The method of determining the appointment and retention of teachers in amalgamated schools is the same as that which applies in mainstream national schools, i.e. the staffing complement of a school for any given school year is determined by the enrolment of the previous 30 September.
However, a newly amalgamated school may be entitled to an extra concessionary post on amalgamation, i.e. an additional teacher over and above that which the school would normally be entitled by reference to the mainstream staffing schedule. Normally, a concessionary post is granted in the context of retaining the post of a teacher from one of the schools being amalgamated which would otherwise be lost due to declining enrolment. Where a concessionary post is granted, the school will retain an additional teacher for as long as the staff involved at the time of the amalgamation remain in the school.
If a teacher involved at the time of the amalgamation voluntarily leaves the school after one year from the date of the amalgamation, the concessionary post is lost and staffing will be determined solely by reference to the mainstream staffing schedule. However, in such circumstances, where a teacher leaves during the school year, a temporary teacher may be sanctioned by the Department of Education and Skills to the end of the school year.
In general, where an amalgamated school has a declining enrolment and it is necessary to compulsorily redeploy a teacher by means of the panel, the staffing concession will not be affected, i.e. the school will continue to be entitled to a concessionary post above that warranted by the mainstream staffing schedule.
An amalgamated school is considered to be a new school and will be assigned a new roll number. A new board of management will also be established. Pending the establishment of the new board (usually from the beginning of the school year) the Department of Education and Skills will recognise temporarily an individual manager, nominated by the patron of the school.
The manager oversees the arrangements for the amalgamation and makes arrangements for the appointment of the principal teacher.
The board of management of the amalgamated school should define the seniority of all the teachers involved in the amalgamation. Where a teacher has given service continuously, in one or more of the schools being amalgamated, the aggregate of that service will be reckoned in determining seniority.
Addendum to the Panel
Various panels exist which provide a mechanism to redeploy permanent teachers whose posts are suppressed due to declining enrolments.
When the post of a teacher is suppressed in an amalgamated school the teacher most junior in the order of seniority will be entitled to have her/his name placed on the "addendum to the panel", providing that s/he was serving in one of the schools at the time of the amalgamation. The difference between the addendum to the panel and the main panel is that a teacher with addendum panel rights is not obliged to accept a post outside a radius of 24 km/15 miles from her/his existing school. (Generally a radius of 45km/28 miles applies).
In addition, teachers who are required to move to another school will carry their addendum panel rights with them to the school in which they are placed from the panel, and will retain these rights until they move from their new school voluntarily.
- Where two schools are being amalgamated the principal of the amalgamated school is appointed from among the principals of the schools being amalgamated. The former principal who does not become principal of the amalgamated school is known as a privileged assistant. Where more than two schools are amalgamated it is possible to have two or more privileged assistants in the newly amalgamated school.
- A privileged assistant is retained in the newly amalgamated school, irrespective of enrolment.
- Privileged assistants will retain, for the remainder of their teaching careers, the level of principal's allowance appropriate to their former school (unless they are appointed to a post of responsibility carrying a higher allowance).
Promoted Posts in an Amalgamated School
The text below is taken from Circular 07/03: Appointments to Posts of Responsibility.
The following regulations apply for schools which amalgamated with effect from 1 September 2002.
- There is no blocking of posts of responsibility in schools with up to 5 ex principals (i.e. privileged assistants)/deputy principals/vice principals. One post will be blocked where there are 6 ex principals/deputy principals/vice principals and two posts are blocked where there are 7 or more than 7 ex principals/deputy principals/vice principals.
- Where there are surplus assistant principals (personal basis) and special duty teachers (personal basis) post holders in schools following amalgamations, this number will be retained as the minimum number of posts for a period of 5 years following amalgamation. After five years the school's entitlement to posts of responsibility will be determined by the schedule of posts as outlined in Appendix B [Ref: DES 07/03] and personal basis post holders may prevent the filling of posts of responsibility.
- Prior to 1 September 2002 a privileged assistant teacher retained for the remainder of his/her teaching career the level of principal’s allowance appropriate to his/her former school as long as s/he did not accept a post to which a higher allowance was attached. However, with effect from 1 September 2002 the privileged assistant is allowed to retain the allowance for one voluntary move only which takes place on or after this date (A privileged assistant will not prevent the filling of a post of responsibility in the school to which s/he voluntary move, providing the move takes place on or after 1 September 2002). A privileged assistant must undertake post of responsibility duties. Such duties should be broadly in line with duties assigned to special duties teachers.
- The amalgamated school should notify the Primary Payments Section of the Department of the actual post of responsibility holder in the amalgamated school using the POR1 Amend Form.
Contacting the Department of Education
The Department of Education and Skills Planning Section address is Portlaoise Rd, Tullamore, Co Offaly, Tel: 0506 21363.
Further Advice from the INTO
It is recommended that when an amalgamation is proposed, the teachers from the schools concerned should contact their District Representative to discuss the details of the proposal.