Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 156-162
 Header Item Education Grants
 Header Item Teacher Recruitment
 Header Item Early Start Programme
 Header Item Broadband Service Provision
 Header Item Languages Programme
 Header Item School Costs
 Header Item Education Schemes

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 947 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 156-162

Education Grants

 156. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the rate of ancillary grant over each of the past ten years; if the 5% reduction in budget 2011 has been restored to schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18531/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The ancillary grant is paid to primary schools.  The table sets out the information requested by the Deputy in respect of the rate of ancillary grants for primary schools from 2007 to 2017.

  The 5% reduction in the ancillary grant reflected the 5% FEMPI salary reduction that schools were required to impose on all staff employed by them under the grant.

  The salary of secretaries and caretakers funded from this grant is being improved on a phased basis between 2016 and 2019 following an arbitration process.  The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016 and €5 in 2017 in order to enable primary schools implement the arbitration outcome for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation.

  Ancillary Grant Rate 2007 - 2017

YearFull Ancillary Rate per pupil
2007€145.50
2008€151.50
2009€155.00
2010€155.00
2011€147.00
2012€147.00
2013€147.00
2014€147.00
2015€147.00
2016€153.00
2017€158.00

Teacher Recruitment

 157. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if there is a cap in place for language support teachers; the way in which the current number differs from 2008 to 2009 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18533/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton There is no cap in place for language support teachers. The level of extra teaching support provided in respect of language support to schools is determined by the numbers of eligible pupils enrolled and the associated levels of those pupils' language proficiency.

Reforms introduced in the 2012/13 school year created s single simplified allocation process for both learning and language support.  At primary level, learning/language support hours are allocated on the basis of mainstream classroom teaching posts in the school.  Schools have autonomy to deploy this resource between learning support and language support depending on the specific needs of the school.  These arrangements also provided for additional permanent teaching posts to be given to schools with high concentration of pupils that require language support. 

On the post primary side, with effect from the 2012/13 school year, learning support and language support has been combined into a single allocation process. 

Further additional temporary EAL support is also provided, as necessary, to schools that have high concentrations of pupils that require language (EAL) support. At primary level, these allocations are made on the basis of appeals by schools to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board and at post-primary level to the Post Primary Staffing Appeals Board.

Earlier this year, I announced that a new model for allocating Special Education Teaching Resources to mainstream primary and post primary schools will be introduced from September 2017. The new model will allocate teachers to schools on the basis of the profiled educational needs of each school. This new model will encompass the Learning/Language support allocation that schools were allocated in previous years. 

Early Start Programme

 158. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the budgetary allocation and participation rates for the early start programme over each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18534/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Early Start programme has centres in 40 DEIS primary schools in Ireland.  In terms of the budgetary allocation to Early Start, my Department pays capitation grants at the rate of €95.23 per enrolled student and other grants amounting to €4444.09 per full unit and €2475.99 per half unit for materials, equipment and parental involvement allowances to each centre.  In addition to this expenditure, Early Start centres are staffed by a primary school teacher and a childcare assistant. Salaries and associated costs are covered by my Department.  The table shows enrolments and budgetary allocations from 2008/09 to 2016/17.

YearExpenditure*Enrolments
2008/09€ 5,477,496.361572
2009/10€ 5,397,852.851535
2010/11€ 5,051,058.821444
2011/12€ 5,045,154.561383
2012/13€ 5,042,773.811357
2013/14€ 5,307,298.511251
2014/15€ 5,257,582.331261
2015/16€ 5,256,915.721254
2016/17€ 5,149,677.391283


*Includes capitation grant per enrolled student, other allowances per unit and half unit as well as average salary costs for 55 primary teachers and childcare workers.

Broadband Service Provision

 159. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the costs of providing 100Mbps broadband to all primary and post-primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18535/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Enhancing Teaching Learning and Assessment, published in October 2015, sets out the Department's vision for embedding ICT in teaching learning and assessment in primary and post-primary schools. Implementation of the programme of work under this Strategy is now underway, with a key priority being the broadband connectivity issues experienced by primary schools owing to infrastructural deficits and the dispersal of primary schools. My Department is collaborating with the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment on this issue, having regard to the National Digital Strategy.  An interdepartmental working group will consider the options and make recommendations based on those deliberations to provide enhanced broadband services to primary schools.

Currently at least 95% of schools are connected to the Department's Broadband Access Programme. At primary level, the Department has upgraded more than 1,000 Primary school connections to fibre broadband in fibre broadband enabled areas. Under the current programme, the Department continually reviews the availability of services and upgrades schools where the opportunity arises, within the parameters of the programme and in compliance with procurement and contractual obligations. 

All post-primary schools are provided with 100Mbp/s connectivity. The 100Mb/s Post Primary project was a joint venture between the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR), now the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. DCCAE funded all of the capital costs of this project, as well as contributing to the recurring costs for the years 2013 to 2015.  My Department funded the remaining current costs and will also fund the on-going costs on an annual basis into the future. 

