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Quinn, Ruairí

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Shannon Airport: Motion (Continued)

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

The Deputy was never a member of the IRA.More Button

FÁS Training Programmes

Was asked: if he will arrange for FÁS to offer language courses to unemployed persons in Tallaght, Dublin 24; if he appreciates the importance of such courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: has his attention been drawn to a delay in the organisation of FÁS training courses for apprentices usually run in January (details supplied), when a decision will be made in relation to whether th...More Button

School Transport Provision

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 283 of 6 November 2012, if a person who is in receipt of separate remote area grants for two children attending two different schools who has had one payment s...More Button

Was asked: in view of the difficulties that parents with different school aged children face with differing finishing times, if he will consider developing a single fare in addition to the return fare for sch...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Was asked: if the allocation for the student assistance fund in 2012-2013 will be adequate to support the needs of students; if there are figures available to show the number of students that will require the...More Button

Was asked: when an application for a third level Student Universal Support Ireland grant wil be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a student grant application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; if this application will be processed as a matter of urgency; and if he will mak...More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: further to parliamentary question No. 323 of 27 November, 2012, when the Student Universal Support Ireland application will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cavan; t...More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with SUSI, the new centralised grant awarding authority, that in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy a decision has now been made and a lette...More Button

Was asked: if an application for Student Universal Support Ireland grant in respect of a person (details supplied) will be granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with SUSI, the new centralised grant awarding authority, that on the 2nd December, 2012 a request for further documentation was issued to the student refer...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo; if he will expedite same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that further documentation was received from the student referred to by the Deputy on 8 December 2012 and thi...More Button

Was asked: when a Student Universal Support Ireland grant payment will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that further documentation was received from the student referred to by the Deputy on 21 November 2012 and th...More Button

Was asked: when a Student Universal Support Ireland grant payment will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that on the 23 November, 2012 a request for further documentation was issued to the student referred to by the Deput...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a student grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy a decision has now been made and a letter will issue direc...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a Student Universal Support Ireland grant application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if payment will be expedited; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that further documentation was received from the student referred to by the Deputy on 24th November 2012 and ...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made on a Student Universal Support Ireland application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cavan; when first payment will be made; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a decision has now been made and a letter will issue dir...More Button

State Examinations Issues

Was asked: his views on the issues raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding localisation of school standards.More Button

I published the Framework for Junior Cycle on 4th October. One of its features is that the State Junior Certificate examination will be replaced, in a phased manner over the next eight years, by a...More Button

The State Examinations Commission will provide final assessment papers and marking schemes for subjects until the new school-based system of assessment is established. For English, Irish and mat...More Button

Schools Recognition

Was asked: if he will report on the progress made to date on the move towards permanent recognition of a school (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the case of the school, referred to by the Deputy, provisional recognition was initially awarded to the school in 2008 and has been extended year on year since. A process is in place under whi...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staffing

Was asked: if he will provide details of funding from his Department for a centre (details supplied) in County Dublin in 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012.More Button

Was asked: the total number of special needs assistants employed in pre-school settings; if these are included in the overall national cap of 10,575; his views on whether those SNAs employed in pre-school set...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the vast majority of supports for childcare, including pre-school education, is provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The principal vehicle for ...More Button

The HSE is responsible for the provision of care support for pupils attending pre-schools.More Button

Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are allocated to Special Schools and to mainstream Primary and Post Primary schools to support pupils with special educational needs. This may in some instances in...More Button

Teacher Training Provision

Was asked: if the teacher refund scheme will be re-opened in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I intend to have a Teacher Fee Refund Scheme in 2013 and this scheme will apply to courses successfully completed during the 2011/12 academic year. As in previous years the scheme will be administ...More Button

Was asked: if there are any financial supports available for student teachers to facilitate their participation in the Gaeltacht placement programme where their means are limited; and if he will make a statem...More Button

As part of the Government's budgetary considerations and the Comprehensive Expenditure Review last year, a decision was made to abolish the payment of grants by this Department towards the cost o...More Button

This move brings the primary ITE courses more into line with other degree programmes where students are required to bear the costs of additional special requirements themselves. More Button

The student grant is the main source of financial assistance available from the Irish State for students in full-time higher education undergraduate courses. Postgraduate students who meet the q...More Button

In circumstances of particular need students may apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund which assists students in third-level institutions in exceptional financial need. Information ...More Button

Was asked: if he will clarify that the future of the Bachelor of Education in Home Economics provided at a college (details supplied) in County Sligo is secure and that no decision will be made to relocate th...More Button

