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Bruton, Richard

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


School Accommodation Provision

I thank Deputy Cassells for raising this issue and I can understand his concern. The backdrop to this, which he probably understands, is the pressure I am under to deliver new school places. Each...More Button

The Deputy asked that this be re-examined. I understand the school, pretty much simultaneously, has resubmitted the application and the school authorities have asked that this be reconsidered. ...More Button

The Deputy also spoke on the issue of support for SNAs and resource teachers. Bearing in mind the points he has made and the submission the authority has made, I will ask the Department to look ...More Button

Was asked: if he will review his decision to refuse funding to a school (details supplied) for two extra classrooms; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school referred to applied to my Department for additional accommodation to cater for an increase in enrolments. 

  The long term projected ...More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite the provision of a school project (details supplied).More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is not in receipt of a recent application from the school referred to in respect of its accommodation needs.More Button

It is open to any school to submit an application to my Department if they have identified a deficit of classroom accommodation to meet increasing enrolments or to accommodate an additional teach...More Button

Was asked: if the assessment by his Department of the number of prefab units being used in schools with a view to replacing these has commenced; the date on which the assessment will conclude; and if he will ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, it is my intention to replace all purchased temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation, where the need is established, over the lifetime of my Department's Capital...More Button

The prefab assessment process will be undertaken in a timely manner, with the intention that the replacement of prefabs would commence in 2019.More Button

Was asked: if additional accommodation will be provided for a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question has submitted an application to my Department for capital funding for additional school accommodation.  The application will be considered an...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to plans to expand the provision of services at primary school level in the Skerries area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

For school planning purposes, my Department divides the country into 314 geographic areas known as school planning areas which facilitates the orderly planning of school provision and accommodation...More Button

My Department is not in receipt of applications for additional accommodation from any of the 8 primary schools in the Skerries school planning area.More Button

As with other school planning areas nationwide, the demographic data for the Skerries school planning area is being kept under review by my Department to take account of updated child benefit dat...More Button

The outcome of this review of demographic changes and school capacity in the school planning area will determine the means by which any additional school places which may be required will be met. More Button

  Question No. 265 answered with Question No. 263.More Button

School Accommodation Provision (Continued)

There is no doubt but that if Meath footballers started to do the haka before their competitions, we would certainly see a bit of a change. I note that the Dublin team was under pressure at the we...More Button

-----so perhaps this is the start of the great revival.

  I will definitely ask the Department to examine this matter. The position is that the school has 93 pupils enrolled. T...More Button

I will convey that to the team examining this. My briefing notes do not refer to the added teacher in 2011 and how that issue was dealt with at that stage. I will ask that this be included in the...More Button

Reform of An Garda Síochána: Motion [Private Members] (Continued)

I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this debate. This is a very serious debate for anyone who is in politics as long as I am. I entered politics with what was probably a very naive fait...More Button

The truth is that we are on a very painful journey of reform in the Garda. All credit has to be given to the previous Government, this Government and the Tánaiste in particular for the programme...More Button

We have put in place much better oversight, but as a result of that oversight and the reform agenda we are seeing stones turned over and appalling things coming out from beneath. We in politics ...More Button

We need to respect gardaí. Gardaí are there to uphold the law, but they are also entitled to the fair procedure that the law affords to everyone else. A mere statement by a whistleblower does n...More Button

I strongly support what we in government are doing today in establishing a commission. We need to bring in fresh blood into any organisation - and we have had other organisations - which recruit...More Button

We have seen other organisations whose reaction to wrongdoing within their ranks has been, at all cost, to avoid scandal, to circle the wagons and prevent scandal being shown or allowed to underm...More Button

The fundamental objection I have to Deputy Jim O'Callaghan's motion is that he is trying to confound those two things. It is important that we have a Garda system that works to the highest stand...More Button

While I agree with a lot of what I see in Deputy Jim O'Callaghan's motion, we are at a very important stage and we need to step back and allow the evidence to be sifted by the tribunal set up und...More Button

It is something on which we need to rely. Members of the force who put their lives on the line every day for us need to be confident that they are working within a well-designed structure which re...More Button

I commend the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, on the work she has done. There is much wisdom in this House on this issue, far beyond my knowledge of th...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: the supports available through his Department to assist a person in financing the cost of transporting a child with a learning disability to a school that specialises in assisting such children; an...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of establishing the inclusion support service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that a new Regional Support Service is presently being developed within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in order to assist schools in supporting childr...More Button

This service will bring under their control the Special Education Support Service (SESS), the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and the Visiting Teacher Service for children who are deaf/...More Button

This change is consistent with recommendations of NCSE reports and with the review of the Visiting Teacher Service for Visually and Hearing Impaired children.  It will mean that schools will rece...More Button

The NCSE's Regional Support Service will build on the existing good work and support which NBSS, SESS and VTSVHI provide to children and their families as well as to teachers and schools. More Button

The services are being transferred to the NCSE initially on the basis of an existing level of service provision. The cost of fully incorporating the services into the NCSE support service will n...More Button

Was asked: if research has been carried out on the need to expand the number of places for children with autism spectrum disorder at primary school level in Skerries; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is a shortage of specific primary school placements for children with ASD in the Skerries area; his plans to address this; and if he will make...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 and 265 together.

  This Government is committed to ensuring that all children with Special Educational Needs, including those with autism, ...More Button

Was asked: the allocation model for resource and learning support for children with special needs that will apply in newly founded schools.More Button

Department of Education and Skills Circulars DES 0013/2017 and DES 0014/2017 set out details of a new model for allocating Special Education Teachers to mainstream primary and post primary schools....More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will be provided with a special needs assistant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is an independent statutory agency, is responsible, through its network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for processing appl...More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: if he will review the policy in which there is no provision or obligation to provide a general purpose hall when providing for renovations in a school, in view of the fact that it is provided for d...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department’s current priority, within the limited funding available, is the provision of essential classroom accommodation in areas where significant demographic...More Button

To divert funding which would otherwise be used to provide much needed classroom accommodation for GP rooms would mean insufficient funding being available to provide classroom accommodation for ...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application made by a primary school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, my Department recently approved funding to the school in question to construct an additional classroom to accommodate the appointment of a third teacher. While the school's ...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application for funding (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the school in question submitted an application to my Department, for capital funding for improved school accommodation, including prefab replacement. The application was c...More Button

With regard to prefab replacement, over the lifetime of my Department's Capital Programme, it is my intention to replace all purchased temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation, where ...More Button

