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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 282-300
 Header Item Pupil-Teacher Ratio
 Header Item Schools Data
 Header Item School Equipment
 Header Item School Transport Administration
 Header Item State Examinations
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Schools Data
 Header Item School Staffing
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Status
 Header Item Schools Building Contractors
 Header Item School Enrolments
 Header Item School Transport Administration
 Header Item State Examinations Reviews
 Header Item School Accommodation
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Status

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 282-300

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

 282. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will review the pupil-teacher criteria for small schools to allow for population fluctuations year-on-year in the interests of restoring certainty for the schools and communities involved (details supplied).  [12888/14]

 391. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will grant necessary school status with less punitive pupil threshold requirements for mainstream teacher allocations to very isolated rural schools where there are no other nearby schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14075/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 and 391 together.

The allocation of teaching posts to schools is done in a transparent manner using published criteria. Unlike most other areas of the public service teaching vacancies are being filled in accordance with the published criteria. Normally, the staffing of schools is determined by the enrolments of the previous September. However, the staffing arrangements also include provision for schools that are projecting significant increases in their enrolments for the start of the school year to be allocated additional classroom teachers. The staffing arrangements for the 2014/15 school year (Circular 0007/2014) were published in January, 2014.

As part of the Budget 2012 decisions, there is a phased increase in the number of pupils required to gain and retain a classroom teaching post in small primary schools with four teachers or less. The first phase of the budget measure took effect from September 2012. The final phase of the budget measure takes effect from September 2014.

An appeals process is available to small schools which have had their staff number reduced as a result of the budget measure. A school with four classroom teachers or less which is losing a teacher or failed to gain an additional teacher as a result of the Budget 2012 measure can submit an appeal to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board. In this regard small schools will not lose their classroom post if they are projecting sustainable increased enrolments in September 2014 that would be sufficient to allow them to retain their existing classroom posts over the longer term.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final. Educational quality for the pupils has to be one of the main criteria in any consideration of primary school size. It is also necessary to consider the needs of local communities and of course there are wider social and cultural factors that need to be considered. Given our population growth, we have increasing enrolment at all levels of education which is expected to continue in the medium term. Many pupil places are required in areas that currently have no school provision at all and we have schools in areas of stable or declining population with relatively low pupil numbers.

Our current configuration of small primary schools has been examined by my Department in a value for money review which I am considering in consultation with my Government colleagues. My intention is to publish the report of the review on completion of this consideration process. It is expected that the report of the review process will provide a valuable evidence base which will help inform future policy direction in the area of small primary schools.

Schools Data

 283. Deputy John Lyons Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if a feasibility study has been carried out by his Department for a second-level Educate Together school on the north side of Dublin due to the increase in Educate Together primary schools in the north Dublin area and strong support from parents for such second-level provision.  [12850/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn In June of 2011, I announced that some 20 new post-primary schools would be established over the coming years to meet demographic needs. Following on from that announcement, prospective patron bodies were invited to apply for patronage of the schools under new arrangements for determining patronage for the schools. These arrangements, which are overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group, place a heavy focus on parental choice and allow for the introduction or widening of diversity of school provision where parents want this. Under this process, there was sufficient viable parental demand for Educate Together patronage for the proposed new schools on the north side of Dublin in Blanchardstown West and Balbriggan. These school are opening in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

My Department continues to analyse demographic data to identify where further new primary and post-primary schools may be required from 2016 onwards. It will be open to all patron bodies, including Educate Together, to apply for patronage of any such schools in line with the established patronage determination process outlined above.

School Equipment

 284. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if a funding stream exists within his Department for the provision of gym equipment for a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12904/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The PE Hall at the school referred to by the Deputy was constructed in 2002. Funding in the amount of circa €50,000 was paid to Co Wicklow VEC towards the provision of PE equipment for this PE Hall in 2003/2004.

