Dáil Éireann - Volume 661 - 24 September, 2008
Written Answers. - School Staffing.
Deputy Róisín Shortall Deputy Róisín Shortall
Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the case of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9 that was notified by officials that it is to lose a teacher from September 2008; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this will result in a number of very large class sizes, in some cases a pupil teacher ratio of 38:1; and if he will undertake to review the staff allocation in this case. [30413/08]
Deputy Batt O’Keeffe Deputy Batt O’Keeffe
Deputy Batt O’Keeffe: The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30th September of the previous school year. The actual number of mainstream posts sanctioned is determined by reference to a staffing schedule which is issued to all primary schools each year.
The staffing schedule allocates teachers within enrolment bands and the current bands are based on an average of 27 pupils. While the schedule allocates on the basis of an average each individual school decides how to arrange its classes.
Posts allocated on the basis of this staffing schedule are specifically for mainstream classes and should be deployed accordingly. School authorities are requested to ensure that the number of pupils in any class is kept as low as possible, taking all relevant contextual factors into account (e.g. classroom accommodation, fluctuating enrolment). In particular, school authorities should ensure that there is an equitable distribution of pupils in mainstream classes and that the differential between the largest and smallest classes is kept to a minimum.
Data submitted to my Department by the Board of Management of the school referred to by the Deputy, indicates that the enrolment in the school on 30th September 2006 was 236 pupils. In accordance with the staffing schedule (Circular 0020/2007), which is available on my Department’s website at www.education.ie, the mainstream staffing in the school for the 2007/08 school year was a Principal and 9 mainstream class teachers.
According to data submitted to my Department by the Board of Management of the school, the enrolment in the school on 30th September 2007 was 227 pupils. In accordance with the staffing schedule (Circular 0010/2008), which is available on my Department’s website at www.education.ie and a hard copy of which has been issued to all primary schools, the mainstream staffing in the school for the current school year is a Principal and 8 mainstream class teachers.
It is open to the Board of Management to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeal Board which was established to adjudicate on appeals on mainstream staffing allocations in primary schools. Details of the criteria and application dates for appeal are contained in the staffing schedule. The criteria are also available in Circular 0024/2007 (Appeal Board for Mainstream Staffing in Primary Schools) which is available on my Department’s website.
The first meeting of the Appeal Board took place on 20th May, 2008. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on 28th October 2008. The closing date for receipt of appeals is 10  October 2008. Appeals must be submitted to Primary Payments Section, Department of Education and Science, Athlone, on the standard application form, clearly stating the criterion under which the appeal is being made. The application form is available from Primary Payments Section or on my Department’s website.
The Appeal Board operates independently of my Department and its decision is final.
Dáil Éireann 661 Written Answers. School Staffing.