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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 168-187
 Header Item Garda Station Closures
 Header Item Departmental Programmes
 Header Item Economic Competitiveness
 Header Item House Sales
 Header Item Public Sector Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Economic Competitiveness
 Header Item Capital Expenditure Programme
 Header Item Brexit Preparations
 Header Item Summer Works Scheme Applications
 Header Item School Services Staff
 Header Item Teacher Recruitment
 Header Item Third Level Fees
 Header Item Schools Establishment
 Header Item School Staff
 Header Item Schools Establishment
 Header Item Education and Training Boards Payments
 Header Item School Equipment

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 91 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 168-187

Garda Station Closures

 168. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the progress to date in regard to the reopening of Rush Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10838/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): Information on Kevin Boxer Moran Zoom on Kevin Boxer Moran The Programme for Government included for the re-opening of a number of closed Garda Stations (6) throughout the country, including Rush Garda Station, Co. Dublin.  The Office of Public Works (OPW) has undertaken an assessment of all the Stations identified in this 'pilot programme', and based on the Garda Síochána 'brief of requirements' received, has advised them on the works required and indicative costs involved.

  On 15th  August 2018, OPW issued a "Notice to Quit" to the then Licencee of the building, and received vacant possession of this building by end September, 2018. 

  An Garda Síochána (AGS) confirmed final agreement to proposed plans for the reopening of Rush Garda Station on 6th December 2018, and the Office of Public Works is now progressing with the procurement of the required works and these are expected to be completed and handed over to AGS by mid-2019.

Departmental Programmes

 169. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the extent to which he remains satisfied of being able to continue to meet the targets set by him in the context of spending and reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10940/19]

 175. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his priorities in order to achieve best economic practice for Ireland in the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [10946/19]

 176. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if the extent to which reforms throughout the public sector are likely to yield improved economic performance in 2019 has been quantified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10947/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 169, 175 and 176 together.

Managing the delivery of public services within allocations and meeting our budgetary targets forms a key part of the responsibilities of every Minister and Department. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is in regular contact with all other Departments and Offices to ensure that expenditure is being managed within the overall fiscal parameters. The drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is reported on each month against expenditure profiles, in the Fiscal Monitor published by the Department of Finance.

As set out in the most recent Fiscal Monitor, total gross voted expenditure at end-February 2019 was €9,787 million. This is €141 million, or 1.4% below profile. Gross voted current expenditure of €9,286 million, is €60 million, or 0.6% below profile. Of the 17 Vote Ministerial Vote groups, 12 are below profile on current expenditure for end-February. Gross voted capital expenditure of €501 million, is €81 million, or 14% below profile and up €66 million, or 15.1% on February 2018.

A number of budgetary reforms have been implemented in the last number of years to improve transparency and accountability around the Budget process, while also facilitating best economic practice. This includes initiatives such as performance and equality budgeting and new publications such as the Mid-Year Expenditure Report. Sound public finances are necessary to underpin sustainable economic growth in the context of our economic recovery and to progress towards our social and economic goals. This requires effective and efficient management of overall expenditure. To support this goal, my Department has been engaging with a range of Departments on year three of the Spending Review process, with a view to reinforcing a systematic analysis of existing spending programmes, focusing on an assessment of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.

In addition to this, the third Public Service Performance Report will be published in quarter 2. This report aims to strengthen focus on what is being delivered with public funds. Performance targets are published in the Revised Estimates Volume each year. The Performance Report provides timely quantitative performance data to help to enhance the focus on performance and delivery by presenting relevant performance indicators in a dedicated, focused document.

Economic Competitiveness

 170. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the role he expects for reform throughout the public sector to impact on economic performance in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10941/19]

 172. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the most effective reforms undertaken throughout the public and private sectors over the past number of years which have contributed substantially to economic progress; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10943/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 172 together.

  I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the significant public service reforms that this Government has undertaken in recent years continue to deliver improved services and value for money across a range of specific areas such as governance, accountability, procurement, shared services, organisational reform and property management. Two notable examples are the establishment of a centralised Office of Government Procurement with responsibility (together with the key sectors of Health, Defence, Education and Local Government) for sourcing goods and services on behalf of the Public Service, and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, established to lead the implementation of the Public Service ICT Strategy in cooperation with departments and agencies across the Public Service. The Deputy can be assured that public service reform remains an integral part of the Government’s economic strategy to enable us to continue to improve outcomes for the public. As regards the private sector, the Government agreed last July to develop a new and ambitious whole of Government plan to ensure our economy is well positioned for the rapidly changing global and economic environment. This initiative - Future Jobs, which will be launched shortly - will include concrete and ambitious actions to enhance productivity, ensure quality and sustainable jobs, and build sustainability and innovation into the economy.

