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McHugh, Joe

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Continued)

Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis na Teachtaí fá choinne seans a thabhairt dom labhairt ar an reachtaíocht seo agus ar son na leasuithe. I welcome the contribution of my colleagues to this d...More Button

The purpose of my proposed amendment to section 14 of the 2011 Act is to allow the Minister to prescribe classes of persons after a detailed evaluation of factors has been assessed. The proposed n...More Button

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) in County Kerry will be considered for the summer works and emergency works schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers was successful in obtaining grant funding to carry out electrical works under the 2016 Summer Works Scheme.  I understand that these works are now completed.More Button

School Services Staff

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 67 of 8 November 2018, the status of the matter; his views in regard to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme receive grant assistance to provide for secretarial and/or caretaking services. Within the grant schemes, it is ...More Button

Teacher Recruitment

Was asked: his views on the sharing of teachers by schools (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Circular 0015/2019 which is available on my Department's website introduces a new scheme for the 2019/20 school year to allow post primary schools to share teachers in priority subjects.  The aim o...More Button

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for individual school authorities, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act, 1998 (as a...More Button

Third Level Fees

Was asked: if third-level institutions have the discretion to apply EU fees rather than non-EU fees to persons here with a stamp 2 visa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As an autonomous institution, it is a matter for the relevant higher education institution to determine the fee rate payable by students (EU or non-EU) in cases where students do not qualify for fu...More Button

Schools Establishment

Was asked: his plans in regard to opening an Educate Together primary school in Dungarvan, County Waterford; if the location is part of his commitment in the reconfiguration process; the timescale envisaged; ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is implementing new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the ...More Button

 The previous model of patronage divestment yielded only a very limited number of schools for transfer to multi-denominational patrons (11 since 2013, with a twelfth school, Westport ETNS, due to ...More Button

While the Schools Reconfiguration process is being advanced, my Department is continuing to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, includin...More Button

To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Dungarvan. However, my Department will continue its efforts in relation to identifyin...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter relating to the provision of an Educate Together school in an area (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is implementing new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the ...More Button

Was asked: if the development of a secondary school for Hollystown, Dublin 15 will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using d...More Button

School Staff

Was asked: his views on a matter relating to a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school ...More Button

The staffing schedule includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. More Button

The school submitted an application for consideration by the Appeals Board at its May 2018 meeting under the Exceptional Accommodation Difficulties criteria. The appeal was refused by the Appeals...More Button

The staffing allocation process is complete for the current school year.  Circular 0019/2019 which sets out the primary school staffing arrangements for the 2019/20 school year, including details...More Button

Education and Training Boards Payments

Was asked: if an oral hearing will be granted in regard to the payment of a pension for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the ETB in question has advised my officials that that they will facilitate an oral hearing in relation to pension payment with the person to whom he refers.<...More Button

School Equipment

Was asked: if funding will be provided for a defibrillator to a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. More Button

The decision to install a defibrillator is made at local school level and is a matter for the Board of Management of each individual school.  More Button

I understand that a National Steering Group on Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest was established in 2017 by the HSE and is representative of health professionals, patient groups, healthcare provider...More Button

School Transport Provision

Was asked: if he will direct the school bus transport scheme and Bus Éireann to provide services for students in an area (details supplied).More Button

School Funding

Was asked: if he will continue to keep the summer works scheme and minor works grant scheme as a permanent source of annual funding for all schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The announcement of the major package of investment in education under Project Ireland 2040 confirmed that all primary schools will receive the Minor Works Grant in either December or early January...More Button

The 2019 Summer Works scheme is based on the assessment of projects in three priority categories – Windows, Curricular requirements and Structural improvements. In total, 307 school projects are...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: the status of his plans to have the subject of computer science made available as an option to all schools from September 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

From the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year, the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject will be made available to all interested schools, should they wish to offer it as an option for...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the demotion of geography as a core junior certificate subject; and if the decision will be reversed.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the demotion of geography as a core junior certificate subject at a time when climate change is accelerating and posing an ever increasing threat to the future of human life on...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 200 together.More Button

The Department has every confidence that, through the implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle the place of Geography will be retained and given a new impetus across the junior cycle curr...More Button

The new Framework for Junior Cycle gives students the opportunity to develop a wider range of knowledge and skills – to equip them for further learning, for work, for responsible and active citiz...More Button

Prior to the introduction of the new Framework for Junior Cycle the status of Geography in junior cycle varied by school type. Geography was only a core subject in voluntary secondary schools (5...More Button

The new Framework for Junior Cycle, currently being rolled out, focusses on active and collaborative learning. It gives greater flexibility and autonomy to schools in terms of subject selection,...More Button

It is important to note that currently some 92% of students across all schools choose to study Geography at Junior Cycle, although it is not compulsory in all schools. More Button

This is a clear indication that in respect of subjects like geography, schools make curricular decisions in the absence of directives and we expect this to continue. More Button

We have a dedicated cohort of geography teachers in our post-primary schools, who will be promoting the inclusion of their subject within programmes provided to students by their schools. There ...More Button

