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Teacher substitution scheme cost almost €90 million last year

The Department of Education also has spent over €110 million in costs directly associated with transition year over the past couple of years.

First day of school at Gardiner Street in Dublin.
First day of school at Gardiner Street in Dublin.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE TEACHER SUBSTITUTION scheme cost the state almost €90 million last year according the Department of Education.

The figures relate to payments to people employed by schools solely as supervisors or substitutes and breaks down as €57 million in primary schools and €31.6 million in post-primary. The €90 million was exclusive of PRSI according to Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn who was responding to a Dáil question from Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien.

ASTI teachers who are currently involved in industrial action also qualify for supervisory payments as a result of previous agreements with government. Teachers who volunteer for the supervision and substitution scheme are entitled to annual payments of up to €1,769 per year. There have been suggestions that the government were considering taking away these payments as a result of the ASTI’s rejection of the Haddington Road agreement but the union have warned against this.

Transition year

The Department of Education also spent over €110 million on costs directly associated with transition year over the past number of years. The payments come from both grant payments and from teachers hired directly as part of the fourth-year programme.

The minister says that schools part of the free education scheme who offer transition year qualify for the payment of a transition year grant of €95 for each pupil. This resulted in total grant payments of  €2.7 million last year.

The department also allocated around 1,700 whole time equivalent teaching posts in the 2012/13 school year in respect of transition year with an estimated cost of €109 million.

Read: ASTI teachers start industrial action from today >

Read: Over 120,000 children in classes of over 30 pupils >

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Rónán Duffy

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