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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 316-337
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item School Enrolments Data
 Header Item School Enrolments Data
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Expenditure
 Header Item School Funding
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Payments
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Teacher Training Provision
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Status
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Status
 Header Item Third Level Institutions
 Header Item Traffic Management
 Header Item Programme for Government Implementation
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Applications
 Header Item Education and Training Boards
 Header Item Oibreacha Feabhsúcháin do Scoileanna
 Header Item School Funding
 Header Item Irish Language
 Header Item Irish Language
 Header Item Irish Language

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 970 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 316-337

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 316. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan Information on Jim O'Callaghan Zoom on Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if the special needs assistants provided to an organisation (details supplied) can be maintained at the current level rather than having two full-time special needs assistants and one teacher removed from the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24450/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton This Government is committed to ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given every opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

  Special Needs Assistants play a key role in supporting children who have additional care needs to attend school and participate in education.

  There will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools by the end of this year. This is a 42% increase on 2011, when the number of SNAs stood at 10,575. The Government now invests €524 m in SNAs annually, as part of a total €1.75 billion investment in special educational needs overall.

  The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for determining the appropriate staffing levels in special schools.

  Special schools are staffed based on their actual current pupil profiles and the disability category of each pupil (full details of Teacher allocation provisions in Circular 0042/2011).

  The policy of my Department is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support.

  In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

  SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

  SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with additional care needs leave the school, as new children with additional care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their additional care needs diminish over time.

  The NCSE Appeals Process for the provision of SNA support may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support on the grounds that Department policy was not met in accordance with Circular 0030/2014.

  Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2018/19, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE. The closing date for receipt of any appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday, 28th September 2018.

  Special schools may appeal a decision regarding teaching resource allocations to the NCSE, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of teaching support to the school to meet the educational needs of the children in the school concerned.

  As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

School Enrolments Data

 317. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the number of junior infants, senior infants and first classes in the primary system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24461/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The information requested by the Deputy, regarding the number of junior infants, senior infants and first class standards in the primary system, containing more than one standard, is as shown.

  As well as Single Grade classes, with only one standard (Junior/Senior Infants, First Class, etc.) there are Consecutive Grade and Multi-Grade classes, containing more than one standard, as shown.

Grade Structure Number of Classes
Single Grade Classes - Total 15,973
Of which - -
Junior Infants 2,357
Senior Infants 2,197
1st 2,120
2nd 2,072
3rd 1,912
4th 1,812
5th 1,678
6th 1,825
Consecutive Grade Classes - Total 4,278
Of which -
Junior Infants - Senior Infants 887
Senior Infants-1st 272
1st - 2nd 669
2nd - 3rd 344
3rd - 4th 799
4th - 5th 287
5th - 6th 1,020
Multi-Grade Classes - Total 1,901
Of which -
Containing Infants 752
Not containing Infants 1,149
TOTAL 22,152
- Count Class
Classes containing Junior Infants 3,965
Classes containing Senior Infants 4,087
Classes containing 1st Class 3,981
TOTAL 12,033

School Enrolments Data

 318. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the number of students enrolled in junior infants, senior infants and first class; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24462/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton There were 68,438 pupils enrolled in Junior Infants in the 2016-17 school year; 71,270 in Senior Infants and 71,027 in First Year.

Special Educational Needs Expenditure

 319. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the cost of a special needs assistant at primary school level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24463/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton This Government is committed to ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given every opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

  Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) play a key role in supporting children who have additional care needs to attend school and participate in education.

  There will be a total of 15,000 SNAs working in our schools by the end of this year. This is a 42% increase on 2011, when the number of SNAs stood at 10,575. The Government now invests €524m in SNAs annually, as part of a total €1.75 billion investment in special educational needs overall.

  The average salary cost of a Special Needs Assistant at primary school level is currently €35,700 including employer PRSI.

School Funding

 320. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding funding for schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24511/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.

Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education.

Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish Education and Training service the best in Europe within a decade. In 2018, the budget for the Department of Education increased by €554 million to over €10 billion. Through budget 2017 and Budget 2018, we are now investing €1 billion more in education.

The process is underway for restoring grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff. The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and €5 in 2018, in order to enable primary schools to implement the arbitration salary increase for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation.

My Department recognises the importance of the Minor Works Grant to primary schools. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 signals a gradual ramping up in capital expenditure in the schools sector over the coming years. In that context, and as part of our longer term infrastructural planning, my Department would intend to put the Minor Works Grant on an annual footing and to provide greater certainty to schools on the timing of payment..

Student Grant Scheme Payments

 321. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the estimated cost of increasing the grant to reflect inflation rates and the consumer price index year-on-year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24517/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The cost of linking student maintenance grants to the CPI would be entirely contingent on movements in the CPI.

  According to the Central Statistics Office, the annual average rate of inflation in 2017 was 0.4%. This compares to a no change for 2016 and a fall of 0.3% for 2015.

