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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 172-191
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staff
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Data
 Header Item Springboard Programme
 Header Item School Transport Provision
 Header Item Capitation Grants
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item School Accommodation Provision
 Header Item State Examinations
 Header Item Teachers' Remuneration
 Header Item Teachers' Remuneration
 Header Item Psychological Assessments
 Header Item School Staff
 Header Item Electric Vehicles
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item Psychological Assessments
 Header Item Student Support Schemes
 Header Item Institutes of Technology
 Header Item Teacher Data
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Summer Works Scheme

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 172-191

Special Educational Needs Staff

 172. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to amend the workings of the special needs assistant, SNA, supplementary panel to bring it into line with the panel which operates for primary school teachers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43403/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were established on foot of proposals brought forward by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) when the Haddington Road Agreement was being agreed. These supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs continue to operate under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 - 2020, and both unions representing SNAs, namely SIPTU and IMPACT, have signed up to that agreement. As set out in the LRC proposals, the supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs only apply to current SNAs who are notified that they are to be made redundant. Accordingly, the purpose of these arrangements is to facilitate eligible SNAs who are being made redundant by one employer in filling SNA vacancies that may become available in another school/ETB.  When an employer has an SNA vacancy to fill, they must undertake the recruitment process in accordance with the provisions outlined in Circular 0042/2017 “Recruitment of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) –Supplementary Assignment Arrangements for the 2017/18 School Year”. 

In addition, under the provisions of Circular 0042/2017, where a school/ETB has an additional allocation of SNA hours/posts, then that additional allocation of hours/posts must be offered to any existing part-time SNAs in that employment, in order of seniority, before the employer has recourse to recruitment.

These arrangements give SNAs the alternative of redeployment instead of redundancy and give SNAs greater stability and a better chance of a full-hours contract, while at the same time ensuring that schools can continue to recruit SNAs with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of the children in their care.

The arrangements are reviewed annually by the unions, school management bodies and the Department, with the assistance of an independent chairperson, and this annual review enables the parties to examine and resolve issues arising in the operation of the arrangements.

On 5 July 2017, I announced that 975 additional Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were to be allocated to schools over the period September to December 2017, a 7.5% increase in SNA numbers in order to meet the level of assessed demand.  This announcement brings the total number of SNAs to 13,990, representing an increase in the total numbers of SNAs of 32%, from 10,575 to 13,990 since 2011.  

In addition, and as announced as part of Budget 2018, funding is being allocated for the recruitment of over 1,090 new Special Needs Assistants in 2018 (based on current forecasts), including some 130 posts which will be filled in the period between January and June next year, with the remainder being appointed from September 2018.  This brings the total number of SNAs to over 15,000.

It is inevitable that redundancies will occur in individual schools, due to circumstances such as a special educational needs pupil moving to another school, moving from first to second level, or second to third level, etc.  However, overall and due to the significant increase in SNA numbers since 2011 and the introduction of the Supplementary Assignment Panel Arrangements, SNAs have benefited from greater stability in their employment.  I have no plans to amend the workings of the SNA supplementary panel to bring it into line with the panel which operates for primary school teachers.

Departmental Bodies Data

 173. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of his Department; and the number of members of each State body or board who are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has oversight. [43413/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton For the Deputy's information details of the State Bodies that fall under the remit of my Department, including details of board appointments to the respective State Boards are available on my Department's website at the following link: http://education.ie/en/The-Department/Agencies/.

  The Deputy should note that individuals may be nominated for appointment by various organisations arising from the terms in the relevant Statutes of the Body concerned and accordingly board appointments while made by me are not in all cases made at my discretion.

  In line with the guidelines for appointments to State Boards, the process for filling vacancies on State Boards under the aegis of my Department is now generally managed by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). Applications are made through the dedicated website www.Stateboards.ie. An assessment process is undertaken by PAS leading to the creation of a list of candidates suitable for appointments to Boards.

Springboard Programme

 174. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to implement a review of the eligibility guidelines for acceptance onto the Springboard+ programme in view of the continuing fall in unemployment, the increase in the non-EU population and recent changes enabling asylum seekers to participate in the workforce; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43436/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Springboard+ which incorporates the ICT skills conversion programme, is a targeted initiative which is primarily used to provide funding for higher education courses aimed at meeting the need for in-demand skills in the economy and supporting jobseekers to return to employment.

