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Written Answers. - Allocation of Remedial Teachers.

Tuesday, 8 October 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 469 No. 5

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 162. Mr. Morley Information on Patrick J. Morley Zoom on Patrick J. Morley  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  when a shared remedial teacher will be allocated to the board of management of Bonniconlon, Carra, Bofield, Attymass and the Church of Ireland school in Ballina national schools in view of the fact that they applied two years ago for such a teacher. [17828/96]

[1553]

 171. Mr. Finucane Information on Michael Finucane Zoom on Michael Finucane  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  if she will allocate a remedial teacher to a school (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17892/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 171 together.

I am not in a position at present to allocate additional remedial teachers to primary schools. When I am next in a position to extend the remediation serice, the needs of the schools in question will receive every consideration.

Since amy 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.

I consider that the substantial improvements which 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.

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 I have achieved substantial advances across the entire spectrum of special needs, including the remedial area. It is my intention to continue this process.


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