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Class Allocation Policy

Introductory Statement:

This policy was formulated as a result of a collaborative approach between the Principal and Staff.  It was developed in March 2013 and reviewed in 2016, 2018 and 2021.

Link to School Ethos:

Bunscoil Bhríde is committed to enabling children grow and develop into confident, mature adults with high self-esteem.  We also strive to ensure children maximise their academic and social potential.  This policy is geared towards those aims through offering all children exposure to a variety of teaching methodologies and skills.

Rationale:

This policy ensures that teachers get the opportunity to expand their skills through teaching a range of different ages and topics. 

Aims and Objectives:

The policy also facilitates the allocation of rooms suitable to the needs of the children;

  • To facilitate the smooth, efficient running of the school
  • To enable the teaching staff to professionally develop themselves through exposure to different age groups and curricula
  • To maximise the learning opportunities of the children through prudent class allocation which utilises to the optimum, the range of individual teaching skills within the staff

Policy Content

Class Allocation:

The allocation of teaching duties within the school is a matter for the Principal.  However, it is the policy of the school to reach collective agreement and consensus when distributing teaching duties.  The Principal facilitates this process in a fair and equitable way.  “The Principal is responsible for the creation, together with the Board, parents of students and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning among the students and which promotes the professional development of the teachers”. (Education Act – Section 23)

  • Bunscoil Bhríde has 12 mainstream classes. Towards the end of each teaching year, all teachers complete a form in which they list the three banded levels they would like to be assigned to for the coming year in order of preference e.g. Special Education, Junior and Senior Infants, 1st and 2nd class, 3rd and 4th class or 5th and 6th class. If a teacher has completed three years or longer at one class level, priority will be given to another teacher who lists this class option as one of their three choices.
  • Special Education Teachers (S.E.T.s) must remain in their post for a minimum of three years, at which point they have the option of returning to mainstream, should they indicate such a preference. Alternatively, they may wish to remain in Special Education for a further three years.  Should a mainstream teacher indicate a desire to join the Special Education Team, this wish may be facilitated if a Special Education Teacher (having completed the minimum three years in Special Education) has asked for a move in the opposite direction.  If not, collective agreement is sought with options such as deferring a move for a year being put on the table. Courses completed in Special Education will also have a significant bearing on allocation. A teacher wishing to join the Special Education Team must commit to undertaking a range of Professional Development Courses in different areas of special education.
  • The Principal will allocate classes according to the class preference form completed by the teaching staff.  The Principal will also take other factors into account when making these decisions such as;
  • Experience
  • Contribution to overall school policy development in relation to teaching and learning
  • Range of classes already taught / not taught
  • Motivation
  • Personality
  • Special talents
  • Opportunities for development such as Special Education, shared teaching etc.
  • Some teachers may have larger classes than colleagues.  This normally ‘evens itself out’ over a number of years, so that an equitable workload is achieved
  • Class allocation relies heavily on compromise and consensus.  If this is not possible to reach, the Principal will make an informed decision based on suitability, experience (whether a particular teacher has had the class before), special talents, courses taken and what is in the best interests of the children concerned.  An interview is not held.
  • Class allocation is completed in April/May of every year.  There is no special exemption for teachers in relation to First Communion and Confirmation classes.  Special arrangements are put in place if a teacher’s religious beliefs preclude preparing children for religious ceremonies.

Classroom Allocation:

  • It is not the policy of the school to move classes from specific rooms unless in exceptional circumstances such as physical damage to room or health and safety issues
  • The design of the school allows for ease of access to the Learning Support/Resource rooms, Library, Drama/Circle Time Room and Assembly hall from all classrooms

Roles & Responsibilities:

All teachers, under the guidance of the Principal participate in and contribute to the implementation of an effective and equitable class allocation policy.  Grievances are dealt with at a Principal/teacher level and will only transfer to the Board of Management if a compromise cannot be reached.

Success Criteria:

The school evaluates the success of the policy through;

  1. Participation of all staff in the policy
  2. Smooth hand over of classes
  3. Feedback from all staff
  4. Staff satisfaction
  5. Parental satisfaction

Timetable for Review:

A review will be conducted based on the success criteria outlined, or where consensus and compromise is not achieved.

Ratification and Implementation:

This policy was reviewed in March 2013, 2016, 2018 and again in 2021.

References

Education Act 1998 – Sections 22 and 23

Circular 16/73

CPSMA – Board Members handbook p.234

THE OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS POLICY LIES WITH THE PRINCIPAL AND TEACHERS.