Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Ceisteanna (444, 445, 446)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

444. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the number of schools which have lost a teacher in the 2020-21 academic year. [34819/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

445. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the number of appeals by schools to retain their staffing levels and not lose a teacher in the 2020-21 academic year which were successful. [34820/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

446. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education if the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19 are taken into account by the board of appeals when considering appeals of a reduction of staffing levels in schools. [34821/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 444, 445 and 446 together.

Teaching posts are allocated based on confirmed enrolments from the previous September and the staffing schedule includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

This year my Department and the Primary Staffing Appeals Board were very cognisant of the impact of COVID-19 on schools and in that context have looked carefully at all decisions on the allocation of teaching posts where schools have reduced enrolments to ensure that all decisions are reasonable and all schools are treated fairly.

Due to falling demographics 390 posts were lost in schools while 202 posts were gained due to increasing demographics. The surplus teachers were redeployed into vacancies in schools in time for the start of the 2020/21 school year. This redeployment took place before the Summer break in accordance with the teacher redeployment schemes and staffing schedules. The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally, irrespective of location.

In relation to appeals dealt with by the Primary Appeals Board, 195 appeals were submitted by schools. These included schools that were due to lose a post and schools that sought to gain an additional teaching post based on projected enrolments. 14% of these schools were unsuccessful in their appeal with the main reason being instances where schools had forecasted a larger intake of pupils than materialised and in some cases the overall number of pupils returned on 30th September was lower than last’s years enrolment and did not warrant an additional teacher based on current staffing schedules.