Dysfunction in Department of Education causing administrative nightmare for schools

12 April 2022

With constant delays and indecision in the Department of Education, Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has demanded a debate with the Minister of Education once the Oireachtas returns from the Easter break.

Pointing to a range of issues relating to staffing scheduling, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said schools must be provided with information from the Department in a much more timely fashion.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Five years ago, the staffing schedule was announced on January 28th. Fast forward to 2022, and the staffing schedule was only released by the Department last night, on the first day of the Easter holidays. With vital administrative information arriving later and later each year, schools are hamstrung and scrambling to make the allocations work. This is unacceptable and I am demanding a debate with the Minister to clarify the range of issues in the Department.

“SEN allocations were also released yesterday, leaving very little time for school communities to work out local allocations. Meanwhile, the SNA allocations are yet to be released. This is simply unacceptable and will cause chaos in schools throughout the country. It points to a clear disconnect between the Department and school communities.

“The majority of schools are still weighed down with the burden of finding alternative staffing arrangements due to Covid, and the delay in receiving staffing allocations will only add to this strain.

“Meanwhile, we are still in dark about the date for the leaving cert results this year. As universities seek to set the timetable for the next academic year, they need clarity from the Department about commencement dates.

“In light of these issues, the Minister must agree to a debate on the range of issues in the Department. I have made numerous representations to the Minister’s office seeking a meeting with education spokespeople. I would welcome the opportunity to speak to the Minister on the range of issues unresolved by the Department.”

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