The direction of Junior Cycle reform is consistent with practice in other high-performing education systems such as New Zealand, Queensland, Estonia and Finland, where schools have been given gre...More Button

I hope you find this information useful.More Button

Was asked: his views on making home economics compulsory for students up to junior certificate level with a view to reducing levels of childhood obesity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The NCCA initiated a debate on the nature of junior cycle in 2010, with an initial discussion paper entitled Innovation and Identity: Ideas for a New Junior Cycle. The mandatory nature of subjects...More Button

My Department is active in the area of promotion of health and well-being in schools.  The issue of promoting healthy eating is addressed in schools through subjects such as Social, Personal and ...More Button

Healthy Lifestyles guidance issued to post-primary schools in 2015 and primary schools in 2016. This guidance was drafted in consultation with the Department of Health and my Department would li...More Button

Schools are strongly encouraged to have a formal healthy eating policy that has been developed in consultation with students and parents. More Button

The NCCA has developed a new home economics specification which was introduced for new junior cycle entrants from September 2018.More Button

School Enrolments

Was asked: the position regarding enrolment policies of secondary schools; his views on whether feeder schools may be considered as a fair method of allocating secondary school places; and if he will make a s...More Button

In relation to enrolment generally, it is my Department's responsibility to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in an area. Parents can choo...More Button

School Patronage

Was asked: if consideration is being given to the divestment of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9; if so, the stage at the which the divestment process is at; if divestment will lead to amalgamation; an...More Button

The Programme for Government commits to increasing the number of multi-/non-denominational schools to 400 such schools by 2030. As the Deputy will be aware, my Department has developed the Schools...More Button

This process, which involves the transfer of live schools as opposed to the amalgamation and closure model of the patronage divesting process, is aimed at significantly increasing patron diversit...More Button

While the Schools Reconfiguration process structures are being progressed, my Department is continuing to work to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified as part of the 2012 an...More Button

In addition to the process outlined above, the “early movers” provision of the Schools Reconfiguration process enables school communities which have already decided to seek a transfer of patronag...More Button

I would encourage any school community which is seeking a transfer of patronage under the “Early Movers” provision to contact their school patron directly in the first instance.More Button

My Department has not received correspondence from the school Patron in relation to divesting the school to which the Deputy refers.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 233 of 26 February 2019, the timeframe for the provision of an Educate Together primary school in Dungarvan, County Waterford; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

The patronage divesting process arises from the recommendations of the 2012 report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, following which the Departmen...More Button

Under the patronage divesting process, a school can be opened where a school building became, or was due to become available as a result of an amalgamation/closure of an existing school.  In some...More Button

To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Dungarvan. However, my Department is continuing its efforts in relation to identifyi...More Button

EU Funding

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 267 of 4 May 2016, if the structures and systems necessary to certify expenditure under the European Union regulations and have them verified by a designated b...More Button

School Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the position regarding an application for an extension and associated building works by a school (details supplied) to the school capitals appraisal section, planning and building unit; if his atte...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question submitted an application for major capital funding to undertake significant works to the school building including the provision of an additi...More Button

My Department's current priority is the provision of essential classroom accommodation where an additional teaching post has been sanctioned and where there is no suitable accommodation available...More Button

The school subsequently applied for further capital grant to construct a General Purpose Room. As my Department's current priority is the provision of essential classroom accommodation, it is no...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that under the National Development Plan (NDP), increased funding has been provided for the school sector capital investment programme.  This funding allows for a continu...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: if the process by which the National Council for Special Education fulfils its statutory function to plan and co-ordinate the provision of education and support services to children with autism spe...More Button

The National Council for Special education (NCSE), an independent agency of my Department, is responsible for planning, coordinating and advising on education provision for children with special ed...More Button

This includes identifying the number of children that will require special classes or special school placements. The NCSE, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENO...More Button

Individual school boards of management are responsible for the establishment of special classes.  It is open to any school to make application to the NCSE to establish a class. In deciding where...More Button

When the NCSE sanctions a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to reconfigure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class a...More Button

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) who are locally based are available to assist and advise parents whose children have special needs.  Where Parents have been unsuccessful in enrolling t...More Button

SENOs are also available to assist and advise schools on special education supports and planning.More Button

There are now 1,459 special classes in place, compared to 548 in 2011.  Of these 1,196 are ASD special classes.More Button

124 special schools also provide specialist education for those students with complex special educational needs.More Button

Was asked: the reason the allocation for special education teaching hours was not increased in a school (details supplied) in County Wexford which will soon enrol an additional two children with complex needs...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that this Government is investing heavily in supporting our children with special educational needs, with €1.8bn being spent annually, about €1 in every 5 of the educati...More Button

DEIS Status

Was asked: the DEIS status of a school (details supplied).More Button

As the Deputy is aware, and as I previously advised on this matter, the school in question is in the DEIS programme. The list of schools included in the DEIS programme is available at the followin...More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: when a school (details supplied) in County Kerry will be able to proceed with its new building.More Button

My Department will be issuing written confirmation to the school in question shortly confirming the level of approved accommodation. As soon as the approval letter is received the school authority...More Button

