Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (68, 78)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

68. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter regarding a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40547/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

78. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40638/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 78 together.

€2.75m was allocated in Budget 2017 to restore middle management positions i.e. the equivalent of approximately 1,300 middle management posts (Assistant Principal I and Assistant Principal II) at both Primary and Post-Primary (2,600 in total).

This measure allowed for the commencement of restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model and meant lifting the longstanding moratorium on these posts. This recognises the key role school leadership has in promoting a school environment which is welcoming, inclusive and accountable.

In total almost 1700 leadership posts have been invested in our primary schools since 2017 which has led to 1 in 3 teachers now holding promoted positions. The Department has committed to revising the Posts of Responsibility table in the leadership and management circulars to take into account retirements during the school year. This ensures that the current level of Posts of Responsibilities are maintained in the school system.

The lifting of the moratorium is an initial phase in the restoration of middle management posts and any future changes to the number of posts allocated will be dependent on budgetary demands.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year. The first and full year costs of this increase is €4 million and €10 million respectively.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets, however, I must have regard to the level of resources which will be available to my Department, in the context of the continuing need for the Government to prudently manage the economy and the public finances and have regard to risks, including those associated with Brexit.

The school the deputy refers to received funding of €193,470.00 in relation to capitation and ancillary services in 2019.

My Department's Loose Furniture & Equipment Scheme is the mechanism for all schools - primary and post-primary - to apply for replacement furniture for teaching spaces and other spaces and to fund the purchase of individual items of furniture and equipment for special needs pupils. In addition, primary school may use their minor works grant to purchase particular furniture if they consider this a priority for their schools.

Requests for funding for replacement furniture and equipment should be submitted to furnitureequipment@education.gov.ie accompanied by three quotations and photographic evidence of the furniture to be replaced.