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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 429-446
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Suckler Welfare Scheme Applications
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Fishery Harbour Centres
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Eligibility
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy Reform
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Eligibility
 Header Item Felling Licences Applications
 Header Item Ash Dieback Threat
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Harbours and Piers Funding
 Header Item Home Schooling

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 795 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 429-446

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 429. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason an adjudication on an appeal in relation to payment of the 2012 disadvantaged area scheme has been delayed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11293/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases are impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare in 2011 and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. Additional information was subsequently supplied to my Department which showed that this requirement had been satisfied, thereby allowing processing to be finalised. Payment issued to the nominated bank account on 1 February 2013.

Suckler Welfare Scheme Applications

 430. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding a suckler welfare scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11304/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named registered 8 animals for the 2011 Suckler Welfare Scheme. The Terms and Conditions require that applicants undertake to carry out and notify to my Department, the requisite measures for the full 5 year duration of this Scheme. In August 2011, applicants were informed of the requirement to notify the details of these measures within one year of the date of birth of the animal. In this particular instance the animals were born between June and October 2011and all of the required data in relation to the measures carried out on these animals has not been received to date. In order for the case to be considered further the person concerned should write to the Review Officer, Suckler Welfare Scheme, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Offices, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, setting out the reasons as to why the data was not submitted within the required timeframe and provide any supporting documentation.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 431. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding disadvantaged area payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. [11333/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases are impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. The Committee has adjudicated on this appeal and the person concerned has been notified of the unsuccessful outcome, in writing, on 12 December 2012. As advised in that letter, it is open to the person named to pursue the matter with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications

 432. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding headage payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11335/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the holdings of eligible applicants were required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of six consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. As the applicant has not as yet demonstrated that the holding satisfies the scheme minimum stocking density requirements, as of now, no payment is due in respect of the 2012 Scheme. My Department has been in direct contact with the person named to clarify the matter.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 433. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a decision will be made on a derogation appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11401/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. The Committee has adjudicated on this appeal and the person concerned has been notified of the unsuccessful outcome, in writing, on 12 December 2012. As advised in that letter, it is open to the person named to pursue the matter with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Appointments to State Boards

 434. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; the number of direct appointments he made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11468/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Since May 2011, a notification has been placed on my Department’s website inviting expressions of interest from persons interested in being appointed to the boards of State Bodies under the aegis of my Department. On 7 September 2012 last, I placed an advertisement in the National Newspapers inviting expressions of interest. All expressions of interest lapse at the end of the calendar year.

  In making any board appointments, I am not necessarily confined to those who make such expressions of interest but ensure that all of those appointed have the relevant mix of knowledge and expertise to contribute to the relevant board. In the case of a number of bodies, some board appointments, while made by me, are not at my sole discretion and, instead, individuals are nominated for appointment by me by various organisations as specified in the relevant statute. These are the Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board, Bord Bia, Teagasc, National Milk Agency, Veterinary Council of Ireland and Horse Racing Ireland.

  The information sought by the Deputy is outlined in the table below as at 5 March 2013:

Body/Agency
No of Board Members
No of Board appointments since March 2011
Name
Date Appointed
‘Expression of Interest’ appointments
Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board
7
4
Brendan Brice

Camilla Keane

Sean Murphy

Michael Sweeney
9 November 2011

23 February 2012

1 January 2013

1 January 2013
None-nominations made by prescribed organisations from which Minister made appointments
An Bord Bia
15
10( including the Chair)
Michael Carey (Chair) 19 November 2011 None-nominations made by prescribed organisations from which Minister made appointments
Gary Brown

Michael Cronin

Rhona Holland

John Kingston

Brody Sweeney

John Comer

Mary J Byrne

John Bryan

John Horgan
7 October 2011

7 October 2011

7 October 2011

7 October 2011

7 October 2011

8 February 2012

28 March 2012

24 March 2012

7 December 2012
Bord Iascaigh Mhara
6
1
Kieran Calnan (Chair) 13 June 2012 None

Bord na gCon
7
6( including the Chair)
Philip Meaney (Chair) 12 April 2011 None
Matt Murphy

