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Bruton, Richard

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


School Staff

Was asked: if there has been engagement with teaching principals on easing their workload; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have discussed with teaching principals a range of their concerns and have had more formal engagement with the relevant stakeholders, including the IPPN and the INTO. I have also been in corresp...More Button

The education system has certain characteristics, particularly the relatively large number of small schools, which have influenced the evolution of the principal’s role. In the case of principal...More Button

I am committed to increasing investment in leadership across the school system. The creation of the centre for school leadership, the new approach to middle management and the fostering of innov...More Button

This year I am funding almost 4,600 additional release days for teaching principals in primary schools. This will see an increase in the number of release days available to teaching principals i...More Button

I also commenced the restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model to reduce the workload of principals, including teaching principals, which will see a...More Button

Any additional increase in the number of release days will be considered as part of the next annual budgetary process, alongside the many other demands from the education sector.More Button

I acknowledge this. I had a useful discussion in County Meath recently with teaching principals about exactly these points. It was at a similar meeting in Donegal where the idea of expanding the ...More Button

Besides the points referred to in my reply, we are investing in helping school principals to develop their leadership roles. This year up to 1,000 school principals will get mentoring, coaching ...More Button

I take the Deputy's point. A principal in a school with one or two mainstream teachers will get 17 release days. By contrast, a principal with five or six mainstream teachers will get 29 release ...More Button

All of these concerns will be factored into our work as we approach the budget.More Button

Was asked: if he has established a scheme in respect of the shortage of substitute teachers; if he has considered the appointment on a part-time basis of previously retired staff in areas of significant staff...More Button

In the last two years we have hired 5,000 additional new teachers. It is the case that many teachers who would have been available to carry out substitute work are now gaining permanent and long t...More Button

I am aware of reports that some schools are experiencing difficulties in finding substitute teachers.  In the last school year I suspended the limits that teachers on career break can work as sub...More Button

It is already the case that retired teachers can be employed by schools. My Department informs all teachers retiring that in order to remain eligible for employment in a State funded teaching po...More Button

I recently established the Teacher Supply Steering Group, which is chaired by the Secretary General of my Department.  The Steering Group is considering the issues that impact on teacher supply, ...More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take to assist teaching principals in primary schools who are struggling to absorb the stress and reported work overload associated with their positions; if the possibility and fe...More Button

Recently published Circular - 40/2018 is available on the Department’s website, which outlines the number of days that teaching principals may take as release time in a school year in order to assi...More Button

Building on measures in previous budgets to enhance school leadership, Budget 2018 made €0.4 million available to fund almost 4600 additional release days for teaching principals in primary schoo...More Button

Budget 2017 allowed for the commencement of restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model and meant lifting the rigidity of the longstanding moratorium ...More Button

€2.75m was allocated in Budget 2017 to restore middle management positions i.e. the equivalent of approximately 1,300 middle management posts (Assistant Principal I and Assistant Principal II) at...More Button

Circular 63/2017 was issued by my Department in September 2017 which sets out a leadership and management framework for posts in recognised primary schools.  Flexibility in identifying and priori...More Button

While the Principal is ultimately responsible to the Board of Management for the management and leadership of the school, the Deputy Principal occupies a position of vital importance within the s...More Button

In relation to the duties assigned to Assistant Principal posts, the Principal following consultation with staff, agree the schedule of duties as best meet the needs of the school. These duties ...More Button

The selection and recruitment process is well under way in most of our primary schools and the majority of these new middle management posts will be filled in the current school year, including s...More Button

I recently announced an extension to the arrangements for schools with teaching principals to cluster their release days into full-time posts, with one teacher covering the release days of all th...More Button

The Teacher Allocation section of my Department are currently processing these applications and schools are being notified as the cluster posts are approved. More Button

Enabling teaching principals to have one release days per week would cost approximately €12 million per annum.  Any additional increase in the number of release days will be considered as part of...More Button

Was asked: if an increase in the administration days for teaching principals to one release day per week will be allocated to deal with the administrative demands of the job in view of the fact that the role ...More Button

Recently published Circular - 40/2018 is available on the Department’s website, which outlines the number of days that teaching principals may take as release time in a school year in order to assi...More Button

Building on measures in previous budgets to enhance school leadership, Budget 2018 made €0.4 million available to fund almost 4600 additional release days for teaching principals in primary schoo...More Button

Budget 2017 allowed for the commencement of restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model and meant lifting the rigidity of the longstanding moratorium ...More Button

€2.75m was allocated in Budget 2017 to restore middle management positions i.e. the equivalent of approximately 1,300 middle management posts (Assistant Principal I and Assistant Principal II) at...More Button

Circular 63/2017 was issued by my Department in September 2017 which sets out a leadership and management framework for posts in recognised primary schools.  Flexibility in identifying and priori...More Button

The Education Act 1998 and 2012, as amended, sets out the functions of school principals. While the Principal is ultimately responsible to the Board of Management for the management and leadershi...More Button

In relation to the duties assigned to Assistant Principal posts, the Principal following consultation with staff, agree the schedule of duties as best meet the needs of the school. These duties a...More Button

The selection and recruitment process is well under way in most of our primary schools and the majority of these new middle management posts will be filled in the current school year, including s...More Button

I recently announced an extension to the arrangements for schools with teaching principals to cluster their release days into full-time posts, with one teacher covering the release days of all th...More Button

The Teacher Allocation section of my Department are currently processing these applications and schools are being notified as the cluster posts are approved. More Button

Enabling teaching principals to have one release days per week would cost approximately €12 million per annum.  Any additional increase in the number of release days will be considered as part of...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: if consideration has been given to a provision which would enable students to complete junior cycle music with an approved tutor external to the school setting in view of the fact that it is not a ...More Button

I thank the Deputy for the question. The framework for the junior cycle presents a dual approach to assessment and it supports student learning over the three years of the cycle. It measures achi...More Button

The junior cycle profile of achievement is a school-based award issued by schools that draws upon and reports on achievement across a wide range of assessments, including classroom-based assessme...More Button

Where students take extra subjects outside of their school setting, these subjects cannot satisfy the requirements for classroom-based assessments by recognised schools and cannot, therefore, be ...More Button