School Transport Administration

 285. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the reasons for decisions as if responding to a section 18 of the Freedom of Information Act request as to the reason the regulations giving effect to Commission Directive 80/723/EEC of 25 June 1980, as amended by Commission Directive 85/413/EEC of 24 July 1985, Commission Directive 93/84/EEC of 30 September 1993 and Commission Directive 2000/52/EC of 26 July 2000 and the European Union (Financial Transparency Regulations) as amended over the years did or did not apply to the payment his Department made during the relevant periods to date to Bus Éireann for school transport services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12909/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciaran Cannon Zoom on Ciaran Cannon Compliance by Bus Éireann with the European Communities (Financial Transparency) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 693 of 2004) and Directives is a matter for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Bus Éireann has confirmed to my Department that it is compliant with these Regulations and Directives. In essence the company is required to maintain separate accounts for its commercial and PSO activities and the company complies with this requirement.

State Examinations

 286. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will provide a refund in a case (details supplied) involving costs incurred due to errors in leaving certificate marking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12907/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

Departmental Funding

 287. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will provide in tabular form the level of funding allocated by his Department to each non-governmental organisation during each of the past four years, including the names of these organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12918/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Recipients of grant funding and other payments from my Department are not mainly indexed by whether the recipients have Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status. It is not, therefore, possible to provide a definitive listing of payments to NGOs without assigning very significant administrative resources to this task.

  However, the following table, produced following a summary examination of payments made from the Department's financial management system, does provide details of bodies regarded as NGOs, or as having status analogous to NGOs, that were paid directly from the financial management system in the last four years. The listing does not include other bodies that may have received Departmental funding indirectly, e.g. from a body that itself is in receipt of direct Voted funding from my Department.

Organisation Name
2010
2011
2012
2013
 
€ 
€ 
€ 
€ 
ACAMH (ASSOCIATION FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH) 
-
612.00
135.00
-
AGE ACTION IRELAND
73,000.00
71,000.00
70,000.00
70,000.00
ALLIANCE VICTIM SUPPORT GROUP
20,000.00
5,000.00
1,400.00
8,970.25
BARNARDOS
751,276.34
796,931.51
421,281.92
305,631.80
BELONG TO
-
-
-
108,385.00
BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY IRELAND
228,000.00
79,826.00
29,826.00
29,826.00
CAMARA
2,062.50
1,209.50
816.00
-
CENTRE FOR CROSS BORDER STUDIES
237,214.00
237,000.00
192,028.00
236,500.00
CHILDRENS BOOKS IRELAND
6,000.00
-
3,000.00
2,920.75
CINEMAGIC
75,000.00
75,000.00
40,000.00
75,000.00
CO-OPERATION IRELAND
136,288.00
170,786.00
73,768.00
-
COVENTRY IRISH SOCIETY
75,593.38
55,225.23
97,978.05
82,709.95
DUBLIN EMPLOYMENT PACT
-
-
-
-
EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR DEV IN SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION
31,182.00
31,182.00
31,182.00
41,182.00
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
-
-
75,000.00
-
EUROPEAN MOVEMENT IRELAND
1,300.00
1,300.00
8,635.00
5,300.00
FOCUS IRELAND
85,356.00
96,017.00
-
-
GLEN
-
-
-
40,000.00
GLOR NA NGAEL
16,500.00
16,500.00
7,250.00
16,500.00
HARINGEY IRISH CULTURAL AND COMMUNITY CARE
41,851.68
-
-
-
HOLOCAUST EDUCATIONAL TRUST OF IRELAND
81,000.00
81,000.00
92,478.00
92,778.00
INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS
6,095.00
6,095.00
6,000.00
6,700.00
IRISH COMMUNITY CARE
50,657.70
50,386.90
53,291.49
32,224.43
IRISH COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
-
10,800.00
20,436.00
2,671.00
IRISH IN BRITAIN
18,672.87
18,583.49
18,239.01
11,865.58
IRISH NATIONAL ORGANISATION OF THE UNEMPLOYED
20,000.00
20,000.00
20,000.00
20,000.00
IRISH SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE (SOCA)
318.13
7,323.81
4,741.54
3,742.90
IRISH SURVIVORS OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE INTERNATIONAL
3,061.70
5,351.23
5,000.00
5,000.00
JUSTICE AND HEALING FOR INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE
500.00
-
-
-
LONDON IRISH CENTRE CHARITY
103,032.94
103,435.74
101,952.04
60,887.86
NALA (NATIONAL ADULT LITERACY AGENCY)
1,789,114.30
1,790,000.00
1,773,250.00
1,710,000.00
RASP LTD
-
138,847.00
138,840.00
138,840.00
RIGHT OF PLACE
44,616.54
22,115.95
18,795.81
12,333.58
RIGHT TO PEACE
11,000.00
2,650.00
2,600.00
3,231.81
SAOL PROJECT LTD
18,436.41
16,697.14
13,422.61
18,647.27
THE PUSHKIN TRUST
30,000.00
30,000.00
-
27,000.00
WASHINGTON IRELAND PROGRAMME
115,000.00
100,000.00
100,000.00
100,000.00