The total annual cost of the Schools Broadband Access Scheme for Primary and Post-Primary is some €14m. 

The Strategy recognises the issues schools face in relation to ICT infrastructure, and funding of €210m is committed to address these requirements over the period of the Strategy. The first tranche of funding of €30m in respect of the 2016-2017 school year has been issued to all eligible primary and post-primary schools. Details of the Grant Scheme for ICT Infrastructure can be found on the Department's website at -Circuhttp://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Activelars/cl0001_2017.pdf.

Languages Programme

 160. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the costs of implementing the initial teacher elements of the 20-year Irish strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18536/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 -2030 contains a number of actions relating to initial teacher education (ITE) including the introduction of a new specialisation in Irish-medium primary teaching and a new Irish-medium post primary post graduate ITE programme, changes to the Gaeltacht placement and the retention of up to 20% of places on primary ITE programmes for students of high ability in Irish.

A number of actions have been progressed including changes to the Gaeltacht placement, which has been lengthened to two periods of two weeks for all primary ITE students. Initial teacher education providers have responsibility for quality assuring the content, teaching and assessment of the Gaeltacht element of ITE programmes. Costs to the ITE providers in undertaking this role are not available. Changes to the Gaeltacht Entry Scheme, under which 10% of places on the primary Bachelor of Education programme are reserved, are also under consideration in my Department.

My Department’s Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 (the Policy), published in October 2016, contains measures which will support the implementation of the teacher education elements of the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030. Measures in the policy to improve the quality of teaching through Irish include the development of a new Irish-medium ITE programme for primary teachers, along with other plans to strengthen the supply of Irish-medium post-primary teachers from the existing ITE provider. While progress on the implementation of these measures has commenced, exact costs in relation to their implementation cannot be provided at this time.

This Government is committed to supporting the overall thrust of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and will deliver on the achievable goals and targets proposed in line with available resources.

School Costs

 161. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the amount allocated to schools in ICT grants over each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18537/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy may be aware, the ICT in Schools Programme addresses four broad areas, namely:

  - the provision of essential ICT infrastructure and networking within schools

  - continuous professional development in ICT for teachers

  - integrating ICT within the curriculum and providing curriculum relevant digital content and software.

  - the provision of access to broadband connectivity to schools

  Under this programme, in 2009 and 2010 some €92m was issued to schools to address ICT Infrastructure requirements - €22m to primary schools in 2009, a further €24m to primary schools in 2010, and €46m to post-primary schools in 2010. A one-off grant scheme to support the implementation of the Design Communication and Graphics syllabus was put in place in 2015, with over €7m in funding issued to some 450 post-primary schools.

  A new “Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment” was published in October 2015.  The Strategy sets out a clear vision that is focussed on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the learning experiences of students by helping them become engaged thinkers, active learners, knowledge constructors and global citizens who participate fully in society and the economy. 

  In January 2017, I announced ICT infrastructure grants for primary and post-primary schools with €30m issued to schools in the latter part of December 2016/early 2017. This represents the first tranche of funding released of the €210m committed to support the implementation of the Strategy over the period. Further information on the grants is available here http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2017-Press-Releases/PR2017-03-01.html

  In addition, the Planning and Building Unit of my Department issue ICT equipment grants in respect of all new schools and school extension projects, in line with the accommodation provided.

Education Schemes

 162. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the budgetary allocation and participation rates in post-leaving certificate, PLC, courses over each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18538/17]

 163. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the budgetary allocation and participation rates in VTOS courses over each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18539/17]

 164. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the budgetary allocation and participation rates in Youthreach courses for each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18540/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 to 164, inclusive, together.

  The information is being compiled by my Department and Solas and will be sent to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

  I refer to Parliamentary Questions Reference Nos. 18538/17, 18539/17 and 18540/17 of 12 April 2017 in which you requested the budgetary allocation and participation rates in PLCs, VTOS and Youthreach courses over each of the past ten years.

  In my reply, I had indicated that the information sought was not available at the time but would be forwarded to you separately. I am now in a position to provide the relevant information which is set out in the following table.

Year Youthreach VTOS PLC

-€ millionPlaces€ millionPlaces€ millionPlaces
200759.33,13368.35,403154.029,967
200868.33,44171.25,568170.533,368
200968.93,45277.44,338183.338,528
201071.03,36778.94,360186.138,680
201174.13,77678.94,345150.036,528
201271.03,31379.84,331150.035,524
201372.93,21782.25,649150.034,003
201467.93,29277.05,743150.033,089
201567.03,51274.44,052*150.026,357 1 Jan 2015 figures
201666.33,21373.63,730*150.027,882 1 Jan 2016 figures
201765.6 73.7 150.0Estimated
*2015 and 2016 figures for VTOS do not include VTOS participants in PLC colleges

NB: Further Education and Training data was collected by the Department of Education and Skills up to 2013. With the establishment of SOLAS in 2013, responsibility for these programmes was taken over by SOLAS.


Last Updated: 04/03/2020 10:38:16 First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page