I have accepted the recommendations set out in a report commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on the structures of initial teacher education. The purpose of the report was to identif...More Button

The international panel of education experts recommended that teacher education be provided in six "centres for teacher education". Currently there are 19 state funded providers of ITE (and three...More Button

The HEA has been requested to consult with the relevant parties and to prepare a detailed plan on how to implement the recommendations of the Panel. I understand that this process has started and...More Button

I will consider the implementation plan from the HEA when received and a further announcement will be made at that stage.More Button

Special Educational Needs Services Provision

Was asked: the position regarding disability services north east and disability services south west, both co-funded by the Health Service Executive and FÁS; if it is the case that disability services in these...More Button

Was asked: if school leavers with Down's Syndrome will have access to full training services from September; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans in place to provide for the needs of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder as they progress from primary school to secondary school in the Dublin West area in 2013/2014 and beyond (det...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the establishment of a network of autism-specific special classes in schools across the country to cater for children with autism has been a key educational priority i...More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local special educational needs organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from primary and post prim...More Button

My Department strives to ensure that a continuum of special education provision is available as required for children with special educational needs. In line with this approach the policy is to p...More Button

Children with autism present with a wide range of needs. Some children are capable of being fully integrated into mainstream schools without additional teaching or care supports. Others are able ...More Button

I have arranged for the matters raised by the Deputy to be forwarded to the NCSE for their direct reply.More Button

Adult Education

Was asked: the reason for the delay in approving FETAC courses; the way that he intends to address this backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, FETAC was formally dissolved on 6 November when I established the new amalgamated qualifications and quality assurance body, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), w...More Button

Significant work was undertaken by those bodies on the necessary core administrative preparations for the establishment of the new Authority. However, the establishment of QQI also involves the a...More Button

It is anticipated that new applications will be accepted by QQI from Spring 2013.More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the steps that he has taken to ensure that the school build programme in County Meath contributes to the local economy and job creation through the provision of local labour, local sourcing and oth...More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to ensure that the school build programme at Johnston, Navan, County Meath, contributes to the local economy and job creation through the provision of local labour, local sou...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 165 and 172 together.More Button

It is a key principle, enunciated in the Public Procurement Guidelines, published by the NPPPU, that the public procurement function is discharged honestly, fairly, and in a manner that secures b...More Button

The Guidelines require a competitive process carried out in an open, objective and transparent manner to achieve best value for money in public procurement. This is in line with EU Treaty princip...More Button

Essential principles to be observed in conducting all procurement functions include non – discrimination, equal treatment, transparency, mutual recognition, proportionality, freedom to provide se...More Button

School Building Projects, including the one referred to by the Deputy, are tendered in compliance with the above requirements. While building projects, by their nature, generally contribute to ec...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in locating a new site for the provision of a new school building (details supplied) in County Cork, a site that funding was ring fenced for in early 2012 and to date no pr...More Button

My Department is working with the relevant Local Authority in relation to identifying and acquiring a suitable site for the provision of permanent accommodation for the school referred to by the De...More Button

Once a suitable site has been identified and acquired, it is intended that the proposed building project will be progressed in accordance with the five year programme announced earlier this year.More Button

Was asked: when the decision not to award a permanent building to Rush and Lusk Educate Together was made, in contradiction to previous commitments; by whom was the decision made; and the reason for same.More Button

A rapid construction building similar to permanent school buildings supplied elsewhere was provided in 2008 on the site that is currently occupied by the school, referred to by the Deputy.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the building project for this school was included in the 5 Year Construction programme announced earlier this year. In the context of prioritising projects for inclusion i...More Button

I am aware that Department officials recently met with the Board of Management of the school in relation to the project.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the building of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 16; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school, referred to by the Deputy, has applied to my Department for large scale capital funding for a new school. The current status of all projects on the school building programme, including ...More Button

In light of the need to prioritise available funding for the provision of additional school accommodation, the delivery of major school projects required to meet future demographic demand will be...More Button

Was asked: the proposals his Department have for the school site at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department works closely with local authorities throughout the country in the context of identifying, reserving and purchasing sites to meet identified needs for edu...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: if the Ministerial guidelines, as per SI No. 189 of 2012, Article 15 (8), which were issued to the awarding authorities on 15 August 2012, are publicly available; if not, the reason for same; if he...More Button

Guidelines in accordance with the Student Grant Scheme 2012 are published for the guidance of the awarding authorities and are available from my Department.