Departmental Funding

 288. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if Rehab has been provided with any funding during each of the past seven years; the level of funding provided during each of these years; the purposes for which the funding was allocated; if any audits of use of this money were carried out; the results of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12919/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The information requested by the Deputy is included in the following table.

Name of Education & Skills Body/Agency providing fundingName of recipient body (REHAB or subsidiary)Funding 2007Funding 2008Funding 2009Funding 2010Funding 2011Funding 2012Funding 2013Purposes for which funding was allocatedDetails regarding audits
SOLAS (Formerly FAS)National Learning Network€27,426,000€27,180,000€27,569,000€25,466,000€27,558,000€27,916,000€27,025,000Primarily payments made by SOLAS (formerly FAS) to the National Learning Networks on a capitation basis in respect of training provided by the Networks under the Specialist Training Providers programme.  Some payments also made under the 'Momentum' and 'Local Training Initiative' programmes. Audits of individual National Learning Network (NLN) sites typically completed as part of larger audits.  In the period under review, fifteen such audits were reported upon.
Education and Training Boards (ETBs). (Formerly Vocational Education Committees).Various groups under REHAB umbrella (including REHAB, National Learning Network, RehabCare).€658,736€1,098,323€1,037,490€1,361,396€1,449,075€1,403,045€1,016,394Payments mainly in respect of delivery of literacy, numeracy and community education tuition;  provision of Notetakers, Personal Assistants, Sign Language Interpreters, Disability Officers.Accounts of VECs subject to audit by C&AG. Payment invoices required to be authorised as being appropriate for payment before payments made.
Department of Education and SkillsNational Learning Network€951,073€1,000,494€927,578€590,909€794,734€701,287€639,764Grant-aid funding is allocated to the National Learning Network (NLN) to provide for the employment of teachers/tutors delivering literacy and numeracy tuition to approximately 1,200 adults with disabilities attending NLN Centres around the country. There are 32 such centres nationwide.  Payment issued to the NLN upon receipt of confirmation of tuition undertaken in the centres by NLN head office, up to the maximum level of tuition sanctioned. Level of tuition claimed for is cross-referenced against that sanctioned. Checks are undertaken to ensure tutors providing tuition in NLN Centres are registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland.
Department of Education and Skills (following transfer of certain administrative and ministerial functions from Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in May 2010) TBG Learning in conjunction with the National Learning Network€0€0€0€4,927,037€2,610,787€0€0Following a procurement process, TBG Learning in conjunction with NLN were awarded a contract under the Labour Market Activation Fund 2010 to deliver the JobFit programme. The programme initially targeted to assist a total of 1,878 participants, but 2,215 were ultimately assisted. It was envisaged that 782 participants would achieve a FETAC or industry recognised qualification.  A total of 1,012 individuals achieved one or more qualifications under the programme. 217 individuals progressed to further/higher education (Phase 1), while a total of 488 individuals obtained employment, surpassing the initial target by 34%.Continuous monitoring by DES officials throughout the programme involving: monthly reporting by TBG Learning on numbers being trained or obtaining employment; meetings with TBG officials;  on-site monitoring checks by DES officials in various TBG centres to ensure that TBG Learning were adhering to the terms of original contract. Monitoring indicated that: centres were well managed; comprehensive documentation presented during visits and records examined found to be satisfactory; appropriate attendance monitoring and management system in place.  No major issues of concern arising from audits. Original tender targets exceeded.
Department of Education and SkillsRehab Enterprises Ltd€0€0€0€0€114€1,162€3,045The Department used the services of Rehab for electronic recycling, data destruction and recycling of office materials and equipment in the years shown.Invoices subject to prior authorisation.
TOTAL €29,035,809€29,278,817€29,534,068€32,345,342€32,412,710€30,021,494€28,684,203  