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Was asked: the status of an appeal for a school (details supplied); if he will ensure that this school will not lose a teacher; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts for the 2017/2018 school year is set out in the Staffing Schedule (Circular 0017/2017) which is available on the Department website. The key ...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy has submitted an application for consideration by the Appeals Board at its April meeting.More Button

The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.More Button

Was asked: his views on pupil-teacher thresholds in schools (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts for the 2017/2018 school year is set out in the Staffing Schedule (Circular 0017/2017) which is available on the Department website. The key ...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of reversing the changes to the staffing schedule for small schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to primary schools are published annually on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. The key factor for determining the level of sta...More Button

Budget 2012 increased the appointment and retention ratios for small schools (i.e., schools with up to four classroom teachers). Improvements to the staffing of these schools were announced for ...More Button

In addition, Budget 2016 announced a 1 point improvement to the primary staffing schedule. The improved staffing schedule which is available on the Department website has been implemented for th...More Button

Following a review of the staffing allocation for Small Primary Schools, Budget 2017 announced two adjustments in relation to one teacher schools. Where the school is the sole primary school on ...More Button

The cost of restoring the 2011/12 staffing schedule for small schools would be approximately €7.5m.More Button

Was asked: the pupil-teacher ratio in all DEIS schools; the cost of reducing this by one point at primary and secondary level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Staffing arrangements in Primary Schools, including staffing in DEIS Urban Band 1 Primary Schools, for the 2017/18 school year are governed by Circular 0017/2017 available at the following link - <...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of reducing the pupil-teacher ratio at primary level by one point; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Budget 2016 introduced a 1 point improvement (from 28:1 to 27:1) to the primary staffing schedule which has been implemented for the current school year and it should be noted that the current staf...More Button

The staffing schedule operates on a general average of 27 pupils to every 1 teacher for the current school year.  The ratio of 27:1 is an overall classroom teacher allocation ratio for the school...More Button

Each 1 point adjustment to the staffing schedule is estimated to cost in the region of €15m-€18m per annum.More Button

Budget 2017 sets out the resources available for schools for the 2017/18 school year.  This Budget represents the start of a major reinvestment in education, and the first phase of implementation...More Button

The budget provides for over 2,400 additional teaching posts for our primary and post-primary schools in the next school year.  This includes additional teaching posts to meet demographic need, c...More Button

The Programme for Government has a commitment to reduce class sizes at primary level and it is my intention to make further improvements to class sizes over the life of the Government.More Button

Teacher Data

Was asked: the number of teachers employed in the voluntary secondary sector who are in receipt of a salary from his Department; the number of these that are subject to salary deductions to facilitate members...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is being compiled and will be forwarded directly to him.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

 &n...More Button

Was asked: the number of teachers in the voluntary secondary sector who are in receipt of the payment for participation in the supervision and substitution scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the terms of Circular 0006/2014 the supervision and substitution allowance was discontinued with effect from the commencement of the 2013/14 school year. This Circular also provided that a g...More Button

The number of teachers in the voluntary secondary sector who are currently in receipt of the gross additional payment of €796 in respect of the 2016/2017 school year is 320.More Button

Was asked: the number of teachers in voluntary secondary schools in receipt of the supervision and substitution allowance.More Button

Under the terms of Circular 0006/2014 the supervision and substitution allowance was discontinued with effect from the commencement of the 2013/14 school year. This Circular also provided that a g...More Button

The number of teachers in the voluntary secondary sector who are currently in receipt of the gross additional payment of €796 in respect of the 2016/2017 school year is 320.More Button

Teacher Redeployment

Was asked: if his Department will apply the same criteria for the awarding of contracts of indefinite duration and access to the redeployment scheme to all teachers in the voluntary secondary sector irrespect...More Button

The ASTI's withdrawal from the Croke Park hours means that the union has repudiated the Lansdowne Road Agreement. More Button

The financial and other consequences for ASTI members of failure to co-operate with the terms of the agreement were formally notified to ASTI in June 2016. By deciding to reject the Lansdowne Roa...More Button

The purpose of the redeployment scheme for school surpluses is to deal with situations where teacher surpluses arise without the need for compulsory redundancies. The process of identifying staf...More Button

The process for the 2017/18 school year is currently under way in the Department. 60 secondary schools were identified as possible surplus schools for the 2017/18 school year. These 60 schools r...More Button

However, at this stage of the process it is too early to say what the final position as regards the level of surplus will be, either generally or in particular schools. The level of surplus is i...More Button

The Department expects to know the final position in relation to the number of surplus teachers shortly. This is no different to what has transacted in previous years.More Button

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the income thresholds for which applications for a third level grant can be applied for in respect of the academic year 2017-2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the terms of the student grant scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students who meet the prescribed conditions of funding including those which relate to nationality, residency, approved c...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of reversing changes to the distance criteria in the student grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The cost of reversing the change to the distance criteria in the Student Grant, is estimated to be in the region of €26m.

  Prior to the introduction of the 45 km rule, circa 75...More Button

Was asked: if he will adjust the income reckoner limits for the SUSI grant process to net reckonable earnings to make it fair on PAYE workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Student grant applications are means tested on gross income from all sources earned inside and outside the State within a specified reference period. The means test arrangements of the Student Gra...More Button

The Student Grant Scheme provides for higher income thresholds for larger families. In addition to this, further increases in the income thresholds are provided for where additional family membe...More Button

The current system of student supports is underpinned by the Student Support Act, 2011. My officials have recently commenced a review of this legislation to identify areas where the Act needs to...More Button

Digital Strategy for Schools

Was asked: his views on an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The “Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment sets out a clear vision that is focused on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the ...More Button

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme Data

Was asked: if he will provide a copy of all ministerial orders to the Residential Institutions Redress Board, pursuant to section 28(5A) of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002, as inserted by sectio...More Button

Section 34(h) of the Commission to Inquire in to Child Abuse (Amendment) Act, 2005 inserts the following subsections after subsection 28 (5A) of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002
<...More Button

Preschool Services

Was asked: if he will expedite a decision on an application to open a preschool on the premises of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that, in general, school authorities have a considerable degree of autonomy in relation to how their premises are managed and utilised at local level. It should be note...More Button

The Department has a general policy of encouraging the use of school facilities by community and other groups where this is possible. However, any proposal for the use of school facilities must ...More Button

Proposals to the Minister to allow use of accommodation during the school day have been facilitated in the past, provided that the school's current and future accommodation needs are not compromi...More Button

