BRITTAS Bay National School has been successful in its appeal for the retention of six mainstream teachers for the 2022/2023 school year.
ast month, staff of Brittas Bay NS were notified that the school’s request for the Department of Education to retain the six mainstream teaching positions was unsuccessful. Brittas Bay NS submitted a staffing appeal to be considered by an independent appeals board and the success of this review was announced on Wednesday night.
Principal Úna Gallinagh said: “We are absolutely delighted and I have to thank all the school community for all of their support. It’s so important after two years of Covid that we didn’t lose a teacher based on small, single digits. It’s also so important for the well-being of everyone in the school, including pupils and staff.”
The allocation of a sixth mainstream teacher will be based on the retention of current enrolment figures in Brittas Bay NS on September 30th, 2022. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous September.
Reacting to the announcement, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said: “ I have been working very closely with Brittas Bay National School on their campaign to resolve this issue in recent months. I was delighted to visit the hard-working staff and students of the school last month and to see first-hand the benefit that the retention of a sixth teacher would have on the students and staff of the school.
“The positive impact that access to a suitable learning environment can have on children is something that I feel very passionate about and I was happy to assist Brittas Bay NS on this issue. It is extremely important that we acknowledge the hard work that the staff of Brittas Bay NS have put in over the past two years to ensure that the needs of the students are catered for. Additionally, we must consider the benefit that this will have on the students who deserve access to a learning environment that can meet their educational needs.”
Deputies Steven Matthews ad Jennifer Whitmore both lobbied on behalf of the school to retain its teaching allocation.
Deputy Matthews said: “I am delighted and relieved that after my lobbying and persuasive pleading to the Minister on behalf of the teachers, parents and students the school will keep its full teaching staff. I visited the school recently and met with the principal, Ms Gallinagh, teaching staff and students.
“I got a tour of their beautiful vegetable garden and their ongoing work on a sensory garden. The students were so engaging and knowledgeable on climate, transport and environment and we had great chats and questions and answers session. The loss of a teaching post in a small school can have massive impact on the ability to provide extra support to students, important extra-curricular activities and create inappropriate class ratios.”