  Note 1 - In addition to the above payments, the Department's Planning and Building Unit also made payments to Red Hill School in Limerick, whose patron is the REHAB group, for the purchase of temporary accommodation, set-up and once-off grants, special needs equipment grants, minor works grants. Funding for these purposes of €2,103,282 was provided from 2007 to date. The school would also have been entitled to a range of grant payments which are payable to all schools.

  Note 2 - In addition to the above payments a number of education and training entities - e.g. schools, Institutes of Technology, Universities etc - would have recycling arrangements with various bodies under the REHAB umbrella, such as REHAB Glassco, REHAB Recycling Partnership. REHAB Recycle. Full details of these payments are not, however, available.

  Note 3 - Details above of funding provided by the Department to the National Learning Network do not include grant funding of €91,967 provided in respect of escort provision for pupils under the School Transport scheme.

  Note 4 - Given the range of bodies in the REHAB group and the large number of entities and payment systems across the education sector, it is possible that some payments were made to the REHAB group from these entities that are not listed above.

Schools Data

 289. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the reason schools are outsourcing the correction of pre-papers for the junior certificate and leaving certificate; if this practice is at the discretion of the school; if any concessions are available for those with medical cards or low income households in order to meet the costs passed onto parents as a result of this practice; the number of schools who engage in this practice; the average cost per student of the corrections; the savings made by his Department as a result of this measure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12930/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Mock examinations are not part of the State examinations system. The decision to organise and/or charge for mock examinations is made at school level, and mock examinations are not a requirement of my Department. The Department would have no data relevant to the question.

School Staffing

 290. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will address the fact that his Department payroll section pays special needs assistants based on the standard which is used for post primary being applied to primary, although both work completely different hours, and those working in the post-primary area are a minority group, 2,000 posts as compared to primary posts numbering 6,000 plus posts.  [12938/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn This question raises two matters and I will deal with each in turn. Firstly, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are paid on the SNA salary scale which is set by the Minister for Education and Skills in conjunction with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. SNAs who are employed in a part-time capacity are paid a pro-rata amount dependent upon their level of hours of employment. Part-time SNAs are paid on the agreed divisor rate for pay purposes for part-time SNAs which is 32 hours. I should point out that this divisor was agreed with both of the Trade Unions (IMPACT and SIPTU) that represent SNAs.

  Secondly, the question deals with the working hours of SNAs. The contractual position in respect of the working hours of SNAs is as outlined in their contracts of employment which were agreed with the school management authorities and the relevant Trade Unions representing SNAs (IMPACT and SIPTU) prior to their introduction in 2005. Links to the SNA Contracts of Employment are as follows:Department of Education and Skills Circular SNA 12/05 (Post-Primary) http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/sna12_05.pdf Department of Education and Skills Circular SNA 15/05 (Primary) http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Popular-forms/SNA-15-05-Contract-Form.pdf.

  This contract of employment is augmented by all of the relevant Departmental Circulars governing Special Needs Assistants which detail the standardised terms and conditions of employment for SNAs. These Circulars are amended and new Circulars are issued by the Minister for Education and Skills from time to time. The position regarding the working hours of full-time SNAs is as outlined in these standard SNA contracts of employment. In that context, the standard SNA contract has been designed to be flexible to cater for the different spectrum of working hours across all the various schools including primary, post-primary and special schools. No set hours were agreed but instead full-time SNAs are expected to work for the normal school hours in the school that they are working in, and in addition to be available for a period of time before and after school in order to help with reception and dispersal of children and preparation and tidying up of classrooms etc. These times are set locally by the school management and will vary from school to school depending on the requirements of the school.