The guidelines have been made...More Button

Foreign Language Assistant Scheme

Was asked: the grants or funding made available to primary or post primary schools for the provision of foreign language skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Foreign Language Assistant scheme has its origins in Cultural Agreements between Ireland and the countries of France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Italy. Graduates or under-graduates from these...More Button

School Staffing

Was asked: the reason the EAL teacher granted in April this year to a school (details supplied) in County Dublin on an appeal was removed in October without any warning or input from the school.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts for the current school year is set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on the Department website. In addition, the staffing a...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy sought a post under EAL criterion through the Primary Staffing Appeals Board. The school was notified by my Department on 23 April 2012 that the board had app...More Button

As the projected enrolment was subsequently not achieved the temporary EAL post was withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: the number of chaplains in Dublin post primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Chaplain posts are allocated in respect of Community and Comprehensive Schools and designated Community Colleges.

  There are currently 37 whole time equivalent chaplain posts al...More Button

Was asked: the Dublin schools that have lost the service of a career guidance counsellor; the Dublin schools that are sharing the service of a career guidance counsellor; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

The Government has protected frontline services in schools to the greatest extent possible in the recent budget and there will be no reduction in teacher numbers in primary schools and in free seco...More Button

Teacher allocations to post primary schools for the 2012/13 school year have effectively been settled at this stage and schools have autonomy on how best to prioritise their available resources t...More Button

The day to day management of how teaching resources are used in schools is done at local school level. It is established policy that guidance is a whole school activity and under existing arrange...More Button

Was asked: the number of additional teachers that will be recruited in both the primary and secondary school sectors in 2013; where these teachers will be allocated across the country; and if he will make a s...More Button

The Government has protected frontline services in schools to the greatest extent possible in the recent budget and there will be no reduction in teacher numbers in primary schools and in free seco...More Button

The staffing process for the 2013/14 school year at individual school level will be initiated early in 2013, however the final staffing position for all schools will not be known until later in t...More Button

Industrial Disputes

Was asked: the position regarding a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The matter referred to by the Deputy involved two appeals to the Labour Court. The first concerned an appeal pursuant to the Industrial Relations Acts, 1946 to 2004. The second concerned an appeal ...More Button

  Question No. 172 answered with Question No. 165.More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: his plans to deal with the fact that Prefab 15 in a school (details supplied) has again, despite repairs, been leaking to the extent that the children have had to be moved to the PE hall, denying t...More Button

The matter referred to by the Deputy has been notified to my Department by the school in question. The school have advised that an architect's report on the roof is awaited which they will forward ...More Button

Was asked: if, in view of the recent survey by his Department officials of primary school sites in Monasterevin, County Kildare, he will be bringing forward proposals to meet the accommodation needs of the pr...More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that officials from my Department recently carried out an examination of the existing primary school buildings in the area to which he refers and a report will now be pr...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Payments

Was asked: when a Student Universal Support Ireland grant will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 may expect a decision on an application for a student grant.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: if a student grant that was awarded to a person (details supplied) and subsequently withdrawn will have their grant reinstated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: when a Student Universal Support Ireland grant payment will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that, in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, a grant has already been awarded and an award letter iss...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 82 of 22 November 2012, if payments due in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be paid immediately; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Under the terms and conditions of the Student Grant Scheme 2012 a grant awarding authority may pay maintenance grants in three or nine equal instalments in line with the annual rates specified in S...More Button

SUSI has confirmed that in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy payments issued on 19th October and 23rd November 2012.More Button

Student Grant Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: if he will provide an updated list, in tabular form, from 3 December 2012 of the numbers of students on a county basis who have received from Student Universal Support Ireland payment of their thir...More Button

The following table provides a breakdown on a county basis of the number of students who have been awarded a student grant and the numbers who received payment of their student maintenance grants ...More Button

Was asked: the total number of applications for renewal of third level grants to Kerry County Council, County Kerry Vocational Education Committee and the total number of applications completed to date by eac...More Button

In total Kerry County Council, as at 30 November 2012 has received some 836 renewal applications. Of these 823 have been awarded, 2 applications have been refused and 1 application cancelled. 10 ...More Button

Was asked: the total number of applicants for third level education grants to each of the three grants agencies countrywide, Student Universal Support Ireland, vocational education committees and local author...More Button

The first table provides a breakdown of the status of student grant renewal applications received by the Vocational Education Committees and the local authorities as at 30 November, 2012. It gives...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Delays

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Student Universal Support Ireland dedicated phone-line for Oireachtas members as provided by him on the 5 of November 2011 is no longer answerin...More Button

