Dáil Éireann - Volume 456 - 27 September, 1995

Written Answers. - Waterford School Staffing.

143. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education the reason for the failure of her Department to inform the principal of a school (details supplied) in County Waterford of her timetable until 31 August when the school year had already commenced, despite numerous and persistent representations during the months of May, June, July and August by the principal to various officials in her Department requesting part-time hours which had been sanctioned for the past five years; the reason the principal was subsequently told on 31 August that only half the hours requested had been sanctioned; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13502/95]

[150] 144. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education if she will arrange to have the salary of a teacher (details supplied) in County Waterford approved by the Department of Finance. [13503/95]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together. My Department is very conscious of the need to have matters relating to the staffing of individual schools finalised well in advance of the reopening of schools after the summer holidays so as to ensure a smooth resumption of normal school activity. To this end, applications for the allocation of additional part-time hours are processed and decisions conveyed to the schools concerned with the minimum of delay.

In the current school year applications in relation to part-time hours had to be considered in the light of the Government's decision that increases in public expenditure, including those in the education sector, must be contained. Accordingly, it was not possible to finalise the part-time hours allocation for the school in question until later than would normally be the case.

I should add that the authorities of the school in question have submitted an appeal for an increased allocation. My Department is considering the matter in the context of available resources and a decision will be conveyed to the school authorities as soon as possible.

In relation to the salary of the teacher in question, the distribution among individual part-time teachers of the hours allocated by my Department is a matter for the school authorities. My Department's funding is, of course, restricted to the level of part-time hours approved.