In addition, all SNAs were required to be available for a number of days at the start and finish of each school term not exceeding 12 in total. Under the Croke Park Agreement it was agreed to introduce greater flexibility to the use of these 12 days. These 12 days now equate to 72 hours (pro-rata for part-time SNAs) to be used by schools as an additional bank of hours to be utilised and delivered outside of normal school opening hours and/or the normal school year.

  Furthermore, the issue of appropriate working hours for all public servants was one of the key aspects of the set of proposals for a public service agreement which were put forward by the Labour Relations Commission and which now form the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (the Haddington Road Agreement). The specific text of the Haddington Road Agreement relating to working hours for SNAs is as follows:

"SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS

Hours

  Under the terms of the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, discussions took place that led to agreement on changed attendance arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) that give schools the option of an additional two hours working time per week from each Special Needs Assistant. Under the terms of this Agreement on increased working hours in the Public Service, the available requirements in schools for additional hours for SNAs is quite limited. Given issues such as the duration of the school day and operation hours, and the specific availability of individual SNAs the details of the utilisation of any additional requirements should be the subject of further discussions.

  These new attendance arrangements, allied to the provisions outlined in the above paragraph should be the subject of a review by the LRC in advance of the 2013/2014 school year, involving the Department of Education and Skills and IMPACT/SIPTU, in order to assess if the additional hours are being utilised in the most effective and appropriate manner and in order to achieve agreement on any changes deemed necessary in terms of the arrangement agreed for teachers. This will constitute the liability on Special Needs Assistants in respect of working hours for the purposes of this extension to the Public Service Agreement."

Schools Building Projects Status

 291. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will report on the school building or refurbishment works primary and post-primary that are to be initiated or progressed in Dublin 1, Dublin 3 and Dublin 7 in 2014; and in each case, if he will indicate the stage or phase to which the works in question are intended to have arrived at by year end; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12939/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I wish to advise the Deputy that details of all school capital works that have been funded by my Department may be viewed on my Department's website at www.education.ie and this is updated on a regular basis. The 5 year School Construction Plan announced in March 2012, provides for a €2 billion school capital investment programme to 2016, of which €1.5 billion is being allocated to fund major school projects with the balance needed for the additional accommodation scheme, the prefab replacement initiative, the acquisition of sites and other works. The Five Year Plan prioritises major school projects in areas where future significant demographic changes have been identified.

  Further to the Five Year Plan, my Department is committed to publishing a detailed annual programme in relation to individual major school projects commencing construction. In this context, annual programmes have been published for 2012 and 2013. Details of the building projects including projects in the areas, referred to by the Deputy, that are projected to commence construction in 2014 were announced on 29th November 2013. The 5 Year Plan and annual programmes, in question, are also detailed on the website. In addition, due to additional funding made available for the schools' building programme as part of the Government's "Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs" package announced earlier this year, 28 school projects that were not contained in the 5 year programme but have completed extensive architectural planning are now being progressed to tender and construction. A project for a replacement school in Dublin 1 is included in this package.

  The Deputy will be aware that under the Prefab Replacement initiative 2012, approval was given to 170 schools nationally to replace 458 prefab units with permanent accommodation. In excess of €42 million was allocated for this initiative. In June 2013, I announced a further initiative to replace prefab units with permanent accommodation. A total of €15 million has been allocated in 2013/2014 for this purpose. Forty six schools with 115 prefab units have been offered grants to provide the new facilities. For the Deputy's convenience, a list of the major new school and extension projects being undertaken in Dublin 1, 3 and 7 is outlined. The Deputy will also be aware of my announcement on Thursday, 20th March last, of almost €36 million for school improvements under the first round of the Summer Works Scheme for 2014. Details of the approved schools may also be viewed on the website.