Language Schools

Was asked: if he will provide a list of LTIs across the State.More Button

The majority of English language schools in Ireland are privately run and statistics on the number of these providers are not maintained by my Department. More Button

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) operates ACELS (the Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services). ACELS is a voluntary scheme which grants recognition to English languag...More Button

English language schools in Ireland seeking to enrol non-EEA students must be listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The ILEP, which is maintained by the Department of Justice...More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied) for assistive technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department provides funding to schools towards the cost of assistive technology for pupils with physical or communicative disabilities, for educational purposes,...More Button

The criteria which must be evidenced to qualify for support under the scheme are that the professional reports state that the equipment is essential for the effective education of the child, illu...More Button

The scheme is targeted at pupils with specific educational needs and provides equipment of a direct educational benefit which has been recommended by the National Council for Special Education (N...More Button

An application for assistive technology support for the child in question was initially refused by my Department on the basis that the device is recommended for communication purposes; the profes...More Button

As the Deputy is aware officials at my Department meet cross sectorally with officials from the Department of Health, the HSE, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the NCSE, on a reg...More Button

Teaching Qualifications

Was asked: his plans regarding the DIP after September 2017 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2012, the Teaching Council took over responsibility for the induction and probationary processes for teachers. Since then, at the request of the Teaching Council, the Inspectorate of the Depart...More Button

In the meantime, the Teaching Council has established standards for post-qualification professional practice, as set out in Droichead, the new model of induction and probation for newly qualified...More Button

The Droichead programme was the subject of a three-year pilot before it was approved by the Council in March 2016. The programme is being introduced on a phased basis since last September. Inhe...More Button

While a new policy on teacher probation was adopted by the Teaching Council in December 2016, this does not change the requirement for teachers in a special education setting to avail of Droichea...More Button

My Department is considering the impact of the new policy adopted by the Council.More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the status of the provision of a new community school in the Mungret area; the current stage it is at; when he expects the school to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm to you Deputy that a project for the school in question was included in the Department's 6 Year Capital Programme announced in November 2015 to proceed to the tender and construction ...More Button

A suitable site has been identified and Department officials are working to advance its acquisition. Due to the commercial sensitivities which attach to site acquisitions generally I am unfortun...More Button

Was asked: the developments to date on the proposed new school at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The project to which the Deputy refers has reached an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b), which involves securing the statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents.&...More Button

Was asked: when the new secondary school in Croom, County Limerick will go to tender.More Button

The building project for the school to which the Deputy refers has been devolved for delivery to the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB). LCETB has advised that it is currently...More Button

Was asked: if he will examine issues raised by persons regarding a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school building project to which the Deputy refers is currently under construction in line with the planning permission granted by the Local Authority. The traffic management facilities on the...More Button

The issue of road safety measures in general in the road network outside the area of vested school sites such as road signage, traffic calming measures, car parking and pedestrian facilities are ...More Button

Was asked: the status of a school building project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, officials from my Department have been working closely with officials from the relevant Local Authority to secure a suitable site to facilitate the delivery of permanent...More Button

Agreement in principle has been reached in relation to the acquisition by the Department of a site in the ownership of the Local Authority. The site in question is the current location of the sc...More Button

Certain complex title issues associated with the site were identified as part of the standard conveyancing process. In order to overcome these the Local Authority initiated a Compulsory Purchase...More Button

Once the site has been secured, it is my Department’s intention to initiate the architectural planning process for the provision of a new school building. More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 189 of 16 December 2016, when a building project at a school (details supplied) will proceed to the next stage; if his attention has been drawn to the concerns...More Button

The building project to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) detailed design stage, which includes the application for statutory approvals and the p...More Button

The Design Team are currently completing the Stage 2(b) submission which the Board of Management will then submit to my Department for review.  When the Stage 2(b) has been reviewed my Department...More Button

Was asked: if his Department has received an application for building works on a school (details supplied); the status of the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question has recently submitted an application to my Department for capital funding for additional school accommodation.  The application will be cons...More Button

School Textbooks

Was asked: the projected funding an organisation (details supplied) will receive for 2017 to develop primary and secondary school textbooks and resources in Irish.More Button

An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) was established to undertake the functions set out in Section 31 of the Education Act 1998. Those functions are:-

 &...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: the number of schools that have developed a sruth whereby an Irish language stream is established within an English speaking school; the schools which have done this; and the detail of the costs in...More Button

A sruth is a limited provision of tuition through the medium of Irish, within a parent school where English is the language of communication and teaching language of the school. My Department unde...More Button

Was asked: his views on the proposals of the NCCA in respect of the teaching of religion, ethics and beliefs; if this new model will be rolled out to all primary schools; the timeframe for the implementation ...More Button

The Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector recommended in its report that programmes in Education about Religion and Beliefs (ERB) and Ethics be developed. Th...More Button

The NCCA produced a Consultation Paper in 2015 outlining the proposed rationale, vision, aims and features of a curriculum in ERB and Ethics, and engaged in an extensive consultation process with...More Button

In the Report, the NCCA notes that the consultation found that ERB and Ethics is viewed as an important part of a child’s education and that there is significant support for the type of teaching ...More Button

The Consultation Report describes a way forward for the development of integrated provision for ERB and Ethics as part of the newly-developing primary curriculum.More Button

As a step in advancing the recommendations of the Forum on Patronage in this regard, the NCCA has formed a network of schools to gather and share examples of good practice in the area of ERB and ...More Button

DEIS Administration

Was asked: if he will meet representatives of a school (detail supplied) to discuss the exclusion of the school from the recent extension to the DEIS scheme, in view of the social exclusion and diversity of t...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that I am not in a position to meet representatives from individual schools in relation to these matters. More Button

The key data sources used in the DEIS identification process are the DES Primary Online Database (POD) and Post-Primary Online (PPOD) Databases, and CSO data from the National Census of Populatio...More Button

I am satisfied that the new DEIS Identification Model used to assess the level of disadvantage among the pupil cohort of a school has been applied fairly using centrally held data adopting an obj...More Button

Full details of the process involved in the assessment of schools is available on my Departments website at www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-i...More Button

I also wish to inform the Deputy that a communication to all schools will issue shortly to provide information on the identification model including details of how the datasets are used to determ...More Button

In terms of the process to date, as I have already pointed out, the position in relation to the new model is that, in its initial application, it has identified that there are schools not previou...More Button

It is important to note that this is a first step in a process and the fact that a school has not been included now does not preclude its inclusion at a later date should the assessment indicate ...More Button

