Special Report 67: The Supervision and Substitution Scheme in Post-Primary Schools, the Fulfilment of Employment Contracts in Institutes of Technology and The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse - Press Release

Dublin Castle, 29 July 2009

Press Release

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr John Buckley, has today (29 July 2009) published a report arising from examinations of

  • The Supervision and Substitution Scheme in Post-Primary Schools,
  • The Fulfilment of Employment Contracts in Institutes of Technology, and
  • The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.
  • The Supervision and Substitution Scheme in Post-Primary Schools

The Department of Education and Science provides funding for the provision of supervision and substitution on the basis of an agreed 37 hours per annum for each wholetime equivalent teacher allocated to the school at the beginning of September each year. However, teachers do not have to participate in the scheme and in such cases, the Department pays a grant to schools equivalent to the cost of 37 hours for each teacher opting out of the scheme to enable schools to make alternative supervision and substitution arrangements.  The examination sought to ascertain the value delivered by the scheme and concluded that, while recognising the value of arrangements to utilise existing teaching resources in supervision and substitution and the practical difficulty of matching the committed hours against short term school needs there appears to be some scope to refine the operation of the scheme to improve the value obtained for the State?s outlay.

The Fulfilment of Employment Contracts in Institutes of Technology

In March 2007, Athlone Institute of Technology was informed that one of its full-time lecturers was also lecturing at NUI Galway. While initially the circumstances of how a lecturer was able to hold down two full-time positions gave rise to concerns regarding the management and monitoring of staff by Athlone Institute of Technology, the resulting independent review and report which it commissioned raised concerns for the sector as a whole. There is a need to review the extent to which the recommendations of the independent review are being implemented across the sector especially in the areas of monitoring of contract fulfilment, approval and monitoring of external work and off-campus research and monitoring of timetabling and contracted class contact hours of 560 hours per annum.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was originally given a two-year timeframe in which to complete its work which was expected to cost somewhere between ?1.9 million to ?2.5 million. Ultimately the Commission?s work will have extended for more than ten years at a likely cost to the State estimated to be in the range of ?126 million to ?136 million. Up to the date of publication of its report, only one attempt was made to estimate the inquiry?s cost during its course. In future inquiries, attention will need to be given to establishing information systems sufficient to enable the inquiry and the funding Department to estimate its commitments on an on-going basis.

Notes for Editors

The Comptroller and Auditor General is an independent constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds.  He reports to Dáil ?reann.

The full text of the report is available on the website of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (go to www.audgen.gov.ie).

For further information about the report, please contact Peter Deane at (01) 6031034 or at Sheila_Murtagh@audgen.irlgov.ie