  Our Public Service 2020 – the current phase of public service reform which became operational during 2018 – represents a whole-of-public-service initiative designed to build on previous reforms while expanding the scope of reform to focus on collaboration, innovation and evaluation. Our Public Service 2020   seeks better outcomes for the public, to support innovation and collaboration and to build public service organisations that are resilient and agile.

  As Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform I must ensure that our fiscal and public expenditure policy is sustainable and that Public Sector policy continues to facilitate good economic performance in the future. There are a number of budgetary reforms introduced in recent years to guide my decisions on overall fiscal policy in this regard, including fiscal rules, expenditure ceilings and spending reviews. The actions in Our Public Service 2020 will also ensure that the focus of the public service is very much on delivery of quality public services over the coming years, without impacting negatively on economic performance.

  Our Public Service 2020 contains an added focus on evaluation and on the importance of building a reform evaluation culture and in developing indicators to support an outcomes focus. With this goal in mind, within my Department we have established a Reform Evaluation Unit to focus on monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of reform as well as creating greater links between expenditure and reform.

House Sales

 171. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the action he will take in terms of public expenditure and reform with a view to ensuring that the domestic customer has a reasonable chance of purchasing a home notwithstanding the competition from investors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10942/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe As part of Budget 2019, I announced a significant increase in expenditure to the Serviced Site Fund (SSF) to enable the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government to deliver additional affordable housing for low and middle income first time buyers. A total exchequer allocation of €275 million is being provided for the SSF from 2019 to 2021, plus a local authority contribution of €35 million, bringing the total fund to €310 million over the next three years. The SSF will fund facilitating infrastructure on local authority sites. Infrastructure works on projects will begin as soon as possible and delivery of affordable homes is anticipated from early 2020 onwards.

As housing policy, including policy in relation to affordable housing, falls under the remit of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, additional information on the SSF and other affordable housing initiatives can be obtained from his Department.

Question No. 172 answered with Question No. 170.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

 173. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the full extent to date of recruitment throughout the public sector in the context of economic recovery; the expectation in respect of future recruitment throughout the sector in 2019 and thereafter; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [10944/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe As the Deputy will be aware from previous replies, in my role as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have overarching responsibility for workforce planning in, and recruitment to, the Civil Service.

In Budget 2015, it was announced that there would be a targeted programme of recruitment into the Civil Service to address service needs and a shortfall in key skills. The Deputy will be aware that a number of open competitions have already taken place or are in the process of taking place for recruitment to the Civil Service.

I understand from the Public Appointments Service, who are the independent recruiter for the Civil Service, that since the lifting of the moratorium, approximately 10,700 civil servants from open competitions excluding temporary assignments and professional and technical posts, have been assigned to Government departments and offices across general service grades. This figure would, of course be offset by retirements and other people leaving the Civil Service.

In the Civil Service in 2019, a Clerical Officer competition for Dublin only has been advertised.  Competitions for Assistant Principal and Principal Officer may be held later in the year.

Apart from competitions already advertised, it is too early to say at this stage what competitions will be held for all of 2019. Factors such as the demand from Departments/offices from existing panels, consequential vacancies arising, retirements and defined skill demands will influence decisions to hold competitions and these are currently being assessed. 

Economic Competitiveness

 174. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the degree to which he in the context of reform has introduced new criteria in view of the international and global trading challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10945/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe As the Deputy suggests, we live in a world that is uncertain and in which Ireland faces many challenges, including the international and global trading challenges to which his question refers. Central to the Government’s preparation for such challenges is the prudent management of the public finances in order to ensure that the economy remains competitive in the face of future economic headwinds.  Measures being taken include balancing the books, reducing our debt burden, building up the Rainy Day Fund and continuing to invest in infrastructure.

 In the particular context of reform, a series of initiatives taken by this Government since 2011 have made the work of the civil and public services more transparent, decision-making more accountable and service delivery more effective and efficient. Our Public Service 2020, which became operational during 2018, is a new policy framework designed to build on these previous reforms while expanding the scope of reform to focus more on collaboration, innovation and evaluation. Progress in each of these areas, but especially innovation, will better position Ireland to meet the challenges arising in the global environment to which the Deputy refers.

