To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider the case of a small school (details supplied) in County Wexford which is due to lose one of its teachers despite having 87 children on roll; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 9th April, 2014.
The school referred to by the Deputy is seeking to remain as a 4-teacher school on the basis of its enrolments of 84 pupils at 30 September 2013 and 3 additional pupil enrolments in March 2014. The school submitted an appeal to the Staffing Appeals Board on this basis. While there is provision for recognising enrolments in October 2013 there is no provision in the appeals process for recognising enrolments that occur as late as March in any school year. Notwithstanding this, the school can submit a new appeal if its projected enrolment for 30 September 2014 is at least 86 pupils. This would enable the school to remain as a 4-teacher school pending confirmation of its actual enrolments in September.
Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department's requirements in relation to child protection are being implemented and monitored by his Department at a school (details supplied) in County Limerick following the constructive dismissal of the school principal and the resignation of the school board of management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. St Bridgets NS For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 9th April, 2014. Reference Number: 16446/14
Minister Ruairí Quinn I can advise the Deputy that in February 2008 a Department Inspector reported a child protection concern in relation to an employee of the school referred to by the Deputy. The concern related, in the context of the Children First Guidelines, to alleged emotional abuse arising from the manner in which the teacher was observed speaking to pupils and alleged neglect in relation to the teacher refusing a pupil access to the toilet. There was no allegation of child sexual or physical abuse. In accordance with the Department's child protection procedures the matter was reported to the HSE. In May of 2008 the HSE advised that the information provided by the Department would not constitute a report of child abuse under the Children First Guidelines. The Deputy will be aware that the Child and Family Agency has recently taken over the statutory remit previously with the HSE in relation to child protection. My Department has established from that agency that no other concern has been raised with it in relation to the school employee concerned. If the Deputy, or any other person, has a child protection concern regarding this school it should be reported to the Child and Family Agency. If any allegation is referred to my Department, it will be reported to the Child and Family Agency in accordance with the requirements of Children First. At the same time, my Department makes the allegation known to the school authority concerned as employer of the subject of the allegation.