 

School NameListed
Dublin 7 Education Together NS, Glasnevin5 Year Capital Programme 2015/16
Bunscoil Colaiste Mhuire, Dublin 15 Year Capital Programme 2014/15
North Dublin Muslim School, Cabra5 Year Capital Programme 2014/15
Gaelscoil Bharra, Cabra5 Year Capital Programme 2014/15
St Laurence O'Toole Special School, Dublin 1Announced in 2013 "Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs"package
St John Bosco Senior Boys School, CabraPrefab Initiative Scheme 2013
Scoil Naomh Eoin Bosco CabraPrefab Initiative Scheme 2013

Schools Building Contractors

 292. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the number of contracts for replacement schools, school extensions and alterations to existing schools that have not been completed on time or on budget since 2011; the number of these failures to deliver that were as a result of the company that successfully secured the tender closing prior to completion; if his analysis shows that by focusing on securing the lowest cost possible, the procurement process has rewarded abnormally low tenders offered by challenged businesses that subsequently went into liquidation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12940/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Since 2011 there have been a total of fourteen major school building projects that encountered difficulties which led to the termination of the main contractor's obligation to complete the works. Thirteen terminations were due to insolvency events involving four contractors. The remaining project was terminated due to the contractor's default which was not insolvency related. There have been no terminations due to contractor default since 2012. With regard to the procurement and award process, I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department adheres to the rules and guidelines set down by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the EU Commission in relation to public procurement. My Department does not consider that any of the contracts awarded were on the basis of abnormally low tenders.

School Enrolments

 293. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will provide full and complete details of the enrolment policy in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12953/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998. The selection process for school enrolment and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. Under section 15 (2) (d) of the Education Act 1998, each school is legally obliged to publish its enrolment policy.

School Transport Administration

 294. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will provide in tabular form the amounts per annum that have been rebated to his Department by Bus Éireann each year for the use of any of the school bus fleet for non educational purposes, such as concerts or other commercial purposes since 1989 by Bus Éireann. [12987/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciaran Cannon Zoom on Ciaran Cannon The information sought going back to 1989 would take some time to retrieve but the following amount shows the average credit passed to the School Account in respect of school vehicles utilised on non-schools work in the 2007-2013 period. Year -Amount 2007 - €220,000; 2008 - €204,000; 2009 - €263,000; 2010 - €105,000; 2011 - €227,000; 2012 - €351,000; 2013 - €469,168.

State Examinations Reviews

 295. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding teachers protesting outside schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13001/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn My Department is currently actively considering the concerns expressed by the teacher unions and the other partners in relation to the new Junior Cycle and has already responded to some of their identified concerns. In fact additional CPD has already been provided for subject specialist teachers and also for school leaders. A full day per year has also been granted for whole school consideration of the Junior Cycle reform, subject to Board of Management approval. The pace of implementation has also been slowed.

A National Working Group for Junior Cycle has been set up as a forum to proactively address identified challenges as they arise over the phased implementation time schedule for the Junior Cycle. My officials are currently engaged in intensive discussions with the education stakeholders on the resources including the detailed modalities in relation to workload and implementation issues for schools and teachers; on quality assurance and teacher assessment and on the professional development required to support teachers and school leaders to implement the Junior Cycle.

I expect to receive a detailed report on these issues from the National Working Group in May. School management bodies, Educate Together and parents have made written proposals to the Department of Education and Skills which include their views on the resources required. This is under active consideration. However, Unions have refused to put proposals in writing in relation to the implementation issues highlighted, despite repeated requests. Their oral position is that, unless there is an external high-stakes examination, reform will not work. I have confidence in the professionalism and integrity of our teachers. I have provided additional CPD and am considering other resources which will provide teachers, students, parents and the wider community with confidence in the new junior cycle as it is rolled out. Such assessment models work in many other countries and I believe with the right supports it will work in Ireland.

My officials are in dialogue through the National Working Group. We want the new Junior Cycle to work so that a quality education experience is the reality for all our students.

School Accommodation

 296. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the deficiencies and the health and safety issues in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; if he will provide a learning support-resource classroom as a matter of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13004/14]

 356. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding a learning support-resource classroom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13622/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 296 and 356 together.

  The school, to which the Deputy refers, has recently submitted an application for funding for additional accommodation. The application concerned is currently being assessed and a decision will be conveyed to the school authorities when this process has been finalised.