The implementation of the new objective central data-based model of identifying levels of disadvantage within school populations will be followed by a further programme of work to create a more d...More Button

Institutes of Technology

Was asked: the details of the working group which he has established to look at the GMIT Mayo campus; the persons that will sit on the working group; if they will meet in public or private; if the minutes of ...More Button

I recently announced the establishment of working group which will work to formulate a plan for a sustainable future of the Mayo Campus in Castlebar. The Working Group will be required to present ...More Button

My Department and the HEA recognise the particular challenges attached to multi-campus provision in both GMIT and other institutes of technology. A major review of the funding allocation model o...More Button

The HEA and GMIT Governing Body have re-confirmed to my Department their commitment to implementing a viable development plan for the Castlebar campus as part of this process and GMIT has appoint...More Button

Funding overall for the higher education sector is a key concern for me, particularly in light of the additional pressure that will fall on the system over the next decade or so – an issue which ...More Button

In addition, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are currently undertaking a public consultation process on a proposed Exchequer-employer in...More Button

Teachers' Remuneration

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Equality and fairness are of course at the heart of everything this Government is trying to do, particularly in the education area where I am particularly focused on creating better opportunities f...More Button

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration to start. I have used this to negotiate substantial improvements in pay for new teachers. The agreement reached with TUI...More Button

The agreements have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for more recently recruited teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale.  This is substantial progress a...More Button

Further negotiation on new entrant pay cannot focus on just one sector. A broader assessment of pay and new entrant pay across the Public Service will be informed by the analysis of the Public S...More Button

The Government established the Commission to examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay. The Government also supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI...More Button

I accept that the teacher unions have outstanding pay demands and that the new entrant deal does not travel the full distance that they set out to achieve. However, it does represent significant...More Button

The new Junior Cycle has been developed over several years and is now in the process of being implemented. The new Framework for Junior Cycle gives students the opportunity to develop a wider ra...More Button

I welcomed the guidance from the State Exams Commission which was issued to schools earlier this month. It provided an important reassurance for Junior Cycle students and their parents that all ...More Button

The Croke Park hours are part of wider productivity measures introduced under the Public Service Agreements that require all public servants to work additional time for no additional payment. More Button

The Croke Park hours represent a real reform with significant benefits for parents and children. In schools, the Croke Park hours are 33 additional hours a year at post primary (36 hours at prim...More Button

Before the Croke Park hours were introduced, these activities ate into tuition time. This meant that schools closed for full days or half days in order to carry them out, causing interruption to...More Button

It is important to note that many public servants committed significantly more hours than this under the public service agreements. Across the public services – education, health, local authorit...More Button

In response to concerns expressed by teacher trade unions regarding the use of the Croke Park hours, my Department agreed with TUI and INTO to carry out a review of their usage under the Lansdown...More Button

The review provides for an up-front increase in the quantum of time allowed for planning and development work on other than a whole-school basis. The original Croke Park Agreement provided that ...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of restoring all teachers to the 2010 payscale; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As a consequence of the financial crisis, there was a need to enact a number of measures to reduce public expenditure so as to stabilise the country's public finances. A previous Government reduce...More Button

Subsequently in 2012, following the public service-wide review of allowances, the Government withdrew qualification allowances for new teachers altogether. However, the Government partially comp...More Button

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration to start. I have used this to negotiate substantial improvements in pay for new teachers. The agreement reached with TU...More Button

The agreements have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for more recently recruited teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale.  This is substantial progress a...More Button

It must be borne in mind that the pay reduction for post-2011 entrants to the public service applied to all public servants and not just teachers, and that any restoration of these measures in re...More Button

Further negotiation on new entrant pay cannot focus on just one sector. A broader assessment of pay and new entrant pay across the public service will be informed by the analysis of the Public S...More Button

The Government established the Commission to examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay. The Government also supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI...More Button

I accept that the teacher unions have outstanding pay demands and that the new entrant deal does not travel the full distance that they set out to achieve. However, it does represent significant...More Button

Was asked: the detail and value of all previous leadership or management allowances for teachers; the cost of restoring each to 2009 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are limited alleviation arrangements in place for schools that are acutely affected by the impact of the moratorium at Assistant Principal level. These arrangements are mainly focused at pos...More Button

School leaders have a key role to play in determining the shape of our schools and student outcomes. Leading on curricular change and change management are key challenges for every school leader....More Button

We have reviewed the role of the principal so that our principals are leaders of learning, and to reconfigure the middle management structure to support principals in their role, ensuring ownersh...More Button

Budget 2016 provided 250 posts to second level schools to enable Deputy Principals to be freed up from teaching time and be more fully available to assist the school principal with the leadership...More Button

Budget 2017 has provided for the equivalent of 170 additional posts to second level schools to employ an additional Deputy Principal to assist the school principal with the leadership of the scho...More Button

Budget 2017 also provides for the commencement of the restoration of middle management posts to lift the rigidity of the longstanding moratorium on these posts in both the primary and post-primar...More Button

Strengthening leadership in schools is a major priority of mine and these announcements are initial steps to support and enhance leadership and management in our schools.More Button

School Funding

Was asked: the position regarding funding to purchase equipment for a person (details supplied) in accordance with circular 0010/2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application and for Assistive Technology under the terms of Circular 0010/2013 was received by my Department in relation to the individual concerned.

  The purpose of this sc...More Button

SOLAS Administration

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the lack of permanent contracts in SOLAS and FÁS; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to cases of workers that have been employed for over eight years by SOLAS through agencies to fill the same post and that are unable to seek permanency in view of th...More Button

National Training Fund

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) is alleging that they are not being paid for services provided in 2014 and 2015 by a training company (details supplied) which is funded by his Department; if...More Button

Was asked: the allocation to the Skillnets programme for the past five years; the number of persons that participated in the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

School Textbooks Rental Scheme

Was asked: the capital and current allocation over each of the past ten years for school book rental; the number of schools that received a capital allocation to purchase books to establish a scheme; and if h...More Button

My Department provides funding of €16 million annually to schools to support the operation of school book rental schemes for students in all recognised primary and post-primary schools within the F...More Button

Third Level Charges

Was asked: the estimated cost of reducing the student contribution charge by €250, €500, €1,000, €2,000 and €3,000, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Based on the number of students that qualified for free fees funding in the academic year 2014/15, and taking into account overall expected increases in student numbers, it is estimated that the ne...More Button