In 2017 the eligibility criteria was expanded to include homemakers and those in employment including those in self-employment who wish to upskill, reskill or cross skill in the Biopharma/Med Tech sector and  those in employment, or self-employment in the ICT sector who wish to upskill from a level 7 to a level 8 qualification.

The eligibility criteria for Springboard+ are reviewed by my Department on a regular basis in consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

In drawing up eligibility criteria for those in employment, a decision was made to align the criteria with that of the existing ICT Conversion Courses under Springboard+ and the Department’s Free Fees Initiative for third level education, i.e. a student must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least 3 of the 5 years prior to entry to their third level course of study in order to qualify to participate on the programme.  This rule applies to all individuals regardless of their citizenship.

School Transport Provision

 175. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to address the lack of school bus places being made available for children in 2017; and if the transport supports required by a person (details supplied) will be made available to the person. [43442/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. 

  During the 2016/17 school year almost 116,000 children, including some 12,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 4,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

  In general, children with special educational needs are eligible for school transport if they are attending the nearest recognised mainstream or special school that is or can be resourced, to meet their special  educational needs under Department of Education and Skills' criteria.

  Bus Éireann has reported that the school transport service commenced on 9 October 2017.

Capitation Grants

 176. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to restore the capitation grant for primary schools to €200 as a matter of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43451/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I do recognise the need to improve capitation funding for primary schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.

Budget 2018 marks the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish Education and Training service the best in Europe within a decade.  In 2018, the budget for the Department of Education will increase by €554 million to over €10 billion.

Due to the many competing demands for the available funding it was not possible to make progress in Budget 2018 on restoring capitation funding to schools.  Capitation funding remains a priority for me to address as part of the Action Plan.

The process is underway for restoring grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff.  The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016 and €5 in 2017 in order to enable primary schools implement the arbitration salary increase for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation. 

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 177. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if a person (details supplied) will be granted access to a special needs assistant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43486/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is an independent statutory agency, is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support.  The criteria by which SNA support is allocated to pupils is set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014.

  In considering applications for SNA supports for individual pupils, the SENOs take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources. SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

  All schools have been advised of their allocations for SNA support for the 2017/18 school year. Details of SNA allocations which have been made to schools have been published by the NCSE on their website at http://ncse.ie/statistics.

  Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2017/18, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

  The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support on the grounds that my Department's policy was not met in accordance with Circular 0030/2014. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying my Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA supports to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned. The closing date for receipt of appeals was 29th September 2017.

  All schools have the contact details of their local SENO and parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available at http://ncse.ie/seno-contact-list.

  As the matter raised in this question refers to an individual child, I have arranged for the NCSE to reply directly to the Deputy.

School Accommodation Provision

 178. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when the construction of a permanent school building for a school (details supplied) will commence; when the temporary accommodation for two of the school's classes will be in place enabling the classes temporarily located in a school (details supplied) to move back to the Rathborne, Dublin 15, site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43488/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Officials in my Department have been working towards the acquisition of a permanent site to meet the needs of the school to which the Deputy refers.

With regard to permanent accommodation, my Department has reached agreement with the landowner of the permanent site and the acquisition is currently progressing through the conveyancing stage.  Following the completion of the acquisition, the architectural planning process for the provision of a new permanent building for the school in question will commence.

With regard to temporary arrangements, as the Deputy may be aware, this is a developing school which is in rented temporary accommodation in Rathborne, Dublin 15 and requires two additional classrooms in the current school year. A Consultant Architect was appointed in relation to the provision of additional temporary accommodation for the school and it is anticipated that the final decision to grant planning permission will issue from the local authority shortly. This project is a high priority for my Department and work is ongoing to provide the additional prefab accommodation at this location as soon as possible in the current school term.

In the interim, arrangements were put in place in consultation with the patron body to temporarily accommodate two of the classes in a nearby school building (referred to by the Deputy) as a short-term arrangement, pending delivery of the additional prefab accommodation. This school which is currently being used for interim arrangements is a new 16-classroom school which opened in its permanent accommodation only last year with most of its purpose-built rooms available for use. Once the additional prefabs are installed, the classes will move back to the rented accommodation in Rathborne, Dublin 15.

