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March 2017

Primary schools in the dark about staffing allocations

There is mounting anger in primary schools at Department’s silence on teacher numbers

The INTO today condemned the failure of the Department of Education and Skills to notify schools of staffing numbers for the next school year. The union said principal teachers in particular are frustrated by the failure of the Department to provide needed clarity to schools on teacher numbers.

The union said parents rightly wanted to know what teaching schools would be able to provide for their children, particularly in light of the proposed new model of allocating special education teachers to schools. Teachers want to know about their employment prospects after the summer. Principals want to put in place arrangements to make sure they have staffing in place. Without basic information about teacher numbers from the Department nobody is getting answers to anything.

This information has been provided to second level schools. However, primary schools are being kept in the dark and unable to begin essential planning.

The lack of information to schools is inexcusable.

The Minister regularly refers to his ambition to make the education service the best in the world. Letting schools know what staffing they will have for the coming year would be a pretty basic step. Last month we had a big press launch about the new special education model. Since then schools have heard absolutely nothing.

The general secretary Sheila Nunan called on the Department to provide schools with staffing information as a matter of urgency. 

Date: Thursday, 2 March 17