Music is offered in just short of 600 post-primary schools out of a total of 711. Therefore, the vast majority offer it. When the National Council for Curriculum Assessment developed the curricul...More Button

In all cases to date, students who sit the music examination do so in their own school, not in an external location. What the Deputy proposes was ruled out but it is not categorically ruled out ...More Button

The Deputy probably answered her question. The philosophy is that education is integral and that a school should not have music or another subject as a specialism that is outsourced. The thinking...More Button

Was asked: his plans to implement a non-ethos based sex education programme in schools as recommended by the Citizens' Assembly; if such plans will encompass the issues of consent and LGBT+ pupils; and if he ...More Button

In April of this year, I announced a major review of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum and this review, by the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is unde...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the inspection of relationships and sexuality education in primary and secondary schools; if measures are being taken to improve the delivery of same; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Provision for Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) in primary schools is currently evaluated through two main models of inspection:  Curriculum Evaluations of Social Personal and Health Educa...More Button

In addition, there are a number of other types of inspection during which inspectors review school planning documents to determine the provision a school is making for RSE. They include: Whole-S...More Button

In April of this year, I announced a major review of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum and this review (by the NCCA) is underway. More Button

The review will cover both the content of the RSE curriculum and support materials, as well as the delivery of the curriculum to students.More Button

Student Accommodation

Was asked: his plans to bring forward proposals to improve student accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I believed the Minister of State was to answer this question.More Button

The position on student accommodation is that we have developed a programme for the construction of purpose-built units. There is a pipeline of 7,000 student places in construction. Since the p...More Button

Student Accommodation (Continued)

The current provision of purpose-built student accommodation exceeds the target set in the plan published shortly after the housing plan. We are meeting and exceeding the targets. The application...More Button

I accept the Deputy's point that we need to look at introducing a scheme of a similar nature, but the nature of the student market is different. We have all learned about the law of unintended con...More Button

Schools Property

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) will be established on a site in Dublin 10; his plans for the site; if discussions have been held with interested parties; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

On the school property to which the Deputy refers, the school patron has informed my Department that the school currently operating at this property will close on 30 June 2019, when the last group ...More Button

On the Deputy’s query as to whether a school under a different patron body will be established at the school property, there are no plans in that regard.  The property is not in my ownership, nor...More Button

The Deputy asked if the Department envisages a need for an additional school in the area. I am told that while there is some house-building taking place in the area and an increase in enrolments i...More Button

On the issue of diversification, we have two initiatives in place, namely, the divestment procedure established by former Minister, Ruairí Quinn, and the live transfer, which I have just initiate...More Button

On the issue of paying redress, I agree with the Deputy that we need to see additional payment from the religious orders. The indemnity arrangement which she mentioned limited the amount they co...More Button

The Department has never acquired new buildings where it already has existing capacity. The Department's demographic process, which is based on the very best information available from local autho...More Button

Schools Property (Continued)

There is a survey going on in all 16 education and training boards, ETBs, to establish locations where we could seek a transfer of patronage. I refer to a live transfer, as it is described, not re...More Button

Education Policy

Was asked: the way in which outstanding issues relating to primary education here, that is, class sizes, grants and ending pay inequality, for example, will be progressed; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The Action Plan for Education outlines a series of actions to be taken to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe. Since May 2016, we have cut the pupil teacher ratio at p...More Button

On pay equity, any further negotiation on new entrant pay is a cross-sectoral issue and not just an issue for the education sector. The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 contains a co...More Button

I have been able to win substantial extra resources for primary education in the past two years, and it is through the annual budgetary process each year and in future budgets that further progre...More Button

There are many questions there. On class sizes, from 2018 we will have the lowest class sizes in primary schools ever in the history of the State. It is a significant first and it was welcomed ac...More Button

We have extended the delivering equality of opportunities in schools, DEIS, to an additional 110 schools and we have strengthened leadership in the schools to help them manage better with paperwo...More Button

As I said to Deputy Thomas Byrne, I did increase the release time to teaching principals. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan mentioned the onslaught of curricular change but many others would say that we a...More Button

We are seeing more use of data, and even in education there is a concentration on data to see how things are going and how things are being done better. These are not all unnecessary requirement...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to address the most pressing issues in the education sphere over the next three years with particular reference to such issues as class size, acco...More Button

I have set out the ambition to deliver the best education and training service in Europe by 2026.  This Government has already made significant provision to support this ambition.More Button

The mid-term capital review made provision for increased investment in my Department’s School Capital Programme.More Button

That Programme has been delivering an average of 18,000 school places per year in major projects and close to 8,000 per year in smaller scale additional accommodation.  This building programme ha...More Button

This programme has facilitated the employment of nearly 6,000 extra teachers and 3,000 SNAs in a three year period which has also seen two reductions in the primary pupil teacher ratio.More Button

My Department is satisfied that the €8.4 billion capital investment in the National Development Plan (2018 to 2027) is sufficient to deliver the necessary school infrastructure.  This is a 70% in...More Button

I fully acknowledge the areas which the Deputy has mentioned in his question are important for investment going forward and I will be competing at cabinet for funding in the next budget.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate it would be premature to speculate what precise level of resources will be available across all Government departments or individual departments in advance of the budge...More Button

In recent years the Government has prioritised new, more modern school buildings; additional teachers; a lower pupil-teacher ratio; the introduction of new subjects at leaving certificate - physi...More Button

  Question No. 70 answered orally.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has examined a pre-budget submission presented by unions (details supplied) with a view to examining the extent to which he expects to be in a position to positively respond ...More Button

I have set out the ambition to deliver the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. This Government has already made significant provision to support this ambition.More Button

The mid-term capital review made provision for increased investment in my Department’s School Capital Programme.More Button

That Programme has been delivering an average of 18,000 school places per year in major projects and close to 8,000 per year in smaller scale additional accommodation. This building programme ha...More Button

This programme has facilitated the employment of nearly 6,000 extra teachers and 3,000 SNAs in a three year period which has also seen two reductions in the primary pupil teacher ratio.More Button

My Department is satisfied that the €8.4 billion capital investment in the National Development Plan (2018 to 2027) is sufficient to deliver the necessary school infrastructure. This is a 70% in...More Button