Certain of the eighteen specific actions set out in Our Public Service 2020, such as accelerating digital delivery of services, driving efficiency and effectiveness and promoting a culture of innovation in the public service are particularly relevant in this regard. A Public Service Leadership Board comprising Secretary General and CEO level participants from across the civil and public service has been established to drive the new reform agenda and lead on its implementation. This approach will support and enable public servants and their organisations to perform at their best and to work together to deliver high-quality, value-for-money outcomes that will benefit the economy.

Questions Nos. 175 and 176 answered with Question No. 169.

Capital Expenditure Programme

 177. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the extent to which his Department has received communication from other Departments, bodies and agencies under their aegis seeking expenditure on such issues as upgrade of motorways, new roadworks, investment in water and other items of infrastructural importance; if he expects to be in a position to respond favourably to such requests in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10948/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The capital allocations made in the Revised Estimates of Public Services and the National Development Plan 2018-2027 were informed by the extensive evidence base collated and published on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's website in 2017 as part of the mid-term review of the previous capital plan.  This evidence base included a macroeconomic analysis, an assessment of progress to date on delivery of the 2015 Capital Plan, Departmental submissions, a public consultation process, an infrastructure capacity and demand analysis and an examination of the resourcing available for increased investment. In addition to this, a review of PPPs was undertaken as well as a Public Investment Management Assessment by the International Monetary Fund.

It should be noted, however, that while my Department is responsible for setting the overall allocations (capital and current) across Departments and for monitoring monthly expenditure at Departmental level, decisions on which capital projects are prioritised within these allocations, and in the context of the National Development Plan, are a matter, in the first instance, for the relevant responsible sectoral Minister.

Brexit Preparations

 178. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the extent to which he can take steps to minimise the impact of Brexit on the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10949/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Central to the Government’s preparation for Brexit is the prudent management of the public finances so as to ensure the economy remains competitive in the face of future economic headwinds.  Dedicated measures to prepare for Brexit have been announced in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019, to ensure that Ireland is in the best possible position to respond to the challenges that Brexit will bring.

Most recently, Budget 2019 ensures that the economy is prepared for the challenges of Brexit through continued prudent management of the public finances: by balancing the books; reducing the debt burden; improving the competitiveness of our personal taxation system; and continuing to invest in infrastructure.

It builds on other Government initiatives, namely investing in the future of the country through Project Ireland 2040; opening new markets for businesses through the Global Ireland 2025 strategy; and developing policies to adapt to changes in the world of work through the Future Jobs Programme.

Budget 2019 contains specific measures aimed at making Ireland Brexit ready, including increased resources across a range of Departments and Offices; the introduction of the €300 million Future Growth Loan Scheme to provide a longer-term facility to support strategic capital investment by business at competitive rates in a post-Brexit environment; and a €71 million package to further strengthen the agriculture sector’s ability to become more resilient in addressing the challenges of Brexit.

Summer Works Scheme Applications

 179. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh if a school (details supplied) in County Kerry will be considered for the summer works and emergency works schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10219/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh The school to which the Deputy refers was successful in obtaining grant funding to carry out electrical works under the 2016 Summer Works Scheme.  I understand that these works are now completed.

  I also wish to advise the Deputy that I am committed to a new Summer Works Scheme which will open for applications in the coming months for projects to be delivered from Summer 2020. It will be open to the school in question to make an application for this funding.

  I can confirm that my Department does not have any current applications from the school in question for funding under the Department's Emergency Works Scheme (EWS).  If the school authority has identified an issue which meets the criteria set out in the relevant circular, it is open to it to make an application for funding under the EWS to address that issue.  Both the application form and the circular are available on the Departments Website: www.education.ie.

School Services Staff

 180. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh further to Parliamentary Question No. 67 of 8 November 2018, the status of the matter; his views in regard to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10228/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme receive grant assistance to provide for secretarial and/or caretaking services. Within the grant schemes, it is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs and the Department does not stipulate how these services are to be obtained. Where a school uses the grant funding to employ a secretary or caretaker, such staff are employees of individual schools. My Department therefore does not have any role in determining the pay and conditions under which they are engaged. These are matters to be agreed between the staff concerned and the school authorities.