Student Grant Scheme Expenditure

 297. Deputy Ciarán Lynch Information on Ciaran Lynch Zoom on Ciaran Lynch asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the support funding available to assist a person (details supplied) pursuing dance-theatre opportunities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13018/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn In relation to support available for students studying abroad, my Department's student maintenance grant scheme provide maintenance grants to undergraduate students pursuing approved third level courses in other E.U. Member States. In general, an approved undergraduate course in this context is defined as a full-time undergraduate course of not less than two years duration pursued in a university or third level institution, which is maintained or assisted by recurrent grants from public funds in another EU Member State, with the exception of the following: (i) courses in Colleges of Further and Higher Education (other than courses which are at Higher National Diploma level or higher); (ii) courses provided in a college which are offered in private commercial third level colleges in the State and which are validated by that College; (iii) courses in colleges akin to private commercial colleges in Ireland.

Where a grant application is made in respect of a course being pursued in a third-level institution abroad, such as a Dance/ Theatre School, it is a matter for the central grant awarding authority SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) to satisfy itself regarding the status of the institution and as to whether the course and institution meet the terms of the scheme.

In relation to tuition fees, there is provision for tax relief, at the standard rate in respect of approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in other E.U. Member States. Further details and conditions in relation to this relief are available from the Revenue Commissioners.

Departmental Reports

 298. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13029/14]

 299. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13046/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 298 and 299 together.

  The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the attached table, which gives details of policy reports which are in my possession and which have not been published. It does not include internal operational reports such as audit reports.

Name of ReportDate to be published
Value for Money Review of Small Primary SchoolsUnder consideration
Report of the NCSE Working Group on a Proposed New Model for Allocating Teaching Resources for Students with Special Educational Needs - ‘Delivery for Students with Special Educational Needs’Under consideration
Proposals on the New Means Testing Arrangements for Student Grants to Include an Assets Test – Report of the Implementation Group to the Minister for Education and SkillsUnder consideration
Review of the Overhead Costs and Indirect Costs Attributable to the School Transport Scheme Under consideration
Report of the Memorial Committee following an Bord Pleanála’s refusal to grant planning permission for the Journey of Light at the Garden of RemembranceUnder consideration
Final Report of the EGF Dell ProgrammeQuarter 2 of 2014
Final Report of the EGF Waterford Crystal ProgrammeQuarter 2 of 2014
Final Report on EGF NACE 41 Construction Sector ProgrammeQuarter 2 of 2014
Final Report on EGF NACE 43 Construction Sector ProgrammeQuarter 2 of 2014
Final Report on EGF NACE 71 Construction Sector ProgrammeQuarter 2 of 2014
Report on Follow-Up Assessment of Labour Market Outcomes Among Beneficiaries in the Three EGF Construction ProgrammesQuarter 2 of 2014

Schools Building Projects Status

 300. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) in County Roscommon was removed from the five year school building programme; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is an increasing population in the area whose children will enrol in the school; the amount spent on prefabs for this school during each of the past five years; the date on which he will reinstate the school on the school building programme.  [13058/14]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The Deputy will be aware that the over-riding objective of Education capital expenditure is to meet the demographic challenge facing the education system whereby total pupil enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by around 107,000 additional pupils between 2012 and 2019 - over 70,000 at primary level and over 35,000 at post primary - and will continue to rise at post primary level to the year 2026 at least. The 5 Year Construction Plan prioritises major school projects in areas where future significant demographic changes have been identified. In that regard, it was not possible to progress all school building projects concurrently.

The building project in relation to the school, referred to by the Deputy, has not been withdrawn from the school building programme. This school project in addition to other school projects that are currently within the Department's architectural planning process but which were not included in the Five Year Plan, are being progressed to the final planning stages in anticipation of further funding becoming available to my Department in future years. However, I am not in position to provide an indicative timeline for the progression of those projects to construction stage at this time.

  With regard to the amount of funding spent on prefabs at the school referred to by the Deputy, I can confirm that the following rental payments have been made since 2009.

2009 - nil; 2010 - €3,908.30; 2011 - €12,584.00; 2012 - €12,688.00; 2013 - €12,792.00. In addition, once off site costs associated with the rental of the prefab amounted to €15,067.47 in 2010.


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