I fully acknowledge the areas which the Deputy has referred to in his question are important for investment going forward and I will be competing at cabinet for funding in the next budget.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate it would be premature to speculate what precise level of resources will be available across all Government departments or individual departments in advance of the budge...More Button

In recent years the Government has prioritised new, more modern school buildings; additional teachers; a lower pupil-teacher ratio; the introduction of new subjects at leaving certificate - physi...More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the status of the construction and of the relocation of a school, details supplied; the timeline for completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I did indeed visit the site and I can understand the Deputy's frustration. This project in Curraghmore is being delivered on my Department's behalf by the school’s local authority. The local auth...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the need to fully complete the building project at a school (details supplied) including addressing heating and water systems and so on; if correspondence has bee...More Button

This question relates to Gaelscoil Bharra in Cabra. The school building was handed over for occupation on 1 September 2017. However, as part of the contract for the project, some outstanding work...More Button

Was asked: to outline the steps taken since 22 May 2018 to move forward with the delivery of the new school building for a school (details supplied) in view of the fact that Fingal County Council has stated t...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, a project to deliver a new building for the school to which she refers is included in my Department's capital programme. As outlined previously, the site acquisition proces...More Button

I have previously outlined to the Deputy that my officials were working to clarify some technical aspects associated with the proposed development of the site. This assessment process has been c...More Button

Since Deputy Daly last raised this question, the various technical issues which related to access and connections to services have been addressed. They were the challenges. The clarifications nee...More Button

I am not a technical person but as I understand it the project requires various rights of way and wayleaves. Those responsible need to be satisfied that the proposed solution meets planning requir...More Button

They cannot give a definitive timeframe. It is the nature of these things that, with the best will in the world, we cannot foresee everything. It may involve either getting wayleaves or satisfyin...More Button

  Questions Nos. 67-69, inclusive replied to with Written Answers.More Button

Was asked: the status of the delivery of a permanent school building for a school (details supplied) and the plans for temporary accommodation for the 2018-19 school year.More Button

This project is being delivered under my Department’s “Rapid” Design & Build programme.  The brief for the project is to provide a new 24 classroom primary school with a 3 classroom Special Nee...More Button

Was asked: the progress on the provision of a new school in Trumera, Mountrath, County Laois; and the projected timescale for same.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a building project for a new school has been approved for Trumera National School.  A letter of approval issued to the school authority on 11th June 2018 in t...More Button

Was asked: the status of progress on the building process and site transfer for a new school build (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to confirm for the Deputy that planning for a new building for the school to which he refers is progressing. The school's design team has been authorised to conduct the pre-qualificat...More Button

In the meantime, work is ongoing on concluding the conveyancing for the site and I can assure the Deputy that all parties continue to work to ensure the acquisition completes at the earliest poss...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which a satisfactory conclusion in terms of the continuation of the school building project at a campus (details supplied) which has been interrupted by the liquidation of the buildin...More Button

Once the company for the project to which the Deputy refers went into liduidation, steps were immediately taken by the client, which is the local Education and Training Board (ETB), and its Design ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 96 of 31 May 2018, the number of times contact has been made with a school (details supplied) to date in 2018; the details of the correspondence or discussions...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, projects for the schools referred to are included in my Department's 6 year Capital Programme.  More Button

In light of site issues arising my Department is in contact with the Patron for the schools in question. It is understood that the Patron met with the Local Authority to discuss the site issues a...More Button

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

The school referred to by the Deputy is included in my Department's 6 Year Construction Programme.

  My Department is currently in the process of finalising the long term project...More Button

Was asked: the status of the extension for a school (details supplied) in County Kildare.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that a building project for the school in question is included on my Department's 6 Year Construction Programme.More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that the project is progressing to the architectural planning stage and is expected to be delivered by an external agency to my Department. Arrangements are currently...More Button

Was asked: the status of the provision of new classrooms and resources at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy has submitted an application for additional accommodation.

  My Department has requested additional information from the school and this is a...More Button

Was asked: the status of a school (details supplied); the additional progress that has been made since the matter was last raised with his Department; the timeline for the project; and if he will make a state...More Button

The major building project referred to by the Deputy is currently at Stage 1 of the Architectural Planning Process which is the Preliminary Design Stage where the Design Team in conjunction with th...More Button

The Design Team has recently submitted a report which is being examined by my Department's Professional and Technical staff. A meeting date will be scheduled as soon as possible at which the Des...More Button

On satisfactory completion of Stage 1 the project can be approved to progress through the remaining stages of architectural planning which includes detailed design, the planning application and o...More Button

Was asked: the status of a school building project (details supplied) in County Donegal; when the project will proceed to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning Stage 2b (Detailed Design), which includes the application for statut...More Button

The school and its design team was authorised to commence the prequalification process to select a shortlist of contractors for tender stage on 18th June 2018. Pre-qualification normally takes b...More Button

When pre-qualification is complete the project will then be progressed to tender stage. A tender stage normally takes between 7 and 8 months to complete. In that context, this school building p...More Button

A letter issued from the Department to the school and its Design Team on 14th March 2018 outlining the projected timeframe for progression of this project to tender and construction stage and the...More Button

Was asked: the status of a school building project (details supplied) in County Donegal; when the project is likely to proceed to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The major building project referred to by the Deputy is currently at Stage 1 of the Architectural Planning Process. More Button

Stage 1 is the Preliminary Design Stage where the Design Team in conjunction with the school authority will analyse all the constraints of the site, develop a preferred design option and ensure t...More Button

The project will then progress through the remaining stages of architectural planning which includes detailed design, the planning application and other statutory approvals and the preparation of...More Button

Schools Building Projects Status (Continued)

Needless to say, it is a completely unacceptable development for all concerned, particularly the school, as it will have to continue to operate in unsatisfactory conditions with increasing enrolmen...More Button

I understand the Deputy's concern. While there were some delays and unforeseen ground conditions, from the point of view of the design team the maximum delay should be six to eight weeks behind sc...More Button

I acknowledge what the Deputy has said. The Department has a diversified portfolio of approaches to building schools. We use the NDFA, the ETBs, the local authorities and public private partnersh...More Button