  Maintenance grant expenditure in 2016/17 was €171 m. Applying a 0.4% increase to this figure would increase the cost by €684 k.

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

 322. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the estimated cost of reversing the budget 2011 decision to increase the SUSI grant non-adjacency qualifying distance from 24 km to 45 km; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24518/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The cost of reversing the change to the distance criterion from the existing 45 km to 24 km, is estimated to be in the region of €26 m.

  The above costing assumes that a change to the distance criterion would result in a similar percentage of students qualifying for the higher non-adjacent grant support, as existed pre Budget 2011.

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

 323. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the estimated cost of providing a free travel card to students in receipt of a grant or on the back-to-education allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24519/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The BTEA and the Free Travel Scheme are administered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. I've been advised that the Free Travel Scheme is currently available to people who are aged 66 years or over and who are permanently residing in the State.

In 2016/17, there were 78,904 students in receipt of SUSI grant support. The cost of extending the Free Travel Scheme to this cohort of students or to BTEA recipients is a matter for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection..

Teacher Training Provision

 324. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out the estimated cost of paying 80% of the entry level rate to student teachers on placement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24520/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton School Placement is a critical part of initial teacher education (ITE) as it enables the student teacher to experience teaching and learning in a variety of contexts, and to participate in school life in a way that is structured and supported.

As you are aware, the Teaching Council is the statutory body that sets and upholds the standards for entry to the profession and reviews and accredits programmes of teacher education and training provided by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the State. Based on existing good practice, the Teaching Council prepared and published School Placement Guidelines in partnership with stakeholders in 2013.

The Teaching Council has determined that 25% (30 weeks) of student time over the four years of undergraduate programmes and 40% (24 weeks) of student time over the two years of postgraduate programmes should be allocated to school placement.

The estimated cost of paying 80% of the entry level rate to student teachers on placement is approximately €50 million..

Schools Building Projects Status

 325. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the status of works for a school (details supplied); the completion date for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24522/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Board of Management of the school to which the Deputy refers was recently authorised to issue the Letter of Acceptance to the preferred bidder. It is envisaged that construction should commence in late June/early July and the project will take approximately 27 months to complete..

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 326. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare can receive assistance with educational needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24525/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on the Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

My Department’s policy is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support. In line with this policy, I announced last month that 800 additional SNAs will be allocated for the beginning of the next school year, with a further 140 expected to be allocated by the end of the year.

By the end of this year, there will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools, a 42% increase on 2011.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support on the grounds that Department policy was not met in accordance with Circular 0030/2014.

Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2018/19, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE. The closing date for receipt of any appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday, 28th September 2018.

As this question relates to an individual child I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply..

Schools Building Projects Status

 327. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the status of the school building project at a school (details supplied); and the year in which he expects the construction of the extension to commence. [24583/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Deputy will be aware that a project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department's 6 Year Capital Programme.

My Department is currently finalising the long term projected enrolment and schedule of overall accommodation with a view to developing the project brief for the school project. My Department will be in further contact with the school authorities shortly to advise of next steps in respect of progressing the project..

Third Level Institutions

 328. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to set out in tabular form the expenditure in each of the years 2013 to 2017 by all third level institutions, respectively on property provision for their presidents or equivalents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24584/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The information requested by the Deputy is currently being collated by my Department. I will revert directly to the Deputy shortly.

The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Traffic Management

 329. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if his attention has been drawn to traffic management issues at a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; his plans to offer assistance in view of the fact that there are concerns regarding pupil and parent safety regarding the site and its surrounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24605/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The school to which the Deputy refers is located on an Education and Training Board (ETB) site. The ETB is in discussion with the local authority in relation to addressing traffic management issues for the site..

Programme for Government Implementation

 330. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the status of the implementation of A Programme for a Partnership Government as it applies to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24608/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has published three Progress Reports on the Programme for Partnership Government, the most recent being in December last and will shortly publish the 2018 Annual Report.

  Earlier this year, I published the end of year review on the 2017 Action Plan for Education and also launched the 2018 Action Plan for Education outlining hundreds of actions and sub-actions that will be implemented during the year.

  Key achievements in the past year include:

- An increase of €554 m in the 2018 Education budget including €60 m for higher education

- 2,730 extra teachers recruited in 2017 with the pupil teacher ratio reduced to 26:1

- Updated DEIS Plan and expansion of the scheme to include 79 new schools

- Awarding of the first Junior Cycle Profiles of Achievements and new specifications for Irish, Modern Foreign Languages and Visual Art and a new Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme

- A New grading system and common points scheme introduced for the Leaving Certificate

- 3 new subjects at Senior Cycle - Politics and Society, Physical Education and Computer Science

- First transfer of school patronage under new Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process

- Updated child protection procedures for schools to take into account the new statutory mandated reporting and child safeguarding requirements

- The National Skills Council and the nine Regional Skills Fora launched to drive the National Skills Strategy

- 6,471 places are being provided on 208 Springboard+courses over the academic year 2017/18

- 26 new apprenticeship programmes approved for further development into national apprenticeships following the second call for apprenticeship programmes

- 46 large-scale school building projects completed in 2017

- €16.5 m announced to support new initiatives to widen access to higher education over the next three years, with a strong focus on Lone Parents and Disadvantaged Groups

- Enactment of the Technological Universities Act 2018 for the creation of Technological Universities as drivers of regional growth and development.

