Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 22 November, 2005

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

  522. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the one-teacher schools and the number of pupils enrolled in each of those schools as at 30 September 2005. [35170/05]

  Ms Hanafin: The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table. The Deputy should be aware that the enrolment figures given are provisional and subject to check.

School

Address

Roll No.

Enrolment on 30/9/2005

Corlea N.S

Kingscourt, Co. Cavan

Roll No: 14320 U

13 children

Baltard N.S.

Doonbeg, Kilrush, Co. Clare

Roll No: 15968 I

8 children

S.N. Breac Maigh

Castlelyons, Co. Cork

Roll No: 03993 O

8 children

S.N. Oileán an Chnoic

Leitir Mealain, Co. na Gaillimhe

Roll No: 15518 A

8 children

The Glebe N.S.

Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Roll No: 15900 U

13 children

S.N. Naomh Bríde

Mughros, Carna, Co. Galway

Roll No: 18263 I

5 children

Drumnamore N.S.

Lawderdale, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim

Roll No: 17132 L

12 children

Naomh Mhuire Boys N.S

Lanesboro, Co. Longford

Roll No: 18306 A

4 children

Ratheskin N.S.

Kincon P.O., Killala, Co. Mayo

Roll No: 13866 N

5 children

Tyholland N.S.

Tyholland, Co. Monaghan

Roll No: 13339 N

9 children

Mantua N.S.

Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

Roll No: 02327 S

9 children

Slatta N.S.

Kilglass, Co. Roscommon

Roll No: 13879 W

13 children

[1439] Camcloon N.S.

Athlone, Co. Roscommon

Roll No: 15980 V

12 children

S.N. Naomh Attrachta

Kilmatigue, Aclare, Co. Sligo

Roll No: 13944 H

10 children

S.N. Mhuire Gan Smál

Eanach Mór, Gurteen, Co. Sligo

Roll No: 18711 J

8 children

Gartan N.S.

Gartan, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Roll No: 13755 E

11 children

S.N. Mín na Manrach

An Clochan Liath, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Roll No: 16142 J

12 children

S.N. Dumhach Beag

Dumhach Beag, Baile Láir, Co. Donegal

Roll No: 16242 N

12 children

S.N. Oilibhéar Pluincead

Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly

Roll No: 17187 N

8 children

St. Michael’s N.S.

Church Road, Ardnaree, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Roll No: 12792 F

4 children

  523. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the arrangements that are in place in the event of an accident to a student in a one-teacher school to get the student to the doctor or hospital and to supervise the pupils remaining in the school. [35171/05]

  Ms Hanafin: Sections 14, 15 and 23 of the Education Act 1998 assign each board of management and principal teacher responsibility for the day-to-day management of schools at both primary and post-primary level. Principals should organise supervision for the order and general behaviour of pupils during school hours. In particular, they should organise and participate in the effective supervision of the pupils during breaks, lunch breaks, assembly and dismissal.

Rules 121(4) and 124(1) of the Rules for National Schools and section 23(2) of the Education Act 1998 oblige teachers to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and to participate in supervising pupils when the pupils are on school premises, during school time and/or on school activities. Accordingly, the responsibility of all teachers individually and collectively to provide a duty of care at all times towards the pupils in the school in which they teach, including periods of supervision, remains. Special needs assistants, who may be assigned to schools to cater for pupils with significant care needs, may be required to assist such pupils, if appropriate.

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, it is the responsibility of individual school management authorities to have a safety statement in place in their schools. The statement should identify potential hazards, assess the risks to health and safety and put appropriate provision in place to safeguard the safety and health of employees and pupils. The safety statement should be reviewed on a regular basis.

  524. Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of schools which have lost teachers since the introduction of an initiative on special needs teachers in primary [1440] schools; if she will ensure that no school loses out through an initiative to address special needs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35172/05]

  Ms Hanafin: Schools lose teacher support for various reasons, including reducing enrolments, reduction in the number of Traveller pupils, reduction in the number of non-national pupils who do not have English as a first language as well as reduced levels of pupils with special educational needs. The Department of Education and Science allocates teaching resources according to agreed criteria and posts are gained or lost in accordance with these criteria. Approximately 310 teachers were surplus to requirements in certain schools this year and were placed on appropriate panels for redeployment, and more than 1,000 additional teachers have been allocated to primary schools already this year. Over the next two years 500 extra teachers will be allocated in primary schools to reduce class size and tackle disadvantage, which will mean that class size will be significantly reduced in the coming years. This will benefit all pupils, including those with special educational needs in mainstream classes.

Specifically in the area of special education, the Deputy will be aware that the general allocation of learning support-resource teachers, LS-RTs, is intended to cater for children with learning support and high incidence special educational needs. The system was constructed in order that LS-RT allocations would be based on pupil numbers, taking into account the differing needs of the most disadvantaged schools and the evidence that boys have greater difficulties than girls in this regard.

The new system has a number of benefits as follows: it puts resources in place on a more systematic basis, thereby giving schools more certainty about their resource levels; it facilitates early intervention as the resource is in place when the child enrols; it reduces the need for individual applications and supporting psychological assessments; it allows flexibility to school management in the deployment of resources, leading to a more effective and efficient delivery of services.

[1441] In introducing the general allocation system transitional arrangements were also introduced whereby transitional hours were allocated to schools to cater for children for whom individual teaching resources had previously been allocated but which the school could not continue to provide from its general allocation. In the circumstances no child should have experienced a loss of resource teaching support. It has, however, always been the case that schools that were in receipt of resource teacher support in respect of pupils with special educational needs would lose teacher support, either full posts or part-time hours, when the pupils who triggered the extra support left the school.

In the circumstances I do not propose to restore learning support-resource teachers to schools that no longer need them. It is intended that a review of the general allocation model will be undertaken within three years of operation. I am satisfied that at this stage the general allocation system is working well and has been favourably received by schools. The Department of Education and Science will continue to work with schools and the education partners with a view to ensuring that this remains the case. In excess of 5,000 teachers in our primary schools work directly with children with special needs, including those requiring learning support. This compares with fewer than 1,500 in 1998. One out of every five primary school teachers is now working specifically with children with special needs.