The design team had been in regular contact with Sammon since handing over the building in an attempt to get the snags resolved and the siteworks completed, but in spite of many promises from the c...More Button

On 5 April 2018 Sammon entered into examinership and on 5 June the company was placed into liquidation. The Department then terminated the contract with Sammon Contracting under clause 12 of the...More Button

There is a performance bond in place for this project and the Department has instructed the design team to liaise with the bondsman with the intention of calling on the bond to cover the costs of...More Button

The outstanding works concern Naomh Fionnbarra, the adjoining GAA club. The approach is that the bondsman has a liability. The quickest way to get the works done is if the bondsman exercises the ...More Button

That is exactly what the design team is seeking to do. They are looking to do it in the quickest possible way. We await.More Button

  Question No. 65 replied to with Written Answers.More Button

State Examinations

Was asked: if provision can be made in exceptional circumstances for the sitting of missed leaving certificate examinations without the necessity of waiting a year to do so or of repeating the year; and if he...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. I see the motivation behind it.More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. I am informed by the commission that it regularly receives reques...More Button

The commission recognises that this is a very real issue for candidates and on foot of the concerns raised, the State Examinations Commission has given detailed consideration to the possibility o...More Button

I understand what the Deputy is saying but the State Examinations Commission has looked at how it can be flexible by giving rest breaks throughout the period of the exams and going to different ven...More Button

As things stand with the CAO and its timetable, it does not feel it would be feasible to facilitate repeats while meeting the same high standards. It would have to gear the system up for a secon...More Button

Was asked: his views on the issue of non-teachers marking leaving certificate examination papers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The State Examinations Commission appoints approximately 3,600 examiners annually to mark the Leaving and Junior Certificate written examinations.  The primary requirement for examiners is subject ...More Button

Was asked: the action being taken to avoid non-teachers being hired to correct State examinations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The State Examinations Commission is statutorily responsible for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations.

  I have been advised by the Commission, which is t...More Button

State Examinations (Continued)

The Deputy has illustrated the difficulty. She started by saying a very small number of people were involved, but at the end of her comments she said, of course, other people who may not have perf...More Button

School Patronage

Was asked: the status of communication with a person (details supplied) regarding the reopening of a school under a new patronage; if he has been in communication with Louth and Meath Education and Training B...More Button

I acknowledge the Deputy's continued interest in the issue. I know it is very frustrating for him and the community. As he will be aware, I announced new plans aimed at accelerating the provision...More Button

In cases such as that referred to by the Deputy, these can be considered under the early movers' provision of the schools reconfiguration process, which involves voluntary reassignments of patron...More Button

The process is that, if the existing patron is willing to support such a move, given that the local community has set out its support for a transfer of patronage, the existing patron would write ...More Button

My Department and the existing patron have been in correspondence in this regard. My Department and patron representatives have arranged to meet in the coming days to discuss the school.More Button

I understand the Deputy's perspective. It is good that the two sides are getting together and that it is not, as he described, just an exchange of correspondence that could go all around the houses.More Button

I recognise that this would be a very good outcome for the community. The Deputy understands that under the Act the Minister cannot make a decision by fiat on this. It is an issue for the patro...More Button

As I am sure the Deputy has, I visit a number of community national schools which are based on the model the ETBs run. They are exemplary models. While they welcome children of the Catholic faith...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the progress in the divestment of church run schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, following on from the report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, my Department undertook surveys of parental preferences...More Button

From 2013 to 2017, ten multi-denominational schools have opened under the patronage divesting process.  As the Deputy may be aware, the divestment model does not involve building new schools but ...More Button

Given the modest pace of progress with the Patronage Divestment process, I developed the new schools reconfiguration for diversity process, which is aimed at providing more multi-denominational a...More Button

While these new structures are being introduced, my Department is continuing to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified as part of the 2012 a...More Button

Was asked: if the need to accelerate the separation of church and State in the area of education and in particular to ensure that no particular religious ethos compromises the objectivity of education in scho...More Button

The patron body of a school determines the ethos or characteristic spirit of the school, in accordance with Section 15 of the Education Act 1998, which provides that a board of management shall uph...More Button

Schools are required to teach all aspects of the curriculum. Elements of the curriculum cannot be omitted on the grounds of school ethos; however all aspects of the curriculum can be taught withi...More Button

The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector was established to look at how schools can cater for diversity and ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for all their pupils. ...More Button

The Forum also recommended that the Rules for National Schools, published in 1965, be reviewed and updated, beginning with the deletion of Rule 68. Rule 68, which stated that religious instructio...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, I have announced new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of ...More Button

Additionally, Community National Schools were introduced in 2008 in response to the increasing demand for parental choice in the patronage of primary schools.  The schools are multi-denominationa...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: if discussions have taken place to provide applied behaviour analysis services within the proposal to bring specialised therapists into schools and preschools; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

As the question I have does not refer specifically to Castleblaney, I hope the answer is along the right lines.More Button

Was asked: if the recommendations of the recent review by the National Council for Special Education of the special needs assistant scheme will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I welcome this question because it is a good report. It is a comprehensive review of the SNA scheme and the Government has noted the contents of the report. In response to the report, I have unde...More Button

Work has commenced on a comprehensive mapping exercise to set out current levels, ranges and costs of all relevant existing supports available from both an education and a health perspective. In...More Button

Work is also under way on the development of a new model for the allocation of resources to schools, as recommended by the NCSE. It is considered likely that the introduction of such a new model...More Button

Was asked: if a report on the implementation of the National Council for Special Education’s policy advice on educational provision for children with autism spectrum disorder will be provided; and if he will ...More Button

A key priority for this government is ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential.More Button

In 2018, some €1.78 billion will be invested in Special Education. This represents an increase of almost 42% since 2011 and amounts to almost one fifth of the Department’s overall Budget.More Button

The National Council for Special Education’s Policy Advice on Educational Provision for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders was published in July 2016.  The report acknowledges that there has...More Button

My Department has convened an Implementation Group with representatives of the NCSE, NEPS, the Inspectorate and representatives from other Departments and agencies to ensure that the Report’s rec...More Button

While a number of the recommendations including those on the development of additional primary and post primary provision, have already been partially or substantially implemented, work is planne...More Button

It is acknowledged that the implementation of a number of the recommendations including that on the development of an alternative scheme to the Extended School Year scheme will be challenging. I...More Button

Was asked: if the proposal to bring specialised therapists into schools and pre-schools will also provide services for applied behaviour analysis.More Button

I recently announced that a demonstration project to provide in-school and pre-school therapy services will be introduced for the 2018/19 school year.