  My Department will continue to work with its agencies and stakeholders to ensure we deliver on the commitments set for it in the Programme for Government and to ensure we meet the goal we have set that the Irish Education and Training system will be the best in Europe by 2026.

Schools Building Projects Applications

 331. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if an application by a school (details supplied) for an extension will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24627/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Deputy will be aware that a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department's Capital Programme.

  My Department is currently finalising the project brief with the aim of progressing the project into the architectural planning process shortly. In that regard, my Department will also be in direct contact with the school authority regarding the project.

Education and Training Boards

 332. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the status of a request for permission by Longford Westmeath ETB to use its resources to acquire two acres from Longford County Council to facilitate future expansion of a school (details supplied). [24628/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I wish to clarify for the Deputy that Longford Westmeath ETB has applied to my Department for funding to purchase land adjacent to the school in question. The request will be considered and a decision will be conveyed to the ETB subsequently..

Oibreacha Feabhsúcháin do Scoileanna

 333. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly den Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton maidir le ceist 157 an 28 Márta 2018, an bhfuil an fhaisnéis a bhí á lorg ag an Roinn faighte; an ndéanfaidh sé soiléiriú a thabhairt maidir le stádas an iarratais atá déanta ag an scoil; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [24630/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Mar is eol don Teachta, cheadaigh mo Roinnse deontas suntasach cineachta i Meán Fómhair 2014 don scoil i dtrácht le haghaidh leathnú buan agus oibreacha athchumraíochta a d’fhágfadh go bhféadfaí gach cóiríocht réamhdhéanta a bhaint de shuíomh na scoile.

Beidh a fhios agat go bhfuil an plean costais athcheartaithe, a fuarthas ó údarás na scoile mí Aibreáin seo caite, á scrúdú faoi láthair agus beidh mo Roinnse i dteagmháil leis an scoil mar gheall air go luath..

School Funding

 334. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline his views on the capitation payments for primary schools in view of the discrepancy between the payments at primary and secondary level education; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24633/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.

It is difficult to make precise comparisons between the levels of grants paid and the actual costs of running schools at primary and post-primary level.

In general, post-primary schools are larger than primary schools. They have specialist rooms such as laboratories, workshops etc. This leads to higher unit costs in for heat, light, power, maintenance and cleaning.

Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education.

Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish Education and Training service the best in Europe within a decade. In 2018, the budget for the Department of Education increased by €554 million to over €10 billion. Through budget 2017 and Budget 2018, we are now investing €1 billion more in education.

The process is underway for restoring grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff. The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and €5 in 2018, in order to enable primary schools to implement the arbitration salary increase for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation..

Irish Language

 335. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the estimated cost of extending the Gaeltacht school recognition schemes to preschools operating in the Gaeltacht. [24637/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 that I published last year contains actions relating to promoting Irish-medium provision in Gaeltacht early-years settings. The responsibility for those actions lies primarily with my colleague, Minister Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, within her remit in funding and regulating the early years sector and with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. I understand that DCYA and DCHG in consultation with my officials in DES are in the process of finalising proposals to implement relevant aspects of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education as well as other actions to support all naonraí and put in place a five-year implementation plan under the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030. All actions will be costed as part of decisions around implementation..

Irish Language

 336. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the estimated cost of including Irish as a module in level six early childhood care and education or equivalent. [24639/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan The Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 that I published last year contains actions relating to promoting Irish-medium provision in Gaeltacht early-years settings. The responsibility for those actions lies primarily with my colleague, Minister Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, within her remit in funding and regulating the early years sector and with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. I understand that DCYA and DCHG in consultation with my officials are in the process of finalising proposals to implement relevant aspects of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education as well as other actions to support all naonraí and put in place a five-year implementation plan under the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030. Among the range of actions being considered by the three Departments are actions relating to the provision of appropriate education and training to support Irish medium provision for all naonraí. The cost of implementing this action will be considered in the context of decisions around implementation..

Irish Language

 337. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline the estimated cost of including Irish as a module in level five early childhood care and education or equivalent. [24640/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan The Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 that I published last year contains actions relating to promoting Irish-medium provision in Gaeltacht early-years settings. The responsibility for those actions lies primarily with my colleague, Minister Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, within her remit in funding and regulating the early years sector and with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. I understand that DCYA and DCHG in consultation with my officials in DES are in the process of finalising proposals to implement relevant aspects of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education as well as other actions to support all naonraí and put in place a five-year implementation plan under the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030. Among the range of actions being considered by the three Departments are actions relating to the provision of appropriate education and training to support Irish medium provision for all naonraí. The cost of implementing this action will be considered in the context of decisions around implementation..


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