  Notwithstanding the above, in 2015 my Department agreed to engage with the union side in relation to the pay of School Secretaries and Caretakers who are employed using grant funding and to enter an arbitration process if necessary. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 for School Secretaries and Caretakers comprehended by the terms of the arbitration process and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 for such staff be phased in over the period 2016 to 2019.

  The Arbitrator's recommendations were accepted by both sides. My Department has subsequently issued a number of Circulars to schools to implement and give effect to the Arbitrator's recommendation.  Accordingly, please find links below to the latest circulars in this regard:

https://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/education/2018/76.pdf   

https://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/education/2018/77.pdf   

  My Department has not been made aware of any specific instances of non-compliance with these circulars.

Teacher Recruitment

 181. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh his views on the sharing of teachers by schools (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10230/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Circular 0015/2019 which is available on my Department's website introduces a new scheme for the 2019/20 school year to allow post primary schools to share teachers in priority subjects.  The aim of this scheme is to alleviate some of the challenges schools have faced in recruiting teachers by allowing two schools to work together to recruit a teacher for a job and employ them on more hours than if they were teaching in just one school. 

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for individual school authorities, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act, 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Third Level Fees

 182. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh if third-level institutions have the discretion to apply EU fees rather than non-EU fees to persons here with a stamp 2 visa; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10244/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh As an autonomous institution, it is a matter for the relevant higher education institution to determine the fee rate payable by students (EU or non-EU) in cases where students do not qualify for funding under my Department's free fees schemes. Institutions determine the fee rate applicable in line with their own criteria.

Schools Establishment

 183. Deputy Mary Butler Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh his plans in regard to opening an Educate Together primary school in Dungarvan, County Waterford; if the location is part of his commitment in the reconfiguration process; the timescale envisaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10254/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is implementing new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 such schools by 2030. 

 The previous model of patronage divestment yielded only a very limited number of schools for transfer to multi-denominational patrons (11 since 2013, with a twelfth school, Westport ETNS, due to be established under this process for September 2019).  I believe that the new Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process has the potential to significantly increase patron diversity in our school system.  

While the Schools Reconfiguration process is being advanced, my Department is continuing to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, including Dungarvan.

To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Dungarvan. However, my Department will continue its efforts in relation to identifying a suitable solution under the patronage divesting process, which would facilitate a new Educate Together school being established to serve the Dungarvan area.

School Staff

 184. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh his views on a matter relating to a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10260/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh 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 includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

The school submitted an application for consideration by the Appeals Board at its May 2018 meeting under the Exceptional Accommodation Difficulties criteria. The appeal was refused by the Appeals Board on the basis that the grounds of the appeal did not warrant the allocation of an additional post under Circular 0010/2018.  The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

The staffing allocation process is complete for the current school year.  Circular 0019/2019 which sets out the primary school staffing arrangements for the 2019/20 school year, including details on the staffing appeals process, is available on the Department website.

Schools Establishment

 185. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh his views on a matter relating to the provision of an Educate Together school in an area (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10271/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is implementing new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 such schools by 2030. 

   The previous model of patronage divestment yielded only a very limited number of schools for transfer to multi-denominational patrons (11 since 2013, with a twelfth school, Westport ETNS, due to be established under this process for September 2019).  I believe that the new Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process has the potential to significantly increase patron diversity in our school system.  

   While the Schools Reconfiguration process is being advanced, my Department is continuing to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, including Killarney.

   To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Killarney. However, my Department will continue its efforts in relation to identifying a suitable solution under the patronage divesting process, which would facilitate a new Educate Together school being established to serve the Killarney area.

Education and Training Boards Payments

 186. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh if an oral hearing will be granted in regard to the payment of a pension for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10290/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the ETB in question has advised my officials that that they will facilitate an oral hearing in relation to pension payment with the person to whom he refers.

   

School Equipment

 187. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh if funding will be provided for a defibrillator to a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10296/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school.

The decision to install a defibrillator is made at local school level and is a matter for the Board of Management of each individual school. 

I understand that a National Steering Group on Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest was established in 2017 by the HSE and is representative of health professionals, patient groups, healthcare providers and other sectors.  It aims to strengthen the chain of survival for cardiac arrest.  The annual report from the group provides advice to the HSE and the Department of Health on the most effective ways of improving survival for cardiac arrest including training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, building on the Community First Responder Programme and making public access defibrillators more easily accessible in community settings and in schools.


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