  The project will be manag...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the provision of autistic spectrum disorder specific classes in west County Dublin; if the provision of the classes will be increased; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

My Department's policy is to provide for the inclusive education of children with special educational needs, including Autism, in mainstream school settings, unless such a placement would not be in...More Button

Was asked: if the decision not to allocate SNA hours at a school (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care nee...More Button

Was asked: if the decision not to allocate special needs assistant hours at a school (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care nee...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision (Continued)

The reply refers to the demonstration project that was recently announced to provide an in-school and preschool therapy service, to be introduced for the 2018-19 school year. The project will be m...More Button

The purpose of the project is to test a model of tailored therapeutic supports that allow for early intervention in terms of providing speech and language and occupational therapy within educatio...More Button

The position is as outlined in the very last sentence of the reply. The Department supports the use of ABA and training is provided to teachers in its use. The philosophy of the Department's prog...More Button

The Department recognises there are a range of interventions that can help a qualified teacher to deliver appropriate education for a child on the autistic spectrum. It continues to be led by a ...More Button

From my understanding it is one of a range of interventions, and special schools or special classes will choose from that range. ABA informs all teaching in special schools and classes. Some scho...More Button

I welcome the interest in the report. There is the question of complex medical needs that is clearly highlighted in the report. The NCSE calls for a new approach that would involve ring-fencing n...More Button

Yes, of course. The NCSE has recommended use of the term "inclusion support assistants" to move away from the idea of special need and in order to emphasise student independence. It is about allo...More Button

I acknowledge the interesting research included in the NCSE;s report that demonstrates where SNAs are involved in teaching, it damages a child's progress. It is right that we be clear on what an...More Button

Teaching Qualifications

Was asked: if guidelines or provisions will be put in place to ensure second level students are taught maths by a teacher with a degree in the area in view of the fact that a recent report (details supplied) ...More Button

This question relates to the teaching of maths and whether those teaching it have the appropriate degrees. The Deputy will note that the performance of students in Ireland in mathematics and scien...More Button

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM, policy statement and implementation plan which I launched in November 2017 aims to make Ireland the best in Europe in STEM subjects by ...More Button

We were near the top of the group at primary level and only Northern Ireland was ahead of us among European countries. At second level, no other European country was significantly ahead of us. We...More Button

Was asked: if one-in-five 14 year olds are being taught mathematics by a teacher who is not qualified in the subject; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will note that the performance of students in Ireland in mathematics is relatively high by international standards. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study found that o...More Button

The STEM Policy Statement and Implementation Plan, which I launched in November 2017, aims to make Ireland the best in Europe in STEM by 2026. Within our school system, new initiatives and curric...More Button

This will build on the good progress that has already been made. A report in 2010 by the University of Limerick showed that in a study of 51 schools, 48% of teachers in the study did not have a ...More Button

Significant progress has been made on this issue since 2010.  However I recognise that there are still challenges and the achievement of our STEM goals will rely on the availability of suitably q...More Button

The Steering Group last met on 29 June and I hope to be in a position to announce further measures in teacher supply over coming months.More Button

Capitation Grants

Was asked: if the adequacy of the school capitation grant will be reviewed in order to meet the running costs of schools, especially small, medium and DEIS schools; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I thank Deputy Curran. I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools, including DEIS schools, having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.More Button

Restoring of capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education and I remain committed to achieving this. However, I must be prudent in the co...More Button

As Deputy Curran is aware, I have made provision for 6,000 additional teachers, 3,000 extra special needs assistants and 3,000 new middle-management posts. These resources were allocated to impr...More Button

Was asked: when the programme for partnership Government commitments on increasing capitation will be honoured; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to investing an extra €500m in education by 2021 through various measures including annual increases in primary and secondary capitation rates.  More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central ai...More Button

I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years. Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of th...More Button

Improvements have been made for the restoration of grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff.  The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and ...More Button

Was asked: if an increase to the primary school capitation grant will be considered further to correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.More Button

Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education and I remain committed to achieving this. However, I must be prudent in the conte...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central ai...More Button

Improvements have been made for the restoration of grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff.  The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and ...More Button

Was asked: if the capitation grant will be restored to €200 per pupil for primary schools; if this will be considered for budget 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools, including primary schools, having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.More Button

Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education and I remain committed to achieving this. However, I must be prudent in the conte...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central ai...More Button

Improvements have been made for the restoration of grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff.  The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and ...More Button

Capitation Grants (Continued)

The Deputy will be aware that budget 2018 saw the allocation of significant new resources. We have seen the budget grow to €10 billion, its highest ever. Improvements have been made in the restor...More Button

Pathway to Redress for Victims of Convicted Child Sexual Abusers: Motion [Private Members] (Continued)

I move amendment No. 1:More Button

It is to be paid to certain victims, not on the basis of the State's responsibilities for failings that led to the abuse that they suffered, but based on the fact that there was a conviction of the...More Button

There are many reasons a victim's abuser might not be successfully prosecuted. The victim might have been too traumatised to pursue the case. The evidence might not be sufficiently strong for the...More Button

I have been advised that it would breach the equality provisions of the Constitution in that it would seek to treat one group differently from people who are in similar circumstances.More Button

If the State has a liability because of its failing, that has to be established and applied equally. It cannot be applied through using a conviction in a criminal court as establishing that the St...More Button

The payment of compensation is linked to the State being responsible.More Button

That is what happened in the redress institutions. The State was responsible. It put many of the children in these institutions, oversaw and regulated those institutions and was responsible for s...More Button

The State solely inspects in primary schools in respect of the execution of the curriculum.More Button

I have also taken advice and it is very clear from the legal advice available to me that any attempt to create a scheme such as this would be open to challenge by others who are not included within...More Button