Brendan Moore

Tim Gilbert

Tony McNamee

William O’Dwyer
2 December 2011

2 December 2011

2 December 2011

2 December 2011

12 June 2012
Coillte
9
3( including the Chair)
Brendan McKenna (Chair) 8 October 2012 None
Oliver McCabe









David Gunning
24 October 2011

- Resigned from board with effect from 1 November 2012



25 May 2012
Horse Racing Ireland
14
3
Noel Meade

Neville O’Byrne

Mary O’Connor
8 February 2012

8 February 2012

8 February 2012
None
Irish National Stud

7
1
Matt Dempsey 28 February 2013 None
Marine Institute
9
3
Paul Hyde

David Owen





Prof Patricia Barker
1 June 2012

4 December 2012



19 February 2013
Two appointments were from ‘expressions of interest’
National Milk Agency
14 including Chair
6
Elected Members

Denis Fagan

Eamonn McEnteggart

Padraig Mulligan

Timothy Cashman

Jerome Crowley



Nominated Members

Eoghan Sweeney



23 January 2012

23 January 2012

23 January 2012

23 January 2012

23 January 2012





23 January 2012


None
Sea Fisheries Protection Authority
3
1
Dr Susan Steele
4 March 2013
Yes
Teagasc
11
4
Thomas Cooke

Dr Karina Pierce

Brendan Gleeson

Tom Tynan
5 October 2011

9 January 2013

9 January 2013



9 January 2013
3 of the appointments were from ‘expressions of interest’
Veterinary Council
19
6
Michael Sheahan

Peadar Ó’Scanaill

Michael Sadlier

Deirdre Campion

Martin Blake

Crionna Creagh*
1 January 2012

1 January 2012

1 January 2012

1 January 2012

21 December 2011

27 August 2012
None


  No appointments to the following State Bodies have been made since March 2011:

 - National Milk Agency – members elected rather than appointed

  Directors of State Bodies who are officials of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine do not receive board fees.

  * Appointed directly by the Minister as provided under Section 17 (2) of the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 as the National Consumer Agency chose not to furnish a nomination

Fishery Harbour Centres

 435. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the steps he will take to ensure that a tug boat service is available in Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, County Donegal, to ensure that the port can continue to develop and attract shipping business and also provide for a vital safety tool to be available to all users of the harbour including the emergency services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11490/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The provision and engagement of a tug boat service at Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre is a commercial and private transaction between vessel owners and tug boat service providers. Although my Department does not play any role in the provision of tug boat services, I can confirm that I have endeavoured to encourage and facilitate the provision of such services by private enterprise through the application of minimal harbour charges for tug boat operators. The annual charge levied for tug boats at Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre is limited to €200 per year.

Agriculture Schemes Eligibility

 436. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the protections he will provide to small farmers who have to make earnings outside of agriculture so that their initiative to work an extra job will not be detrimental to their farm related entitlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11520/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Earnings outside of agriculture do not affect entitlements to the Single Farm Payment or to Disadvantaged Area Payments. Total income is assessed by the Revenue Commissioners for income tax and any queries concerning taxation regulations should be directed to them.

Common Agricultural Policy Reform

 437. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding reform of the single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11521/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The reform of the single farm payment arises in the context of the negotiations on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, where perhaps the most contentious issue is the question of how direct payments should be redistributed between farmers within Member States, by a process referred to as ‘internal convergence’.

The Commission has proposed a movement to a system of flat-rate national or regional payments by 2019. This would result in significant transfers between farmers in a number of Member States, including Ireland. These Member States are seeking a solution that will mitigate this impact. Indeed, Ireland has been to the forefront in developing an alternative model of partial convergence which, while consistent with the overall thrust of the Commission's proposal, results in a more measured outcome. We have been formally supported by five other Member States in this regard, while a number of others are also sympathetic to this approach. Other Member States - such as the newer Member States who already implement an area-based system - are seeking alternative solutions, while others still (including Germany) are happy with the flat rate system.

