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School Management Information

Who? A language assistant coming from a target language country will be assigned to your school on the recommendation of the inspectorate based on their applications for the academic year by the Department of Education and Skills.

When? Generally the language assistant arrives around the 1st of October and stays until the end of May. Please note that for German, they can choose to stay for six months only.

Application: Applications are available from the Department of Education and Skills from the beginning of January. The deadline for application is usually the beginning of February and allocation are known after Easter. The application form is referenced as FLA01 (For German, please use the ‘German only form’ ). The contact email is: teachersna_fla@education.gov.ie

Implication for the whole school: The School staff helps the assistant to integrate into the school and local community. The assistant should feel s/he is part of the school.  

Responsibilities of the school principal:

(a) The scheme is operated in accordance with the terms and requirements set out in the Department of Education and Skills notes and that appropriate records are maintained for two years and readily available to the department for audit purposes.

(b) All arrangements are finalised with the assistant, if possible, prior to the closure of the school for the summer holidays and before the assistant starts in October.

(c) Assistant(s) assigned to the school are paid their Living Allowance and Induction Course Grant. Arrangements should be made to help the assistant to open a bank account immediately on arrival by issuing them with a letter confirming the name of the school to which they are assigned and the amount of the allowances payable if the assistants wish to do so. Some language assistants may decide to be paid into their bank account in their country of origin instead and this must be facilitated.

(d) Advice and help must be given to the assistant in the matter of their studies.

(e) The school staff must help the assistant to integrate into the school and local community.

FAQ: Department of Education and skills FAQ

Before

  • Make the assistant aware of the school’s ethos, values and expectations – this could be done by reference to school website or sending any relevant documents.
  • Have a school calendar with key dates.
  • Give the list of days the school will be closed.
  • Let the assistant know about GDPR rules and any dress code.

During

You may want to make sure that you do the following:

  • Welcome and introduce the assistant to the school community.
  • Have keys/photocopier code/WIFI code/log in details ready.
  • Invite the assistant to school events.
  • Integrate the language assistant into school life.
  • Tell them about the Designated Liaison Person’s role and their deputy (DLP and DDLP).
  • Process Garda vetting documents on arrival.
  • Release the assistant to go to training.
  • Have room available if the assistant is to take students outside the classroom.
  • Make sure the assistant has a device if it is required that they work with one.

You may also want to cover the following areas with the assistant:

  • The school’s pedagogical principles and management style
  • The classroom practices of the school
  • The level of formality between individuals
  • The code of discipline and assessment methods
  • The teacher’s authority over the students
  • The values and expectations of parents
  • Organise payment on time
  • List of students to take roll or access to online roll taking
  • A timetable (one day free preferably Monday or Friday)

*Please note: Timetable must include working with junior and senior classes, not just exam classes

After

  • Make sure all payments have been made to the assistant.
  • Give a reference to the language assistant (if requested).
  • Reflect on how beneficial it was to have an assistant in the school.

 

Watch this video on “why host a language assistant?”. Thanks to the German department in Newpark Comprehensive School for facilitating this.

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