The core issue the Deputy raises, namely, what the court established and whether the ex gratia scheme is properly applying that, is being evaluated by an independent High Court judge who is ...More Button

Schools Mental Health Strategies

Was asked: his views on recent calls for a nationwide primary schools' counselling service.More Button

The calls to which the Deputy refers arise from a recently published report commissioned by St Patrick’s Mental Health services.  The report includes an analysis of the findings from a survey of pr...More Button

While the report has not been formally submitted to my Department, it has been seen by relevant officials.  More Button

From a preliminary consideration of the report, it does not appear to set out the context of the supports already provided by my Department to support schools in the promotion of wellbeing and th...More Button

NEPS psychologists do not generally provide therapeutic interventions as part of their work in schools.  Where they encounter cases, however, where specialist services are required for a student ...More Button

  Question No. 66 answered orally.More Button

Was asked: his views on the recent survey by Dublin City University's school of nursing and human sciences of primary school principals and counsellors dealing with children from four to 13 years of age.More Button

The issue to which the Deputy refers arise from a recently published report commissioned by St Patrick’s Mental Health services.  The report includes an analysis of the findings from a survey of pr...More Button

While the report has not been formally submitted to my Department, it has been seen by relevant officials.  More Button

From a preliminary consideration of the report, it does not appear to set out the context of the supports already provided by my Department to support schools in the promotion of wellbeing and th...More Button

NEPS psychologists do not generally provide therapeutic interventions as part of their work in schools.  Where they encounter cases, however, where specialist services are required for a student ...More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to promote teacher well-being; and if such measures will be augmented in view of international concerns regarding the importance of teacher well-being to a high quality educa...More Button

An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for teachers. The aim of this strategy is to promote the health of teachers in the workplace, with a focus primarily on prevent...More Button

DEIS Scheme

Was asked: the reason the staffing formula for designated DEIS schools has not been improved to coincide with two improvements in the overall formula for other primary schools in recent years; his plans to im...More Button

Tackling educational disadvantage is a key priority for my Department.  In order to achieve its vision for education to become a proven pathway to better opportunities for those in communities at r...More Button

Evaluations of DEIS to date have shown an overall improvement in educational outcomes in DEIS schools. DEIS Plan 2017 aims to build on what has already been achieved by schools who have benefitt...More Button

While the allocation of additional teaching resources to DEIS Band 1 schools has served to improve learning outcomes, a gap still remained between DEIS and non-DEIS schools in terms of educationa...More Button

To date there have been two meetings of this group and work is underway on examining the various issues that arise in terms of determining optimum class size.  It is intended that a short report ...More Button

My Department’s Circulars govern staffing arrangements in all schools and are available on my Department’s website. More Button

Education and Training Provision

Was asked: his views on the statement of IBEC that as many as 80,000 additional construction workers will be required to meet infrastructure targets; if adequate plans are in place to meet the training needs ...More Button

Was asked: the steps that have been taken to ensure that there are enough skilled workers to cater for the infrastructure projects required for the projected increase in population, particularly in the constr...More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take to increase the number of apprenticeships in view of the recovering economy and increasing demand for qualified trades.More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure the demand for construction workers is met by 2020 to cater for increased construction output in house and infrastructure development; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the status of the agreed apprentice school at a site (details supplied) in County Kildare; and the possibility of partnering the school with Carlow Institute of Technology.More Button

School Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the action being taken to help oversubscribed secondary schools in Fingal, County Dublin.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried ou...More Button

Was asked: the status of the expansion to primary school provision in Ashbourne, County Meath.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, plans were recently announced for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019-2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carri...More Button

In addition to the new schools announced, there will be a need for further school accommodation in other areas in the future which, based on the current analysis, can be addressed through either ...More Button

In line with the ongoing review of school planning areas generally, I can confirm that my Department is currently reviewing the position in relation to primary provision for the Ashbourne school ...More Button

Was asked: the progress made on the ongoing review of the need for a new secondary school in south County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried o...More Button

Teachers' Remuneration

Was asked: the status of efforts to achieve pay equality within the teaching profession; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. I negotiated, together with my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, a 15...More Button

As a result of these changes, the current starting salary of a new teacher is €35,958 and from 1 October 2020 onwards will be €37,692.More Button

Section 11 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that “the Minister [for Public Expenditure and Reform] shall, within three months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay b...More Button

The report laid before the Oireachtas on foot of this provision by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform assesses the cost of a further change which would provide a two scale point adjus...More Button

The matter of new entrant pay is a cross sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector alone. The Government supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI legislation, having...More Button

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform’s report will inform discussions among the parties to the agreement on remaining salary scale issues in accordance with the commitment in the Agreem...More Button

Was asked: his plans to achieve full pay equality for all teaching grades; the timeframe for achieving same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. I negotiated together with my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure a 15-22% pay incr...More Button

As a result of these changes, the current starting salary of a new teacher is €35,958 and from 1 October 2020 onwards will be €37,692.More Button

Section 11 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that “the Minister [for Public Expenditure and Reform] shall, within three months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay b...More Button

The report laid before the Oireachtas on foot of this provision by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform assesses the cost of a further change which would provide a two scale point adjus...More Button

The matter of new entrant pay is a cross sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector alone. The Government supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI legislation, having ...More Button

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform’s report will inform discussions among the parties to the agreement on remaining salary scale issues in accordance with the commitment in the Agreem...More Button

Schools Site Acquisitions

Was asked: the status of the location for a new secondary school for the Castleknock-Carpenterstown area of Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the school to which he refers is included in my Department’s 6 year construction programme.More Button

Officials in my Department continue to liaise with officials in Fingal County Council in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the identification and acquisition of a sui...More Button

Due to commercial sensitivities relating to site acquisitions generally, the Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position to provide further details at this time but I can confirm that the ...More Button

Was asked: the status of acquiring a site for a school (details supplied) and the development of a new school building on such a site which was announced in 2015.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the project to which he refers was announced as part of my Department's Six Year Capital Programme in 2015.

