Dáil Éireann - Volume 503 - 27 April, 1999
Written Answers. - School Staffing.
Mr. R. Bruton Mr. R. Bruton
256. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to a survey carried out in 17 voluntary secondary schools in the Tipperary and Clare areas which indicate that most schools are experiencing a deterioration in their staffing allocation in spite of his claims that they are making improvements;  if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that, where some schools are receiving new allocations to compensate for the loss of teachers, the new allocations are essentially part-time hours rather than a full-time post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10669/99]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I am aware of the survey referred to by the Deputy.
The teacher allocation for an individual voluntary secondary school for a particular school year consists of approved ex-quota or concessionary posts and the posts warranted by the enrolment at the end of the preceding September on the basis of the current pupil teacher ratio. Where the number of permanent teachers employed in the school exceeds the approved allocation, the surplus teachers are liable for redeployment in accordance with the terms of the redeployment scheme.
As a result of the initiative announced as part of the budget proposals, an additional 225 teaching posts will be provided at second level this year which will enable a move towards the provision of an automatic remedial resource in all schools and home/school/community liaison in all disadvantaged schools. In the case of schools with over quota teachers who might otherwise be redeployed, this resource will be used in the first instance to meet the remedial and home/school needs of the school.
Schools which are within quota and lack the appropriate remedial and home/school provision will receive an additional allocation. The allocation in respect of remedial will be a full post in the case of a school with 600 or more pupils and 0.5 of a post where enrolment is below 600. In the case of home/school/community liaison, the allocation to each disadvantaged school will be 0.5 of a post. In this regard, the Deputy will appreciate that, where the additional allocation is less than a full post, this provision can only be met through the allocation of part-time hours.
In addition, a retention ratio of 18:1 is being applied to schools which, following implementation of the above package, have on their staff over quota teachers thus allowing those schools to retain teachers who might otherwise have been placed on the redeployment panel. Secondary schools in Clare and Tipperary are benefiting to varying degrees as a result of these provisions.
As the Deputy will see from these moves, it is simply unsustainable to suggest that the staffing of second level schools is not being improved, especially in comparison with the policies which pertained previous to when this Government came to office.
I should add that it is open to the authorities of individual secondary schools to apply to my Department for an increase in the teacher allocation in order to cater for curricular shortfalls within the school. Each such application received will be considered in the context of available resources.
Dáil Éireann 503 Written Answers. School Staffing.