State Examinations

 179. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the impact of multiple examination components on the performance of leaving certificate art students as compared with other subjects that have fewer components; the detail of the distribution of marks and grades in each of the four different components; and if his attention has been drawn to concerns that there is grade deflation within the leaving certificate art examination system.  [43489/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations.

  In view of this I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply.

Teachers' Remuneration

 180. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when a person (details supplied) will be correctly assessed by his Department's salaries division and taken off emergency tax.  [43500/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton An official from my Department has been in contact with the teacher referred to and outlined the current position to her.  The Tax Certificate details have been updated on the payroll system.  The appropriate deductions will take effect from her next pay issue and if any arrears are due they will be paid at that point.

Teachers' Remuneration

 181. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if the pay scale of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be reviewed to reflect the person's level of teaching service. [43513/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Since October 2010, the teacher referred to, has been teaching as a substitute teacher in an unqualified capacity.  He has been registered with the Teaching Council as a qualified Primary School teacher since 3rd October 2016.  He is entitled to be paid a qualified rate of pay as a primary school teacher with effect from that date.  Since his date of registration with the Teaching Council as a qualified primary school teacher and whilst he has been working in a substitute capacity in a primary school, he has been paid the correct rate of pay on the incremental salary scale.

Psychological Assessments

 182. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when recommendations in a psychological report for a person (details supplied) with learning difficulties will be implemented. [43523/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), in common with many other psychological services and best international practice, has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively with pupils whose needs range from mild to severe and transient to enduring. Psychologists use a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to maximise positive outcomes for these pupils. NEPS encourages schools to use a continuum based assessment and intervention process whereby each school takes responsibility for initial assessment, educational planning and remedial intervention for pupils with learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Teachers may consult their NEPS psychologist should they need to at this stage in the process. Only in the event of a failure to make reasonable progress, in spite of the school's best efforts in consultation with NEPS, will the psychologist become involved with an individual child for intensive intervention or assessment.

This system allows psychologists to give early attention to urgent cases and also to help many more children indirectly than could be seen individually. It also ensures that children are not referred unnecessarily for psychological intervention.

I have made enquiries in the matter raised by the Deputy and find that the child in question has not been brought to the attention of the currently assigned NEPS psychologist. If the parents of the child have specific concerns about his educational progress I would advise in the first instance that they speak to the Principal of the school with a view to their raising these concerns with the assigned NEPS psychologist in regard to any direct input into the case.

School Staff

 183. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 3 October 2017, if the appeals board has received the enrolment figures for the school mentioned; if a decision has been made to uphold the school's appeal in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43525/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. The staffing schedule also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location.

The school referred to by the Deputy submitted an application for consideration by the Appeals Board at its April 2017 meeting under the small school criterion. The appeal was provisionally approved by the Appeals Board pending confirmation of the actual enrolments on 30 September 2017. However it now appears that the actual pupil numbers on that date have not come in as projected by the school and therefore this post will be suppressed on 27 October 2017.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

Electric Vehicles

 184. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to install electric charging facilities for schools that wish to become more green.  [43562/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the potential for improved energy provision in schools is under continued review by my Department's Energy Research Programme through research and monitoring of improvements in technology and the market place.  

It is within this programme that a technical review of providing electric charge facilities for schools for charging electric vehicles by school personnel is underway within my Department. This review will consider a number of issues associated with the provision including procurement options, service provision options, legislation and installation and maintenance costs. It is envisaged that this review will be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

My Department will also consider any outputs from the interdepartmental Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Task Force which is charged with presenting a range of measures and options to the Government that will assist in accelerating the deployment of LEVs in Ireland.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 185. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will review the case of a person (details supplied) with special needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43582/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is an independent statutory agency, is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support.  The criteria by which SNA support is allocated to pupils is set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014.

  In considering applications for SNA supports for individual pupils, the SENOs take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources. SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

  All schools have been advised of their allocations for SNA support for the 2017/18 school year. Details of SNA allocations which have been made to schools have been published by the NCSE on their website at http://ncse.ie/statistics.

  Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2017/18, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

  The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support on the grounds that my Department's policy was not met in accordance with Circular 0030/2014. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying my Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA supports to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned. The closing date for receipt of appeals was 29th September 2017.

  All schools have the contact details of their local SENO and parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available at http://ncse.ie/seno-contact-list.

  As the matter raised in this question refers to an individual child, I have arranged for the NCSE to reply directly to the Deputy.

