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Written Answers. - Remedial Teachers.

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 466 No. 7

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 127. Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn Information on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn Zoom on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  when she intends to sanction the appointment of a remedial teacher to service three schools (details supplied) in County Galway. [12245/96]

 128. Cecilia Keaveney Information on Cecilia Keaveney Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  if she will give a breakdown in numbers and locations of the allocation of remedial teachers to the 106 out of 178 schools in County Donegal; and the locations of the other 72 primary schools. [12256/96]

 131. Mr. Moynihan Information on Donal Moynihan Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  when she proposes to appoint a remedial teacher to schools (details supplied) in County Cork. [12279/96]

 132. Mr. Moynihan Information on Donal Moynihan Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  when she proposes to appoint a remedial teacher to schools (details supplied) in County Cork. [12280/96]

 133. Mr. Moynihan Information on Donal Moynihan Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  when she proposes to appoint a remedial teacher to schools (details supplied) in County Cork. [12281/96]

[1913]Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach I propose to take Questions Nos. 127, 128, 131, 132 and 133 together.

I am not in a position at present to make additional remedial teacher posts available to primary schools. Since my appointment as Minister for Education, I have allocated an additional 241 remedial teachers to the primary sector. A total of 1,188 remedial teachers are now in place and the percentage of pupils who have access to a remedial service has increased from 77 per cent to 87 per cent.

The substantial improvements I have already achieved in this area provide practical confirmation of my commitment to the needs of the children in question. However, as Minister for Education I have to consider how best to deploy available resources across a wider range of special needs. I have to determine priorities and try to allocate resources to best effect. During the period 1994-95, in addition to allocating an extra 155 remedial teachers, I adopted a particular focus on the needs of children attending special schools and classes. In addition to reducing the pupil teacher ratios in all such facilities, I provided a very substantial increase in the special capitation rates applicable in such cases. In the current year, I have adopted a particular focus on children who suffer from educational disadvantage and have sought to target resources into this area in an effort to break the cycle of disadvantage. As part of this approach, I recently launched a major new initiative aimed at bringing special targeted assistance to children in selected urban and rural areas who suffer serious educational disadvantage.

I am satisfied that since my appointment as Minister for Education I have achieved substantial advances across the entire spectrum of special needs, including the remedial area. It is my intention to continue this process. My Department does not have the information required by Deputy Keaveney readily [1914] available. However, I will forward this information to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.


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