Substitution - Some substitutable absences in post-primary schools are covered by teachers whom have signed up for the Supervision and Substitution Scheme which means that there will not be a claim submitted for some absences.