Special Educational Needs Data

Was asked: the number of special needs assistants required to meet projected demographic increases over the next five years; the estimated cost of providing an additional 100 SNAs; and if he will make a state...More Button

The Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES) published a Focused Policy Assessment (FPA) of Data on Special Needs Assistants in August 2016.More Button

This is available at: www.education.ie/en/Publications/Value-For-Money-Reviews/.More Button

This FPA forms part of my Department’s commitment to the Public Spending Code (PSC) and evidence informed policy making. More Button

One of the objectives of the FPA was to identify what is required to develop the forecasting capacity of the Department and the NCSE in order to anticipate the level of demand and cost of future ...More Button

Through analysing growth in metrics, such as the age profile of students accessing SNA supports, the growth in the numbers of students accessing SNAs as a proportion of the primary and post-prima...More Button

The cost of providing an additional 100 SNA posts would be in the region of €3.38 million based on current costs.More Button

In total, the number of SNAs available for allocation to schools to June 2017 is 13,015 posts, which represents an increase of almost 23% or 2440 posts since 2011/12, when 10,575 posts were avail...More Button

The extent of funding required to provide for SNA support in future years will therefore take into account the actual demand which transpires annually, while also taking into account the signific...More Button

The FPA report recommended that the NCSE provide an End of Year Statement of Demand and a forecast of future demand in mid-April each year, with an updated forecast by mid-June to take account of...More Button

The SNA demand for 2017/18 school year will be known when this process has been completed.More Button

National Educational Psychological Service Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing an additional 100 NEPS psychologists; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychology service to all primary and post primary schools through an assigned NE...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits that we will invest additional resources in the National Educational Psychological Service to ensure earlier inter...More Button

In answer to the Deputy's particular question, the direct cost of providing 100 additional NEPS psychologists would be approximately €7.3m per annum.   More Button

Teacher Training Provision

Was asked: the allocation to various bodies within his Department to provide for the education and training of teachers in special education; the number of graduates of initial teacher training whereby specia...More Button

My Department provides for a comprehensive system of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers in the area of special educational needs. Central to this is the Special Education Suppo...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staff

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the low incidence proportion of the special needs allocation to schools under the new resource allocation model by 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% respectively; and if he will...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th March 2017.More Button

These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.More Button

The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation processes at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, and the Na...More Button

The new Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on the allocation of a Baseline component p...More Button

Whereas the low incidence resource teaching allocations for the 2016/17 school year were used as the basis to create the complex needs component of the new allocation model, this will change over...More Button

There are currently approximately 7000 posts allocated to schools in the Low Incidence/Complex needs component of the school profile, at a current cost of approximately €420M. More Button

Assuming no other changes were made to this base allocation level, or cost, the estimated cost of increasing the low incidence/complex needs proportion of the special needs allocation to schools ...More Button

An additional 900 teaching posts have been provided to support the introduction of this new allocation model. The provision of an additional 900 teaching posts is a very significant investment i...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing 100 additional English as additional language posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The average cost of a primary EAL teacher is €60,000 while the average cost of a post primary EAL teacher is €63,000.More Button

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...More Button

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...More Button

Was asked: when he will allow the filling of the remainder of a school's (details supplied) allocation of special needs assistants in view of the fact that while the school has been allocated 18 special needs...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy is one of 13 new schools for ASD and Complex Needs that are currently being supported by my Department under a transitional agreement. More Button

This includes regular engagement between the schools Patron Bodies and my officials through a Consultative Group forum. Officials in my Department are in contact with the school referred to by t...More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) allocates SNA support to schools, in accordance with the criteria set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014, in order that students who have ...More Button

The purpose of the SNA scheme is to provide schools with additional adult support staff who can assist children with special educational needs who also have additional and significant care needs.More Button

The Special Needs Assistant (SNA) scheme is designed to provide schools with additional adult support staff who can assist children with special educational needs who also have additional and sig...More Button

SNA allocations are accordingly not made to individual children, but are made to schools to support the care needs of children with assessed special educational needs in the school. More Button

The consideration of professional reports is an integral part of determining the extent of supports to be provided for pupils with special educational needs.  In making allocations to schools, th...More Button

Was asked: the enrolment procedures that pertain to early intervention units that are part of certain primary schools; the role of the NCSE and the school in the process of filling the places in the unit; and...More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is the body responsible for organising and planning provision for children with Special Educational Needs, including establishing ASD early interve...More Button

Higher Education Authority Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing 100 higher education places for students of returning emigrants or those that came through the direct provision service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department allocates recurrent funding (including core grant funding and free fees funding) to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to the HEA designated higher education...More Button

The estimated cost of providing higher education provision is between €10k and €12k per student per annum therefore total cost for 100 places is between €1m and €1.2m. More Button

Student Assistance Fund

Was asked: the current allocation to the student assistance fund and the scheme for students with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The 2017 allocation for the Student Assistance Fund and the Fund for Students for Disabilities is €17,422,000.

  The Higher Education Authority determine how this funding is all...More Button

Momentum Programme

Was asked: the cost of providing 100 places for persons with disabilities on the momentum scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Adult Education Provision

Was asked: the detail of the allocation to provide training places for adults with literacy problems and learning difficulties; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Modern Language Teaching

Was asked: the detail of the allocation that was made to the modern languages in primary schools programme in the last year of its existence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative (MLPSI) was a pilot scheme with an annual budget of approximately €2.5m. Funding ceased for this initiative from 2012.More Button

Was asked: the number of teachers at second level to teach a modern foreign language; the cost of increasing this by 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Teacher allocations to all second level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment.  The criteria for the allocation of ...More Button

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

Computerisation Programme Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of introducing a computer science curriculum at primary and secondary level, including staff and equipment, if such a programme was to be offered in all schools to all students; ...More Button

Exact expenditure figures regarding the teaching of Computer Science or Coding in schools are not available, as funding is not allocated by my Department on a subject-by-subject basis.  However, wo...More Button

Education Expenditure

Was asked: the annual cost of the active schools flag initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department initiative where schools are recognised for striving to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. 