The Oireachtas email and dedicated phone line were set up by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) so that Oireachtas members could contact SUSI directly with queries rather than contacting the ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a comprehensive update on the processing of first-time student grant applications by Student Universal Support Ireland including such applications that are still in backlog or un...More Button

I understand from Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that, as at the close of business on the 9th December, it has received 66,891 student grant applications for this year. Processing of 33,9...More Button

SUSI has 8,254 applications on hand which are currently being processed. Only 255 new applications have yet to commence processing. 5,989 applications that have been assessed are currently under...More Button

As at 7th December 8,769 students awarded a maintenance grant have been paid. Maintenance grant payment runs are continuing on a weekly basis to ensure students get paid as soon as possible after...More Button

SUSI is staffed to the level that has been requested and the resources have been put in place to enable them to process applications to completion, subject to all the necessary documentation havi...More Button

SUSI has indicated that it is on target to progress all applications received to date with the necessary supporting documentation between now and the end of the year.More Button

Public Services Provision

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 237 of 4 December 2012, if he will provide a list of all new services across his Department that have been tested for external service delivery since March 2011.More Button

The external delivery of services is one of the key areas highlighted in the Government's Public Service Reform Plan published in November 2011. Arising from a Government Decision in July, Departm...More Button

The work of my Department and of the wider Education and Training sector already includes the use of a diverse range of outsourcing arrangements relating to such areas as the school building prog...More Button

Anti-Racism Measures

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation of the yellow flag programme on diversity and anti-racism in schools; the actions he has taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has not provided support for the programme referred to by the Deputy, which I understand was run as a pilot project in some schools. In view of the current economic climate, funding ...More Button

Schools Building Projects Applications

Was asked: his plans for the proposed second level school at Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, Dublin 24; if any decision has now been taken in respect of the management of the school; and if he will make a statem...More Button

It is proposed to provide a new 1000 pupil post-primary school at Kingswood Heights Tallaght Dublin 24. The project was included in the 5 year construction programme announced in March and is sched...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Appeals

Was asked: if a decision to refuse a student grant to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15 from a socially disadvantaged area will be reviewed as a matter of urgency; if his attention has been drawn to th...More Button

I understand that in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, his student grant application was unsuccessful and that he appealed the decision to the appeals officer in Student Universal ...More Button

Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by SUSI, and remains of the view that SUSI has not interpreted the scheme correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlin...More Button

School Management

Was asked: the differences in board structures for community schools and community colleges; the nominating bodies for board positions; the number of positions ascribed to each nominating body; and if he will...More Button

In general, the Board of Management of a community school consists of 10 members as follows:

- Three nominees of the relevant religious authority,

- Three nominees of the relevant...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: the steps he has taken to address the matter of teenage suicide in Dublin post primary schools; his views on whether wellness is a topic that ought to be provided for at second level; and if he wil...More Button

Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools: Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention (2012) have been developed to implement Action 2.1 of Reach Out: the National Strategy for Action o...More Button

The Guidelines were developed following a process of wide consultation with key education partners and are informed by the findings of the consultation process and recent research. The Guideline...More Button

The Guidelines are for all members of the school community, boards of management and in-school management teams who play a central leadership role in mental health promotion. They will also be us...More Button

The key to successful implementation of these Guidelines lies in taking a coordinated whole-school approach. This involves building and integrating school self-evaluation processes, implementing ...More Button

The Guidelines draw together the various elements that provide for effective student support and build on the significant work already taking place in schools. They provide a clear framework for...More Button

The European wide Health Promoting School Process (HPS) is outlined and the Guidelines show how the HPS may be adopted by schools to constantly strengthen its capacity to be a healthy setting for...More Button

In addition, in the new Framework for Junior Cycle which I launched in October, "Wellbeing" is one of the 8 principles which underpin the Framework. Through a student's experience in Junior Cycle...More Button

Bullying in Schools

Was asked: when the action plan on bullying will be published and if he will indicate his intention to pursue the recommendations therein to confront this serious issue; if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that I asked the anti-bullying working group to submit their draft action plan to me by 30th November. The working group met this deadline and I am satisfied with the progre...More Button

Broadband Services Provision

Was asked: when second level schools in counties Longford and Westmeath will receive high speed broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The national roll-out of 100 mbps broadband to post primary schools will be completed over three stages with 200 schools being connected by end 2012, a further 200 being connected next year and the...More Button

Schools in Longford and Westmeath are included in the lot of schools to be completed by the end of 2012. To date 195 schools have been completed with 5 schools remaining to be connected. These ...More Button