Education Minister must publish enrolment figures – BREEN.

November 6th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen is demanding that the Education and Science Minister Batt O’Keeffe publish the enrolment figures for all Schools in County Clare as a matter of urgency.

Deputy Breen’s call follows a parliamentary question he tabled to the Minister recently regarding the concerns of the teachers, parents and students attending St. Mochullas N.S. in Tulla following the education cutbacks announced in Budget 2009.

“The situation at St. Mochullas N.S. in Tulla is that this year they had 261 pupils and 10 teachers as a result of these cuts in September 2009 this school will have 270 pupils with 9 teachers; a teacher/pupil ratio of 30:1. Of course, St. Mochullas N.S. in School is not alone every other school in County Clare is facing a similar situation.”

“The Minister admits that in the case of Tulla he is not in a position to provide the staffing level for 2009/2010 as it cannot “be determined until the allocation process has fully concluded.”

“Last week thousands of teachers and parents including many who travelled from County Clare and indeed many from Tulla marched on the Dail highlighting their concerns about the impact that these cutbacks will have on their children’s education, and in spite of these protests the Government voted down an Opposition motion which sought to have these cuts reversed.”

“Like so many of this Governments Budget proposals the figures do not add up.”

“If Batt O’Keeffe is so certain that only 200 teachers will be lost at primary level and 200 at secondary level, why doesn’t he publish the enrolment figures that would back this up?”

“How can he stand over his figures when he does not have the update information to hand? The INTO have produced data that shows 1,000 teaching posts and the only way to check the veracity of his claims is to immediately publish the enrolment figures in each school in the country.”

See parliamentary question underneath for your information.

 

 

Uimhir:551

To ask the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn

to the consequences of budgetary cutbacks for a school (details supplied) in

County Clare; if he will ensure that the current number of teachers are

retained at the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

The budget cutbacks for Education announced in Budget 2009 will have a serious

impact on St. Mochullas, N.S., Tulla, Co. Clare. In September 2008 they had 261

pupils and 10 teachers as a result of these cuts in September 2009 this school

will have 270 pupils with 9 teachers; a teacher/pupil ratio of 30:1. This

School must retain their current level of teachers otherwise the delivery of

education to those children will suffer.

 

 

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 29th October, 2008.

Reference Number: 37403/08

Freagra

 

 

Minister Batt O’Keeffe

 

The specific information requested by the Deputy in relation to the detailed

staffing allocation of the school in question for the academic year 2009/10

cannot be determined until the allocation process has fully concluded. There is

nothing exceptional in this. The allocation process includes appellate

mechanisms under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them

under the staffing schedules. At primary level the final allocation to a school

is also a function of the operation of the redeployment panels which provide

for the retention of a teacher in an existing school if a new post is not

available within the agreed terms of the scheme.

Schools are currently returning data to my Department in relation to their

enrolment as of 30 September. My Department has commenced processing this data

although all schools have not yet made their returns. The allocation processes

including notification to schools will commence early in the New Year.

Notwithstanding the increase of €302 million in the Education budget for 2009,

which is a real achievement in the current economic climate, a number of tough

and difficult decisions had to be taken. These decisions included an increase

in the enrolment bands of the staffing schedule for the allocation of teachers

in primary schools from an average of one teacher for 27 pupils to an average

of one teacher for 28 pupils.