11th April 2022
The announcement of the staffing arrangements for primary schools from next September again heralds a very welcome reduction in primary class sizes.
DE Circular 0025/2022 confirms a further reduction in the primary staffing schedule by one point bringing class size to an average of 24 in mainstream classes, with lower thresholds applying in DEIS Band 1 schools. The circular includes the application of the one-point reduction to all primary schools in the DEIS scheme. 350 additional mainstream teachers are being appointed to support this measure.
INTO President Joe Mc Keown said:
While recognising that this is the second successive year of a reduction in class size, fast-tracked reductions will be urgently required post-pandemic to bring Irish class sizes to the EU average of 20 pupils. Numerous international research projects have shown the huge benefits of lower-class sizes, especially for children who face educational disadvantage and those in junior classes within primary schools. Lower class sizes support inclusion and diversity, allow for more individual attention and impact positively on academic achievement. Irish children deserve the same classroom experience as their European neighbours.”
The Circular also includes at Appendix C the allocation of NCSE hours on foot of the reprofiling of schools. A separate Circular 0020/2022 outlines the basis for this allocation.
620 additional posts are being allocated as follows:
- 100 to meet the needs of new and developing schools;
- 120 to meet the expected outcome of Exceptional Needs Reviews carried out by the NCSE over the year; and
- 400 posts to be distributed proportionately across those schools showing a need for an increased allocation under the SET Allocation model.
For the 2022/23 school year, increases/decreases in allocations are being capped at 20%, so 66% of schools will receive an unchanged allocation.
Supports for Teaching Principals
Circular 0026/2022 confirms the retention of one leadership and management day a week which the INTO negotiated for every teaching principal. This scheme has proven to be very successful in alleviating workload for teaching principals. This year, 217 groups of five small schools pooled their days to create a shared teaching post, thereby giving consistency and certainty to each of the 1,085 classes being taught by a teaching principal. It is hoped that any remaining schools with teaching principals will create similar clusters from September 2022.
Substitute teacher supply panels
The INTO welcomes the continuation of the substitute teacher supply panel scheme to support schools during the next school year. The INTO firmly believes that this scheme is vital in ensuring availability of substitute cover for short-term absences and that the scheme must be extended to all primary and special schools. The current level of posts in supply panel areas will be reviewed at the end of the school year. Base schools will be notified of supply panel allocations for next year at that time.
Members should note Monday, 9 May 2022 as a key date for staffing arrangements in Primary Schools for the 22/23 school year.
By Monday 9 May 2022, teachers and schools should:
- Notify the relevant Panel Operator of any permanent or fixed term vacancy;
- Return Main Redeployment Panel Application Form (Appendix E) for surplus permanent/CID holding teachers to the Department’s Primary Teacher Allocations Section;
- Return Form S.ET cluster 2022/23 (Appendix D) to the Department’s Primary Teacher Allocations Section to notify new Special Education Teacher cluster arrangements;
- Return CID Declaration Form 22 (Appendix G) in respect of all teachers awarded a CID in or before the 2021/22 school year and a Main Panel Application Form, if applicable, to the Department’s Primary Teacher Allocations Section;
- Submit completed Staffing Appeals Form (Appendix F) for the May meeting of the Primary Staffing Appeals Board to the Department’s Primary Teacher Allocations Section; and
- Submit applications for Principal Release Day clusters.
The Main Redeployment Panels will be published in early June for schools to appoint teachers from the panels to vacancies.
Delayed publication of Circular
While we welcome the certainty that this circular brings to schools in relation to their staffing for next year, we are disappointed that the publication of the circular is so late this year and that it has been issued during the Easter holidays. Principals and teachers have been awaiting news on whether a post will be retained or created in their schools. The DE must revert to ensuring that this important information arrives in schools in a timely manner.
The INTO will run a webinar on Contracts of Indefinite Duration and the Main Panel on Tuesday April 26th at 3:15pm. Register here.
Please note the following links:
- Circular 0025/2022– Staffing arrangements in Primary Schools for the 2022/23 school year
- Circular 0026/2022- Release Time for Teaching Principals
- Circular 0020/2022- Special Education Teaching Allocation 2022/23
- FAQ– Staffing arrangements in Primary Schools for the 2022/23 school year
- FAQ- Redeployment Arrangements
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix A – Schedule of Enrolment of Pupils Governing the Appointment and Retention of Mainstream Class Teachers in Ordinary Schools, Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht National Schools for the 2022/23 school year
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix B – Enrolments required for Administrative Principal status and Administrative Deputy Principal status in Ordinary Schools, Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht National Schools for the 2022/23 school year
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix C- Updated SET and EAL allocations for schools
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix D– Application form Special Education Teacher Post (Shared) 2022/23
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix E Application Form for Permanent/CID Holding Teachers’ Access to the Main Redeployment Panel for the 2022/23 school year
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix F Application to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board for the 2022/23 School Year
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix G Declaration by a school for the 2022/23 school year where a teacher has acquired a CID under Part A1 or A2 of Circular 0023/2015
- Circular 0025/2022 Appendix H Application for department sanction for the award to a teacher, of a contract of indefinite duration (CID) in the 2021/22 school year in accordance with Circular 0023/2015