Last week’s Council of Agriculture Ministers broadly endorsed a package of measures tabled by the Irish Presidency aimed at achieving a compromise on this very difficult issue. This package included the option to implement the Irish model. The Council’s endorsement represented a considerable success for Ireland, which twelve months ago was alone in suggesting such an alternative approach. Further work remains to be done, but I hope that a final set of proposals can be agreed by the Council later this month.

There has been a good deal of comment in recent weeks about the state of play on this issue, and particularly in the aftermath of last week’s Council meeting. Much of this comment has been misinformed, and has been characterised by unhelpful speculation about the potential impact of the proposals on Irish farmers and on the agri-food sector generally. We need to retain a little bit of perspective. I would remind farmers - and commentators - that we are in the early stages of a two-phase negotiating process. We need to reach a compromise not just within the Council of Ministers but also, subsequently, with the European Parliament and the Commission. Ultimately, I believe we will find a solution that lies somewhere between the extreme of the Commission flat-rate proposal and the more measured Irish approach, because that is where the common ground between 27 Member States will lie. I will be working to ensure that that solution is as close to the Irish model as possible.

Single Payment Scheme Eligibility

 438. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if land with rushes growing on it is considered grazable land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11544/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In order to be eligible under the Single Payment Scheme and other area based schemes, an applicant must ensure that all agricultural land is maintained in good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC). Farmers can keep grassland in GAEC by conducting an agricultural activity on it such as grazing, harvesting forage crops, or by topping. Grasslands continue to be eligible where it is evident that the stocking rate used by the applicant on the land is sufficient and, for example, can keep rushes under control and avoid their proliferation. In such situations, the reality is that there may not be a necessity to cut rushes. Where a farmer cuts rushes as part of management practice, with the exception of certain designated lands, there are no restrictions on when this is done, enabling the task to be carried out at any time throughout the year once conditions are suitable.

Agriculture Schemes Eligibility

 439. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if physical and satellite inspections are carried out on farms in a small timeframe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11545/13]

 440. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the amount of notification farmers are given prior to an inspection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11546/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 439 and 440 together.

In the context of delivering the Single Payment Scheme, Disadvantaged Areas’ Scheme and other area based schemes, my Department is required to carry out an annual round of inspections covering both the eligibility of the land declared to draw down payments and also cross compliance aspects, to ensure compliance with EU regulatory requirements in the areas of public, animal and plant health, environment and animal welfare.

Land eligibility checks must be carried out on at least 5% of applicants. These checks are carried out to verify that the actual area claimed in the application form corresponds to the area farmed and to ensure that any ineligible land or features are not included for aid purposes. Currently, around two-thirds of these inspections are carried out in the first instance without the need for a farm visit, as the information needed is acquired using the technique of remote sensing via satellite. When the available images do not permit a satisfactory verification of the land use or area of a parcel(s) applied for by an applicant, perhaps due to cloud cover, it is an EU requirement that a ground inspection must take place. These inspections are generally limited to verifying the area of the particular parcel(s) where the position is unclear from the imagery available (unless 80% or more of the area was unclear). The results obtained are used, in combination with the clear satellite imagery, to finalise the eligibility inspection of the entire areas declared.

As regards the timing of inspections, the annual inspection cycle can only commence following completion of a structured risk analysis selection process which includes the analysis and evaluation of data from the previous year’s inspections. Eligibility inspections, as such, can only commence following the initial stages of processing of the current year’s Single Payment Scheme applications. All eligibility inspections must take place before any payments can issue to any farmers in the country in a given year. It is a regulatory requirement that Cross Compliance inspections must take place throughout the calendar year to take account of specific requirements at individual Statutory Management Requirement level.

Provided the purpose of the control is not jeopardised, relevant EU Regulations enable my Department to give up to 14 days notice for land eligibility inspections. This also applies for cross compliance inspections involving Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs), other than those related to animal identification and registration, feed, food and animal welfare. For checks involving animal identification and registration, the maximum advance notice permitted under EU regulations is 48 hours, provided the purpose of the inspection is not jeopardised. For SMRs dealing with feed, food and animal welfare, no advance notice is permitted under governing EU Regulations.