Third Level Courses Availability

Was asked: his plans to provide more courses on pharmacy in Dublin apart from an existing institution (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties for students in accessing pharmacy...More Button

Universities in Ireland are autonomous institutions under the Universities Act 1997. As such, the management of their academic affairs, including the selection and delivery of courses, are matters...More Button

In Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland provide fully integrated five-year degree programmes which are accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (...More Button

In 2017, The Department of Health published Working Together for Health: A National Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning.  Existing and future demand for health and s...More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the progress being made on the new school building for a school (details supplied); the date a school will move into the existing school; the timeframe for both; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the major building project to which he refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2b (Detailed Design). All statutory approvals have been secu...More Button

The Stage 2(b) report was submitted to my Department in late December 2017 and following an initial review was deemed incomplete. Revisions and Addendums have been submitted by the Design Team t...More Button

Upon receipt and review of the revised Stage 2(b) report, my Department will advise the Board of Management of the timeline for the progression of this project to tender and construction.More Button

In view of the above, it is not possible at this point to indicate when the existing school will be vacated.More Button

Schools Data

Was asked: his plans to increase the number of secondary school places in Gorey, County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using d...More Button

Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with eac...More Button

Where data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumsta...More Button

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,More Button

- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,More Button

- Provision of a new school or schools.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the Government recently announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demograp...More Button

In addition to the new schools announced, there will be a need for further school accommodation in other areas in the future through either planned capacity increases in existing schools or addit...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school was established in 2011 in Gorey and moved into its permanent accommodation in 2014 and the school has capacity to meet demand i...More Button

While the announcement did not include a new post-primary school for the Gorey school planning area, the requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have...More Button

Departmental Legal Costs

Was asked: the amount spent to date by his Department and agencies under his remit appealing the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Leaving Certificate examination candidate Rebecca Carter appealed the result of her Business examination which she sat in June 2018. She claimed that a calculation error in the marking of her pape...More Button

Following this, the claimant sought relief by way of a High Court judicial review, which sought to order that the SEC expedite her appeal and that UCD put a stay on their allocation of places in ...More Button

The SEC legal team submitted their costs to the Commission on 31 October 2018 for the judicial review case taken by Ms Carter. They totalled €69,265.44 and have been paid in full. Whilst Ms Car...More Button

Elements of the judgement delivered are being appealed by both the Minister for Education and Skills and the State Examinations Commission. More Button

The appeal is being taken in the public interest and will have no implications for the Plaintiff, financial or otherwise, who has now secured her place in university. More Button

The legal costs of my Department in the appeal will comprise counsel fees. There is no solicitor legal fee due to the fact that the Chief State Solicitor’s Office provides the solicitor service ...More Button

Schools Health and Safety

Was asked: if he will engage with an organisation (details supplied) in order to facilitate the distribution of an information pack on scoliosis to schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My officials will contact Scoliosis Ireland to discuss this request and to determine the appropriate action to be taken.More Button

Was asked: the action he plans to take to ensure there are no vending machines serving unhealthy food options in schools; the action he will take to ensure no schools are dependent upon income generated from ...More Button

My Department is active in the area of promotion of health and wellbeing in schools.  The issue of promoting healthy eating is addressed in schools through subjects such as Social, Personal and Hea...More Button

It is primarily a matter for the Management in each school to decide their policy in relation to the use of vending machines. Findings from the 2015 Lifeskills survey show that virtually every p...More Button

92% of primary schools reported that they had a healthy eating policy in place. This is similar to the level reported in 2012. 3% reported that they were in the process of developing a healthy e...More Button

Some 27% of Post Primary schools reported having a vending machine or school shop which sells ‘junk food’. (The Healthy Ireland Healthy Food for Life food pyramid defines this type of food as th...More Button

Home Tuition Scheme

Was asked: if home tuition will be made available to a child (details supplied) at his or her crèche in view of the fact that the family's rented accommodation is unsuitable for such tuition; and if he will m...More Button

The purpose of the Special Education Home Tuition Grant Scheme is to provide a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of reasons such as chronic illness, are unable to atte...More Button

Where there is no Early Intervention class placement available, my Department will consider applications under the Home Tuition Grant Scheme, where a child can receive up to 20 hours home tuition...More Button

Children who receive tuition under the Department’s Home Tuition Grant Scheme typically receive this tuition in their home on an individual basis. More Button

The scheme also provides parents with an option to enter into a group arrangement with other parents of children for whom home tuition has been approved. Parents wishing to enter into such an ar...More Button

To date, no application for home tuition, for the child referred to by the Deputy, has been received by my Department.More Button

Education and Training Boards Data

Was asked: the number of external training contractors running courses in County Clare under the Clare education board; the number of in-house training courses in the county in 2017, 2018 and 2019; and if he ...More Button

Schools Building Projects

Was asked: if provision for the inclusion of a playschool in the planning of all new primary schools will be ensured; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department does not have any remit for the provision of accommodation for playschools and therefore has no plans for the inclusion of playschools in the planing of new primary schools.More Button