  My D...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of introducing a well-being programme in primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Wellbeing is concerned with enhancing the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of students. Therefore, the area of learning includes Physical Education (PE), Social, Personal and Healt...More Button

At primary level wellbeing includes PE and SPHE. There are many supports available to primary schools in the area of student wellbeing including the Wellbeing in Primary Schools Guidelines (2015...More Button

My Department is strongly supportive of the promotion of positive mental health awareness in both primary and post-primary schools, and student wellbeing is a priority of mine as Minister.  The D...More Button

The process spans the curriculum in schools, whole-school ethos, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, student support and pastoral care, and the provision of professional development for...More Button

Third Level Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing 100 additional places at higher education for subjects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Please see below the total cost per undergraduate student per year in each of the requested specialisms.  For professional accreditation, students would need to follow some of these undergraduate c...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the estimated cost of the implementation of the Ward and Cush reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Haddington Road Agreement provided for the establishment of Expert Groups to consider and report on the level of fixed-term and part-time employment in teaching and third-level lecturing, havin...More Button

The Ward Report in relation to teachers was published in September 2014 and the Cush Report in relation to lecturers was published in May 2016. The reports recommend a suite of measures which ar...More Button

The measures contained in the Ward and Cush reports relate to how available hours of teaching and lecturing work in the system are allocated, but they do not involve the creation of additional ho...More Button

Was asked: the actions taken by his Department to implement the report of the forum on pluralism and patronage; the number of recommendations that are outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector was established in 2011 to advise on how the primary education system could provide a sufficiently diverse range of primary schools and on...More Button

The Report of the Forum Advisory Group was published in April 2012 and made a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring that the education system can provide a sufficiently diverse number and r...More Button

The Report's recommendations covered four broad areas:More Button

- those dealing with planning towards future patronage arrangements and having a more diverse range of patronage types for new schools in areas of rising population;More Button

- those dealing with the practicalities of achieving divesting of patronage where there is a stable population and a demand for diversity of school types;More Button

- those dealing with Irish language provision; andMore Button

- those dealing with the creation of more inclusive schoolsMore Button

The Government is committed to progressing the development of a dynamic and innovative education system that reflects the diversity of twenty-first Century Ireland.  The Programme for a Partnersh...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 30 January, 2017, I announced new plans aimed at providing more multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices o...More Button

In relation to the development of a curriculum for Education about Religions and Beliefs (ERB) and Ethics in primary schools, as recommended by the Forum, the National Council for Curriculum and ...More Button

As a step in advancing the recommendations of the Forum on Patronage in this regard, the NCCA has formed a network of schools to gather and share examples of good practice in the area of ERB and ...More Button

Croke Park Agreement

Was asked: the estimated cost of allowing teachers to use extra curricular activities to fulfil Croke Park hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Croke Park hours are part of wider productivity measures introduced under the Public Service Agreements that require all public servants to work additional time for no additional payment. More Button

The Croke Park hours represent a real reform with significant benefits for parents and children. In schools, the Croke Park hours are 33 additional hours a year at post primary (36 hours at prim...More Button

Before the Croke Park hours were introduced, these activities ate into tuition time. This meant that schools closed for full days or half days in order to carry them out, causing interruption to...More Button

It is important to note that many public servants committed significantly more hours than this under the public service agreements. Across the public services – education, health, local authorit...More Button

In response to concerns expressed by teacher trade unions regarding the use of the Croke Park hours, my Department agreed with TUI and INTO to carry out a review of their usage under the Lansdown...More Button

The review provides for an up-front increase in the quantum of time allowed for planning and development work on other than a whole-school basis. The original Croke Park Agreement provided that ...More Button

School Staff

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing one release day per week for teaching principals for schools of more than 100 pupils, 200 pupils, 300 pupils, 400 pupils, 500 pupils, respectively; and if he will ma...More Button

Circular 12/2016, which is available on the Department website, outlines the number of days that teaching principals may take as release time in a school year in order to assist them fulfilling the...More Button

Under the current arrangements the number of days that principal teachers may take as release time in each school year ranges between 15 and 25 days depending on the size of the school.More Button

Improving these arrangements so as to enable teaching principals to have one additional release day per week would cost in the order of €12.5 million per annum. More Button

School Guidance Counsellors

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing one guidance counsellor per 500 pupils at secondary level on an ex-quota basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Measures announced by my Department as part of Budget 2016 and 2017 mean that 400 guidance posts, or two thirds of the guidance allocation that was withdrawn in Budget 2012, will be restored to sch...More Button

Teachers' Professional Development

Was asked: the current level of funding allocated to teachers for continuous professional development; the current allocation for employment support; if funding is provided by his Department to support the we...More Button

A key objective in the Action Plan for Education 2016 – 2019 is to develop the continuum of teacher education to equip teachers with the right skills for 21st century teaching and learning and impr...More Button

My Department spent approximately €46.5m on teacher continuing professional development (CPD) in 2016 across the primary and post primary sectors. The teacher CPD budget represents 0.56% of my D...More Button

The spend of €46.5m includes all costs associated with the provision of CPD at primary and post primary level funded by my Department.More Button

In 2016, the Centre for School Leadership commenced the delivery of a formal mentoring programme for newly appointed primary and post-primary school leaders. To date, there are 300 primary and 1...More Button

My Department has also put in place an Occupational Health Strategy as a supportive resource for teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs), to promote their health in the workplace, with a foc...More Button

The Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme is a confidential service accessible by means of a freephone telephone helpline available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing counselling on...More Button

The Occupational Health Service provides pre-employment health assessments, sickness absence management, assessments of medical fitness for work and ill health retirement assessments. More Button

These services are currently provided at a total cost of €1.331m (ex VAT) per annum.More Button

DEIS Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of extending the DEIS programme by 20% in addition to the new schools announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that Budget 2017 allocated €5m in additional funding to the current DEIS allocation of €97m for 2017 - equivalent to a full year value of €15m.  Consequently, the overal...More Button

Accordingly, the cost  to my Department of extending the DEIS programme by 20% would be in the region of €22m annually.  More Button

DEIS is my Department's main policy initiative to tackle educational disadvantage through supporting schools with the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage in their pupil cohort. The DEIS ...More Button

The rationale for allocating resources and supports based on a schools’ level of concentrated disadvantage is based on the existence of a ‘multiplier effect’, whereby students attending a school ...More Button

In its initial application, the new identification model has identified that there are schools in disadvantaged areas, not previously included in DEIS, whose level of disadvantage is significantl...More Button

Further work will be required to refine the application of the new model in terms of resource allocation.  The DEIS Plan 2017 sets out details of the work that will be carried out to ultimately r...More Button

Student Grants Data

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the special rate of the student grant by €10, €20, €30 and €40 per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Figures for the 2016/17 academic year are not yet finalised. However, in 2015/16 there were 22,240 students in receipt of the special rate. Therefore, the cost of paying these students an additio...More Button

Capitation Grants

Was asked: the rate of capitation per pupil in primary schools, post-primary schools, youth reach and VLOS; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The links below outline the rates requested by the Deputy which are published on my Department's website.