  Officials in my Department have worked clos...More Button

Was asked: the status of the progress with securing a site for the three school campus in Buncrana, County Donegal; if a site has been purchased; the timeline for works to be completed; and if he will make a ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the project in respect of the education campus in Buncrana is included on my Department's capital programme.  More Button

My Department is working closely with Donegal County Council in relation to the proposed site acquisition. Unfortunately, the site acquisition process to date has been protracted due to technical...More Button

A number of options are available to progress the site acquisition process, and a significant amount of work has been undertaken by both Council and Department officials in order to thoroughly ap...More Button

Once the site acquisition is complete the project can progress to architectural planning stage.More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made in securing a permanent site for the new regional second level school for the Carpenterstown and Castleknock school planning areas; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the school to which she refers is included in my Department’s 6 year construction programme.More Button

Officials in my Department continue to liaise with officials in Fingal County Council in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the identification and acquisition of a sui...More Button

Due to commercial sensitivities relating to site acquisitions generally, the Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position to provide further details at this time but I can confirm that the ...More Button

Was asked: the progress in securing a site for a new three school campus in Buncrana, County Donegal; if additional valuation reports for the sites have been received which have been sanctioned; when the site...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the project in respect of the education campus in Buncrana is included on my Department's capital programme.  More Button

My Department is working closely with Donegal County Council in relation to the proposed site acquisition.  Unfortunately, the site acquisition process to date has been protracted due to technica...More Button

A number of options are available to progress the site acquisition process, and a significant amount of work has been undertaken by both Council and Department officials in order to thoroughly ap...More Button

Once the site acquisition is complete the project can progress to architectural planning stage.More Button

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Was asked: his plans to reduce primary class sizes and DEIS class sizes in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Budget 2018 marks the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish education and...More Button

Improvements to the staffing schedule at primary level in Budget 2016 and Budget 2018 brings the teacher allocation ratio to the most favourable ever seen at primary level.  From this September, ...More Button

In the last two years, we have hired 5,000 additional new teachers and Budget 2018 provides for an additional 1280 teaching posts in the 2018/19 school year.More Button

This budget measure delivers on a commitment made in the Confidence and Supply Agreement and Programme for Government to reduce primary schools class size.More Button

Each 1 point adjustment to the primary staffing schedule is estimated to cost in the region of €16.5m per annum.  Any additional improvement would have to be considered as part of the next annual...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to improve pupil-teacher ratio and class size in all primary schools in County Kildare and throughout the country; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Improvements to the staffing schedule at primary level in Budget 2016 and Budget 2018 brings the teacher allocation ratio to the most favourable ever seen at primary level.  From this September, sc...More Button

In the last two years, we have hired 5,000 additional new teachers and Budget 2018 provides for an additional 1280 teaching posts in the 2018/19 school year.More Button

This budget measure delivers on a commitment made in the Confidence and Supply Agreement and Programme for Government to reduce primary schools class size.More Button

Each 1 point adjustment to the primary staffing schedule is estimated to cost in the region of €16.5m per annum.  Any additional improvement would have to be considered as part of the next annual...More Button

Schools Establishment

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 191 of 19 June 2018, the extent of the engagement with existing schools in Swords regarding the decision to prioritise the progression of a new primary school ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, I recently announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including an 8-classroom primary school to be established in...More Button

There are 13 primary schools and 4 post-primary schools to be established in September 2019 which includes the schools in Swords.  It is envisaged that these schools will be established in interi...More Button

The Department recently tendered for and expects to appoint a Project Manager in July 2018 who will assist in the procurement of interim school accommodation for the schools opening in September ...More Button

Regarding the permanent accommodation position, the Department is equally committed to the progression of permanent school projects for both schools announced. In the case of the new school bein...More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made on the development of the new second level school at Ballincollig, County Cork, which was announced earlier in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I recently announced the opening of 42 new schools over the next 4 years.  This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the ...More Button

In line with the policy on the use of state assets (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circulars 11/15 and 17/16), my Department will be seeking to maximize the use of sites already in m...More Button

Taking into account all of the above, a decision will then be made as part of the site acquisition process in relation to an appropriate site for the school and this will be confirmed at the earl...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 376 of 12 June 2018, if primary school children in Dublin 8 and 12 will be able to access a school (details supplied); and if not, the location in which they c...More Button

Was asked: his plans to establish an Educate Together school in Dublin 12 to cater for the growing demand for non-denominational school places; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will meet with parents and campaigners from a school (details supplied) to discuss concerns about places and capacity in non-denominational schools in the area.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92, 93 and 118 together.More Button

As the Deputies will be aware, in November 2016, I announced the patronage of a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2018 to serve the Dublin South City Centre area. This new...More Button

More recently, in April 2018, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including new post-primary schools for areas adjacent to Dublin 8 ...More Button

- new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2020 as a regional solution to serve the Dublin 6_Clonskeagh and Dublin_6W school planning areas. More Button

- new 600 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2021 to serve the Dublin 2_Dublin 4 school planning area.More Button

These new schools will reduce any pressure on schools in the adjacent school planning areas, including the Dublin 8 and 12 areas. It is important to note that the patronage of these new schools ...More Button

A patronage process, which will be open to all patron bodies, will be run by my Department to decide who will operate these schools. Parental preferences for each patron and for the language of ...More Button

All new schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand are required to prioritise pupil applications from within the designated school planning area(s) which the school was established...More Button

Was asked: the status of plans announced in April 2018 to establish 42 new schools over the next four years (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government recently announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including a new 600 pupil post-primary school t...More Button

A patronage process is run after it has been decided, based on demographic analysis, that a new school is required.  This patronage process is open to all patron bodies and prospective patrons.  ...More Button

An Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to all parents which will allow them to make an informed choice about their preferre...More Button

All new schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand are required to prioritise enrolments from the designated school planning area(s) which the school was established to serve.  The...More Button

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG).  Following their consideration of my Department’s assessme...More Button

An initial phased start-up is envisaged for the new schools, which typically involves the use of interim accommodation. However, this is the first time the requirement for new schools is set out ...More Button

Following on from the announcement, the locations for all of the schools will be determined as part of the site acquisition process.More Button

Schools Refurbishment

Was asked: when funding will be provided to a school (details supplied) for roof replacement works; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department has no record of receiving a recent application, for works referred to, from the school in question. More Button

