Archived December 2011

Language Support Posts 2011/12

Applications for support for the year 2011/2012 are to be made on the Form EAL 1/1112 . This form is also available on the DES website.

The DES has issued letters of sanction to schools that applied for EAL posts for the school year 2011/2012. The DES has confirmed that schools that made application, and where more than 25% of the enrolment would qualify for EAL support, have had their applications assessed on the basis of the same criteria as last year, as outlined above. However, schools with less than 25% of the school population requiring EAL support only have those children who have applied for EAL support for the first or second year counted for calculation purposes.

The DES has processed all applications for full-time EAL posts made up to the deadline of 6 May 2011. However, any school that applied after the 6 May 2011 will not have their application processed until the Autumn when a clearer picture emerges of overall staffing levels and teacher numbers. Applications for part-time EAL posts will also be dealt with in the Autumn. Decisions on this issue are framed in the context of the Employment Control Framework under the EU/IMF bail-out deal for Ireland.

As of the end of October 2011, no part-time EAL posts were sanctioned and all schools will have been informed of this decision by the Department. With regards to the late applications for full-time posts schools have now be informed of their allocation.

For schools with fewer than 14 EAL pupils a grant system applies. The grant system, as outlined below, has continued until this year. Applications for grants will be considered in the Autumn.

Current Support mechanisms for EAL children in Ireland

The introduction of introduced positive change in the provision of support for children for whom English is a second language. However, this circular has for all intents and purposes has been revoked and replaced with which reduces support provision. This indicating that ‘language support teachers are appointed to assist schools in providing additional language support teaching for pupils. In collaboration with parents and class teachers, language support teachers identify pupils requiring additional support, administer the assessment materials developed by Integrate Ireland Language and Training, devise appropriate language programmes, deliver the programmes and record and monitor pupils’ progress. It is important that expertise is shared and good practice is communicated and disseminated in order to optimise the opportunities pupils have for developing their proficiency in English.’

The circular also governs the allocation of support according to the number of pupils. According to section 6 of the Circular Language Support Teachers are allocated according to the following ratios:

Schools with fewer than 14 pupils requiring EAL support

Grant aid is allocated at primary level to facilitate the Board of Management in funding the provision of part-time EAL support whilst at post primary level EAL support is allocated on the basis of part-time teaching hours.

Full-time EAL support posts

The table below sets out the full-time resources that can be accessed to provide EAL support for pupils in the first two years:

No. of pupils requiring EAL Support No. of teachers
14-30 1
31-90 2

Alleviation measures for schools with substantial number of pupils requiring EAL support. This will involve up to 2 additional EAL support posts being allocated on the following basis:

No. of pupils requiring EAL Support No. of teachers
91-120 3
121 and over 4

Pupils for the 3rd and subsequent EAL support posts to be counted on the following basis:

  • one for one basis where pupil has less than 1 year of EAL support
  • two for one basis if a pupil has between 1 and 2 years EAL support (i.e. a weighting system will be applied so that every 2 of these pupils that have already had EAL support for between 1 and 2 years will be counted as 1 pupil for the purposes of meeting the allocation thresholds for EAL support posts).

EAL Financial Support Structures: some facts and figures

  • 1-2 EAL pupils: No additional EAL funds or teaching hours.
  • 3-8 EAL pupils: An EAL ‘set-up’ grant of €6,348 – no teaching support hours.
  • 9-13 EAL pupils: ‘Set-up’ grant of €9,523-no teaching support hours.
  • 14 EAL pupils: One temporary Language support teaching post-once-off grant of €634.
  • 28 EAL pupils: Two temporary Language support teaching posts-once-off grant of €634.

Language support teachers are appointed on a temporary basis. Prior to children were entitled to a maximum of two years specific language support however support is now determined according to children's proficiency levels in English according to English Language Proficiency Benchmarks. Children with level 1 and level 2 proficiency qualify for support. According to Level 1 and 2 are classified as:

Level 1 – Very poor comprehension of English and very limited spoken English
Level 2 – Understands some English and can speak English sufficiently well for basic communication