  More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the rate of capitation by €5, €10, €15 and €20 per pupil in primary and post-primary education; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The estimated cost of increasing the rate of capitation by €5, €10, €15 and €20 per pupil in primary schools is circa €2.9m, €5.8, €8.7m and €11.6m retrospectively.

  The estimat...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the rate of capitation for primary and post-primary schools by 5%, 10% and 15%; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Each 1% increase in capitation and related grants for primary schools would cost circa €1.9m therefore a 5%, 10% and 15% increase would be circa €9.5m, €19m and €28.5m retrospectively. More Button

Each 1% increase in capitation and related grants for post-primary schools would cost circa €1.7m therefore a 5%, 10% and 15% increase would be circa €8.5m, €17m and €25.5m retrospectively.More Button

The Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 is aimed at making the Irish education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.  The Action Plan outlines hundreds of actions to be implemented ove...More Button

Third Level Staff Data

Was asked: the estimated cost of reducing the academic staff to student ratio at third level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the 2014/15 academic year, there were just over 18,000 core staff across the higher education system (whole-time equivalents. This figure encompasses some 9,800 academic staff and 8,300 non-aca...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware the report of the Expert Group on the Future Funding of Higher Education is currently being examined by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills with a v...More Button

I have taken immediate steps to increase funding for higher education, the first such increase in nine years. Increased Exchequer funding of €36.5 million was secured in this budget for the highe...More Button

In addition, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are currently undertaking a public consultation process on a proposed Exchequer-employer in...More Button

Third Level Funding

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the core funding to institutions by 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30%, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The total recurrent budget allocation for 2017 for the higher education institutions under the designation of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), which includes all of the Universities and Instit...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware the report of the Expert Group on the Future Funding of Higher Education is currently being examined by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills with a v...More Button

I have taken immediate steps to increase funding for higher education, the first such increase in nine years. Increased Exchequer funding of €36.5 million was secured in this budget for the highe...More Button

In addition, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are currently undertaking a public consultation process on a proposed Exchequer-employer in...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the rate of the student grant by 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The estimated cost of increasing the student grant rates by 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% or 25% would cost in the region of €9m, €17.8m, €26m, €34.6m or €43.3m respectively.More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing student support to part-time students, both in terms of fees and grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Based on the Higher Education Authority (HEA) publication of 'Key Facts and Figures' for Higher Education 2015/16, there were 37,249 part-time undergraduate students and 9,773 part-time postgraduat...More Button

If maintenance and fee grants were introduced for part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students along similar lines to those for full-time students, and similar numbers qualify for support, t...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing maintenance grants to postgraduate students; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I secured additional funding in Budget 2017 to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants from September 2017, for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students. This will benefit appr...More Button

This change is consistent with the Programme for Government and Action Plan for Education commitment, to increase financial supports for post graduate students with a particular focus on those fr...More Button

If postgraduate supports were returned to the pre-2012 level and numbers, it is estimated that additional funding of €45m would be required.More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of enacting all provisions of the Children First legislation in the education sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Children First Act 2015 will, when fully commenced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, put elements of the Children First-National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Childre...More Button

- A requirement on organisations providing services to children, which includes all schools, to keep children safe and to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement;More Button

- A requirement on defined categories of persons (mandated persons), which includes registered teachers, to report child protection concerns over a defined threshold to the Child and Family Agenc...More Button

- A requirement on mandated persons which includes registered teachers, to assist Tusla in the assessment of a child protection risk, if so requested to do so by Tusla;More Button

- Putting the Children First Interdepartmental Implementation Group on a statutory footing.More Button

The commencement of the 2015 Act will result in the publication of new Children First National Guidance which in turn will necessitate changes to the existing Child Protection Procedures for scho...More Button

My Department has commenced a review of the existing child protection procedures for schools in consultation with the relevant education partners.  This  review will take account of the statutory...More Button

It is not anticipated that the implementation of revised procedures for schools will lead to any increased costs at school level.  There may be some additional costs arising in respect of the chi...More Button

Departmental Legal Cases Data

Was asked: the number of litigants who had initiated legal proceedings against the Department in respect of a claim of sex abuse in school; the number of these cases that are still before the courts; the numb...More Button

The State Claims Agency (SCA) is mandated on behalf of the State to deal with cases of alleged sex abuse in schools.  I have asked that the SCA collate the data and I will then write directly to th...More Button

Third Level Admissions Data

Was asked: the number of students from direct provision that have been offered places in higher education through the specific pathway offered by his Department each year since it was established; the number ...More Button

School Patronage

Was asked: if the reconfiguration process of primary school patronage will be open to all patrons; the process that will be put in place to ensure that the patron selected will be in line with the wishes of l...More Button

The Government is committed to progressing the development of a dynamic and innovative education system that reflects the diversity of twenty-first Century Ireland.  The Programme for a Partnership...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 30 January, 2017, I  announced new plans aimed at providing more multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices ...More Button

This will involve the Education and Training Boards in the initial phase, as the State’s local education authorities, identifying areas where there is likely to be demand for greater diversity an...More Button

The protocols surrounding how the consultation will be carried out will be carefully designed by my Department, in consultation with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and each ETB will...More Button

There will then be discussions between individual ETBs and the existing patrons/landowners concerning the possible transfer of schools to accommodate this demonstrated demand for diversity.More Button

Each ETB will prepare a report for the Department outlining the levels of demand within their functional areas and the responses of the existing patrons as to how this might be accommodated throu...More Button

In the subsequent implementation phase, where the level of demand for multi-denominational schools is sufficient to justify transfer of a school from denominational to multi-denominational patron...More Button

This new process for supporting transfers of schools to multi-denominational patrons in response to the wishes of local families is based around principles of transparency and cooperation. There...More Button

It is important to acknowledge the voluntary nature of these transfers, given that the current patron is in most cases the owner of the land on which the school stands.  My Department will develo...More Button

While these new structures are being introduced, my Department will continue to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, in 2017 and beyond. ...More Button

UN Committees

Was asked: if he will implement the recommendations of the United Nations committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland recently appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and my Department was represented on the Irish delegati...More Button

SPHE is also a mandatory programme at post-primary junior cycle level. Post primary schools must timetable one period per week for SPHE and five to six timetabled periods for SPHE in the year sh...More Button

School Enrolments

Was asked: the reason for the decision to refuse a second stream for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is currently in discussion with the relevant patron body concerning the intake of the school referred to by the Deputy.