As a general rule and following requests from the farming organisations, my Department tries to integrate inspections, including all of the cross compliance inspection elements, with a view to avoiding more than one visit to a farm; this, however, has implications for the degree of flexibility available to my Department to give advance notice. Nonetheless, in respect of those elements of an integrated inspection for which advance notice is possible, the farmer can request deferral of those particular elements to a separate inspection.

Felling Licences Applications

 441. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding a permit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. [11578/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The applicant submitted a felling licence application, no. GFL12173, which was received by the Forest Service on 6 March 2012. In his report on 25 May 2012, the District Inspector recommended refusal of the licence because the plantation is not ready for thinning and there was a high risk of wind-throw. Following discussions between the Inspector and the applicant’s forester, on 7 August 2012 the applicant was asked to provide a wind-throw hazard risk assessment and a mitigation plan to offset any risk. To date, the Forest Service has received no reply. However, the applicant submitted a second felling licence application, no. GFL12488, which was received by the Forest Service on 10 May 2012. This second application appears to be for the same site as that applied for under GFL12173 but with a different age profile for the trees to be felled. On this basis, the Forest Service is currently clarifying the situation with GFL12488.

Ash Dieback Threat

 442. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the exact extent of ash plant disease here; and if surveys are planned by his Department. [11581/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In total there are now 46 confirmed cases of the disease. Of these 26 are in forestry plantations in Counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Tipperary and Waterford. There are 14 Horticultural Nurseries that have tested positive for the disease, three samples from roadside landscaping have tested positive as well as one Garden Centre, one private garden and one farm. In addition to the confirmed findings other samples have been submitted on an ongoing basis to the laboratory and the results are awaited. Since the disease was first confirmed in Ireland, this Department has been carrying out a nationwide survey of ash forests which are known to have been planted in recent years with saplings imported from the continent. My Department has extended the scope of the survey work to cover ash plantations planted since 1992 and are also surveying AEOS and REPS plantings.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 443. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of the 2012 disadvantaged area scheme will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11592/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the holdings of eligible applicants were required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of six consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. As the applicant has not as yet demonstrated that the holding satisfies the scheme minimum stocking density requirements, as of now, no payment is due in respect of the 2012 Scheme.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 444. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when an agri-environment options scheme payment for 2012 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11691/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2010 and full payments totalling €1,050.30 and €3,629.48 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During these checks for 2012 an issue was identified in relation to the claimed areas on the Species Rich Grassland action which resulted in a 2.25% penalty reduction in two land parcels. To date 75% payment totalling €2,721.24 issued on 4 March 2013 in respect of 2012. My Department is currently examining the issues identified with the intention of issuing the balancing 25% payment in respect of 2012 as soon as possible.

Harbours and Piers Funding

 445. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide funding for urgent improvements to the harbour slipway at Dunmore East, County Waterford, in view of the importance of this work being carried out before the summer. [11708/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The harbour at Dunmore East is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department. Funding is made available on an annual basis by my Department to the Fishery Harbour Centres, including Dunmore East, via the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Capital Development Programme. The allocation of funding for projects within the 2013 Programme is currently under consideration for each of the Fishery Harbour Centres.

Home Schooling

 446. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the options in place for a child to avail of home schooling; the criteria which must be met to be eligible for home schooling; the way a parent goes about applying to have their child home schooled; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11024/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Recognising the constitutional role of the family as primary educator of the child, the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 provides for the right of every child to a “certain minimum education” and sets out the requirements for the registration of children as being in receipt of an education in a place other than a recognised school, including home settings. Parents/guardians who decide to educate their child at home are legally obliged under the Act to undertake a registration process through the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB). This involves the submission of an application process to the NEWB by the parent/guardian, which is followed by an assessment by the Board of the education being provided. The assessment process is outlined under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 and in the Department of Education and Skills’ Guidelines on the Assessment of Education in Places other than Recognised Schools.

  I am advised by the Board that if, after the preliminary assessment, it cannot be determined if the child is in receipt of a certain minimum education, the Board will require that a comprehensive assessment be carried out under Section 14 of the Act. Parents wishing to undertake the registration process should refer to the website of the National Educational Welfare Board at www.newb.ie for further information on home schooling or contact the NEWB at 01 8738736.


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