Psychological Assessments

 186. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when a person (details supplied) will receive a National Educational Psychological Service educational assessment; the reason for the delay in receiving an assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43583/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), in common with many other psychological services and best international practice, has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively with pupils whose needs range from mild to severe and transient to enduring. Psychologists use a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to maximise positive outcomes for these pupils. NEPS encourages schools to use a continuum based assessment and intervention process whereby each school takes responsibility for initial assessment, educational planning and remedial intervention for pupils with learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Teachers may consult their NEPS psychologist should they need to at this stage in the process. Only in the event of a failure to make reasonable progress, in spite of the school's best efforts in consultation with NEPS, will the psychologist become involved with an individual child for intensive intervention or assessment.

This system allows psychologists to give early attention to urgent cases and also to help many more children indirectly than could be seen individually. It also ensures that children are not referred unnecessarily for psychological intervention.

If the parents of the child, the subject of this question, have specific concerns about his educational progress I would advise in the first instance that they speak to the Principal of the school with a view to raising these concerns with the assigned NEPS psychologist in regard to any direct intervention in the case.

Student Support Schemes

 187. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if there are funds within his Department to assist a person (details supplied) who is attending college overseas to become a doctor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43642/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Under the student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding, provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution and meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those which relate to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment (progression) and means.

  To satisfy the terms and conditions of the Student Grant Scheme in relation to progression, a student must be moving from year to year within a course having successfully completed the previous year or be transferring from one course to another where the award for the subsequent course is of a higher level than the previous course.

  It would appear from the information provided by the Deputy, that the student in question will, among other things, not meet the progression criterion.

  However, tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education, including approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in EU Member States and in non-EU countries.

  Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners at www.revenue.ie.

Institutes of Technology

 188. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of full-time and part-time students, respectively, attending Waterford IT and Carlow IT; the number of full-time and part-time staff employed at the colleges, respectively; the number of full-time staff employed at both colleges with masters or PhD qualifications; the number of students from County Wexford who attend Carlow IT and Waterford IT, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43682/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the table.

Students/Staff IT Carlow Waterford IT
No. of Full-Time Students 4290 6313
No. of Part-Time Students 2684 1237
Full Time Staff (full-time equivalent) 431.45 628
Part-Time Staff (full-time equivalent) 90.93 268.84
No. of full-time academic staff with Masters or higher qualifications * 98% 89%
No. of students from County Wexford 1105 1065
* From System Performance institutional profiles 2013/2014

Teacher Data

 189. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of primary and secondary teachers; the target number of each envisaged by budget 2018; the target date of recruitment for these posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43731/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Budget 2018 marks the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish Education and training service the best in Europe within a decade.

  Budget 2018 provides for an additional 1280 teaching posts in the 2018/19 school year.  This includes a one point improvement in the staffing schedule in primary schools which brings the position to the most favourable ever seen at primary level.

  These changes will come into effect in September 2018 for the 2018/19 school year.

  The Statistics Section of my Department's website contains extensive information relating to teacher numbers.

Student Grant Scheme Expenditure

 190. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the way additional funding for postgraduate grants in budget 2018 will be spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43821/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Deputy will be aware of the Action Plan for Education commitment to increase financial supports for postgraduate students with a particular focus on those from low income households.

In response to this commitment, additional funding of €4 million was secured in Budget 2017, to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants, from this September, for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students. This will benefit approximately 1,100 post graduate students who meet the eligibility criteria for the special rate of maintenance grant.

The €4 million will cover the cost of this measure in 2017 and has been added to the baseline for future years. The additional €3 million secured in Budget 2018, will meet the rolling cost of the implementation of this measure.

Summer Works Scheme

 191. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when the summer works scheme will be reopened for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43856/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The current Summer Works Scheme (SWS) is being applied on a multi-annual basis. The Deputy will also be aware that nearly 50% of schools have applied for inclusion under the scheme which reflects a very high demand.  Details of successful school applicants in respect of Categories 1 to 6 are published on my Department's website www.education.ie.  Almost €80 million has been approved to date under the Summer Works Scheme in respect of over 640 school projects in categories 1-6.  The 2018 budgetary provision will allow my Department meet the costs of summer works projects already approved, the assessment of applications in the remaining Categories 7-10 is reliant on the availability of funding.

  The announcement of a further Summer Works Scheme in 2018 will be a matter for consideration at that time.


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