  A decision will be communicated to the pat...More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: the number of vacant buildings or accommodation units in his Department’s ownership or control; the locations of same; and the time they have been unoccupied in each case.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to vacant properties follows. The information provided refers to property which is in my ownership where there are no immediate plans for school...More Button

Was asked: the amount spent across his Department over the past five years on maintaining vacant or unused State owned properties, including security arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is being collated by my Department and will be forwarded to the Deputy when compiled.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Or...More Button

Public Sector Staff Remuneration

Was asked: if a person who commenced employment as a Youthreach resource person in 2010 while covering sick leave in late 2010 and early 2011 can have this employment counted as prior service for eligibility ...More Button

Was asked: if a person who commences employment as a Youthreach resource person while covering sick leave is eligible for payment of a degree or diploma allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Was asked: the number of classes that have been established to date and his plans to further expand a service in 2017 and 2018 in line with the commitment in the programme for Government to establish a new in...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government states that a new model of In-School Speech and Language Therapy will be established. It commits to investing an extra €500million in education by 2021, ...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government also contains a commitment to examine the adequacy of the present policies and provision, and their scope for improvement, particularly in relation to s...More Button

As Speech and Language Therapists are currently employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE), officials at my Department are currently engaging with colleagues in the Department of Health and t...More Button

The Department of Health and the HSE are currently conducting a review and audit of the existing level of provision for Speech and Language Therapy nationwide. This will assist the development o...More Button

In the interim my Department continues to provide an extensive range of supports for pupils with Specific Speech and Language Disorder (SSLD).More Button

This includes provision for the establishment of special classes for pupils with SSLD in primary schools. More Button

For the 2016/17 school year 66 such special classes for pupils with SSLD were provided in primary schools. More Button

Applications to establish such classes are considered by the school's assigned Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) and those meeting the criteria for establishment are approved by the Nati...More Button

Pupils who are not enrolled in a special class for SSLD and who meet the criteria for Specific Speech and Language Disorder, as outlined in my Department's Circular, may qualify for additional te...More Button

Pupils with mild speech and language difficulties may qualify for supplementary teaching support from within the school's general allocation of learning support/teaching support. It is a matter ...More Button

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Was asked: if he will sanction funding for a school (details supplied) for upgrade works that were deferred in summer 2016 and are due to be completed in summer 2017.More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers has been approved funding for electrical works under my Departments Summer Works Scheme 2016/2017.

  The school recently requested a funding...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application by a school (detail supplied) under the summer works scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is in receipt of a Category 10 application, external environment project, under the Summer Works Scheme (2016 and 2017) from the school to which she r...More Button

European Court of Justice Rulings

Was asked: the estimated cost of providing all survivors of sex abuse in schools with compensation in line with the O'Keeffe ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Child protection has been a high priority for Government for many years and it is now current practice to review child protection measures regularly.  As part of this on-going process, it is a crim...More Button

  Question No. 254 answered with Question No. 249.More Button

Youth Work Projects Data

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a Youthreach programme in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a community training workshop programme in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a VTOS training workshop programme in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a specific skills training course in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a local training initiative programme in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a bridging training programme in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age who commenced a traineeship in 2015 and 2016, in tabular form.More Button

Army Barracks

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 276 of 21 March 2017, the reason his Department is apparently unaware that Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board has determined the future use of the...More Button

My Department was in contact with Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board in relation to this matter when the initial parliamentary question was asked on 21 March 2017 and also in relation ...More Button

As outlined in my reply to Dail question 276 of 21 March 2017, my Department understands that the ETB is currently considering various options in relation to the long term future use of the accom...More Button

My Department expects that the ETB will be in contact with my Department when it has advanced its consideration of the matter.More Button

Summer Works Scheme

Was asked: the details of the summer works scheme 2016-17; if there are planned works for summer 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the current Summer Works Scheme is being applied on a multi-annual basis for the years 2016 and 2017.

  Details of successful school applicants i...More Button

Home School Community Liaison Scheme

Was asked: if a DEIS band school (details supplied) will have exclusive access to a full-time home school community liaison teacher; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The matter referred to by the Deputy relates to the assignment of a Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Coordinator where the assignment of the current Coordinator serving the school in question i...More Button

The reassignment of HSCL duties is part of the normal cycle of the HSCL scheme and the allocation of a full or a shared teacher to these duties is related to the number of targeted pupils in the ...More Button

While this matter is not related in any way to the renewal of the DEIS programme which I recently launched as DEIS Plan 2017, the Deputy may wish to note that there are a number of specific actio...More Button

In this particular case the deputy may wish to note that officials of my Department are currently engaging with the school in question to ensure that a HSCL Coordinator is in place for the coming...More Button

Youthreach Programme Staff

Was asked: if revised payscales and allowances for persons recruited to certain direct entry grades are applicable to the position of Youthreach resource person; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the circulars for revised payscales and allowances for persons recruited to direct entry grades which are applicable to the position of Youthreach resource person from 2010 to 2016 and to date in 2...More Button

Was asked: the circulars for revised pay scales and allowances for persons recruited to direct entry grades which are applicable to the position of Youthreach resource person currently for remuneration.More Button

Lansdowne Road Agreement

Was asked: the way a secondary teacher who is in an ASTI affiliated school, but who is not a member of the ASTI or other trade union, can sign up to and avail of the terms and conditions of the Lansdowne Road...More Button

The current position is that the Lansdowne Road Agreement as set out in Section 2 of Circular 0045/2016 applies to teachers employed in Education and Training Board schools and centres (except for ...More Button

As is the norm with public service collective agreements, the Lansdowne Road Agreement was negotiated with trade unions which are recognised as representing staff in the public service (including...More Button

Accordingly, there is no proposal at this time to treat teachers separately based on the fact that they are not a member of a trade union.  However, since the announcement of the ASTI ballot resu...More Button

Broadband Service Provision

Was asked: if his Department will provide 4G broadband via the NCTE to schools that are not on the fibre wire network (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Enhancing Teaching Learning and Assessment, sets out the Department's vision for embedding ICT in teaching learning and assessment in primary and post-pri...More Button

Workplace Relations Commission

Was asked: the adjudications and the findings of the Workplace Relations Commission in respect of public bodies in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017 that have not been accepted by his Departm...More Button

There are no adjudications or findings of the Workplace Relations Commission in respect of public bodies in any of the years 2015 to 2016 or to date in 2017, that have been submitted for considerat...More Button