Dáil Éireann - Volume 555 - 17 October, 2002

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

  96. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science the basis on which a request by a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9 for a teacher was turned down by his Department; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that one teacher must now take a class of 38 pupils; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the teaching shortage arose due to the reallocation of a teacher to meet the needs of a special needs child; and if he will review this decision and allow either an additional teacher or an additional special needs teacher or assistant in order that an adequate pupil teacher ratio can be restored to the school. [18736/02]

  Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): The Deputy may be aware that I recently established an independent appeals board to adjudicate on appeals from boards of management on mainstream staffing allocations in primary schools. The appeals board operates independently of the Minister and the Department and its decision is final. A circular outlining these new procedures has recently been issued to all primary schools and is also available on my Department's website, www.education.ie. The staffing of the school referred to by the Deputy for the 2002-03 school year was considered recently by the appeals board. I understand that the board of management of the school was notified of the decision of the independent appeals board on 20 September 2002 and my Department has acted in accordance with its recommendation.