The Department of Education has said it is currently finalising the staffing schedule for the next school year after it was criticised over a lack of clarity on teacher numbers

The Department said it must take into account of changes in special needs and allocations to disadvantaged schools. 

The statement comes after the Irish National Teachers' Organisation called on the Department to notify schools as to the number of staff they will have for next year "as a matter of urgency".

In a statement, the union says principals in particular are frustrated by what the INTO says is a lack of clarity on teacher numbers.

The union said parents also wanted to know what teaching schools would be able to provide for children, particularly in light of a proposed new model of allocating special education teachers to schools.

In previous years schools have been told of staff numbers for the coming year in January or February.

INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan said this information had already been provided to second level schools but primary schools were being kept in the dark.

Ms Nunan said this meant they were unable to begin essential planning.

She said it was unacceptable not to provide schools with crucial information in a timely fashion.