To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the additional workload of the teachers and staff of Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna, particularly in view of the role such schools play in protecting and promoting our national language is taken into account in the determination of pupil-teacher ratios..
– Seán Kyne.
Minister Ruairí Quinn
The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to primary schools is published annually on my Department’s website. The key factor for determining the level of classroom teachers provided at individual school level is the national staffing schedule for the relevant school year and the specific pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location. It currently
operates on the basis of a general average of 1 classroom teacher for every 28 pupils with lower thresholds for DEIS Band 1 schools.
Teaching resources are allocated on a school year basis. Unlike most other areas of the public service teaching vacancies are being filled in accordance with published Department criteria. Within the constraints of the Employment Control Framework schools are permitted to fill teaching vacancies that arise within their approved staffing allocations.
The staffing schedule also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. The detailed arrangements in relation to the appeals process are set in the Department’s Staffing Circular 0013/2013. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.
The challenge for all schools including those referred to by the Deputy is to ensure that they utilise their allocated resources to best effect to maximise teaching and learning outcomes.