Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (507)

John McGuinness


507. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education the number of primary schools nationwide that have teaching principals; if a senior official from her Department will meet the boards of management of schools (details supplied) regarding the working principals position and the health and safety issues facing staff and students on a daily basis in both schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27227/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

There were 1737 schools with teaching principals in the 2019/20 school year.

The staffing arrangements, including the criteria for Administrative Principal and the number of Principal Release Days allocated to schools, are set out in Department circulars and apply to all schools equally.

Appendix B of Circular 18/2020 sets out the criteria for Administrative Principal to a primary school.  Schools, such as the ones referred to by the Deputy, required an enrolment of 176 on 30th September 2019 to meet this criteria.  As neither school achieved the required enrolment on that date, it is not possible to allocate an administrative principal to the schools in the current school year.

The financial package approved by Government to support schools recognises that COVID-19 poses significant challenges. The Government published the Roadmap for the Full Return to School, along with details of a financial package of over €375 million to support the implementation of the measures in the roadmap which included €10.2m in additional funding to support Principals and Deputy Principals who also undertake teaching duties in primary schools.  This funding provides each teaching principal with one release day per week which both schools can avail of.