The latest interaction that my Department had with the school was in July 2017 and this related to the approval of an application from the school for an Emergency Works Grant in respect of essent...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to progress the school building improvement and summer scheme programmes in respect of all schools in County Kildare at primary and second level with particular refer...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

School Admissions

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to concerns raised by Irish speaking families who partake in foster care regarding the impact of the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 and the way in which ...More Button

I have made clear during the passage of the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 that I wish to support Irish medium schools and to ensure that the Bill does not unintendedly limit the opport...More Button

Accordingly, I brought forward an amendment in the Dáil which was aimed at allowing Irish medium schools to give priority in admission to students who have a reasonable age appropriate level of o...More Button

However, having regard to certain concerns raised by members of the Dáil in relation to my amendment, I agreed to withdraw it and resubmit revised amendments to the Seanad. More Button

In that regard, I can confirm that I have since brought forward amendments in the Seanad that will permit an Irish medium school to prioritise the admission of a student where the school is satis...More Button

In doing so, I have amended the definition of ‘level of fluency in the Irish language’ to provide that it means ‘a level of fluency indicative of what would be expected of a student who uses the ...More Button

The revised approach ensures that all children with such fluency must be treated equally and where a priority is given by a school to children who have fluency, such a priority must be applied fa...More Button

Schools Building Contractors

Was asked: if guarantees will be sought from the remaining partners of an organisation (details supplied) that it will pay subcontractors for work already carried out on the schools bundle 5 PPP project; and ...More Button

Was asked: if he has met unpaid subcontractors involved in constructing the schools bundle 5 PPP project; his plans to ensure they are paid for the work they have carried out; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Was asked: if the NDFA or his Department has an estimation of the number of subcontractors owed money for works carried out on the schools bundle 5 PPP project following the collapse of companies (details sup...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 96, 100 and 131 together.More Button

The Schools Bundle 5 Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme comprises five school buildings and one further education college across four sites in Bray, Wexford, Carlow and Kells. This progra...More Button

Like other major construction projects, school building projects involve a complex arrangement of contractual relationships between the client, the main contractor and various sub-contractors and...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that arrangements are being put in place for the appointment of a replacement contractor, Woodvale to, inter alia, facilitate the completion of three of the schools in th...More Button

Was asked: the status of subcontracting companies that have incurred losses as a result of the liquidation of a company (details supplied); and if plans are in place to utilise these companies in the retender...More Button

The Schools Bundle 5 Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme comprises five school buildings and one further education college across four sites in Bray, Wexford, Carlow and Kells. This programm...More Button

Psychological Assessments

Was asked: the measures he plans to implement to eliminate delays in children accessing necessary assessments by psychologists; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that my Department introduced a new model to support pupils with special educational needs in our schools following a pilot which demonstrated strong support from principals...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools. This involves direct s...More Button

I can also inform the Deputy that following on from an increase allowed in the 2017 Budget that the sanctioned number for NEPS psychologist stands at 184 whole-time equivalents of which some 179 ...More Button

Additionally the Deputy may be aware that under the provisions of Budget 2018 I was pleased to announce that NEPS psychologist numbers will expand by a further 10 posts from the start of the new ...More Button

A national recruitment competition is currently in operation by the Public Appointments Service in conjunction with my Department to replenish NEPS Regional Recruitment Panels to allow for both t...More Button

In common with many other psychological services and best international practice, NEPS has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively w...More Button

This system allows psychologists to give early attention to urgent cases and also to help many more children indirectly than could be seen individually. It also ensures that children are not ref...More Button

I would advise that if there are concerns in relation to the educational or social and emotional development of any student these should be raised by the parents, in the first instance, with the ...More Button

I hope this clarifies the issue for the Deputy..More Button

  Question No. 100 answered with Question No. 96.More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: the status of the provision of additional classrooms and ancillary facilities at a college (details supplied).More Button

A building project for the school to which the Deputy refers has recently been approved.  The intention is to devolve the delivery of the project to an external agency.  Contact will be made direct...More Button

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

A project for the school to which the Deputy refers has recently been approved which will increase the capacity of the school to 900 pupils.  The intention is to devolve the delivery of the project...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application for additional school accommodation by a school (details supplied); and his views on whether the existing buildings are unsuitable for modern primary school education.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a project to provide four new classrooms has been approved for the school to which he refers under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme.  The proje...More Button

  Question No. 118 answered with Question No. 92More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost of completing the prefab replacement scheme in one, two and five years, respectively.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that it is my Department’s intention to replace purchased temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation, where the need is established, in the context of the long...More Button

Such accommodation will be replaced as part of major building projects completed under the Department's construction programmes and under my Department's additional accommodation scheme. An enhan...More Button

It is not possible to calculate a cost estimate taking into account the extent of applications, that the outlay for repalcing temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation will vary from s...More Button

Junior Cycle Reform

Was asked: if consideration has been given to a provision by which students would be able to complete junior cycle music with an approved tutor external to the school setting in view of the fact that it is no...More Button

The Framework for Junior Cycle presents a dual approach to assessment that supports student learning over the three years of junior cycle and also measures achievement at the end of those three yea...More Button

The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) is a school-based award issued by schools which draws upon and reports on achievement across all elements of assessment, including ongoing, formativ...More Button

Where students take extra subjects outside of their school setting these subjects cannot satisfy the requirements for ongoing formative assessment and classroom based assessments by recognised sc...More Button

Special Education Review

Was asked: if a full consultation with a union (details supplied) will be conducted before implementing the recommendations contained in the NCSE special needs assistant review; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, in September 2016 I requested the NCSE to lead the Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme. The Review set out to ensure that the Scheme is achieving...More Button

The Review which was published by the NCSE on the 30th of May this year identifies and recommends how, in the future, the additional care needs of students, over and above those needs that could ...More Button

In undertaking the Review the NCSE consulted widely to seek the views of the many stakeholders involved. These included parents, students, SNAs, teacher representatives, SNA representatives, scho...More Button

My Department is developing proposals to implement the recommendations of the Review. This will involve further substantial engagement with key Department and agencies as well as consultation wit...More Button

  Question No. 107 answered with Question No. 95.More Button

Was asked: if the ongoing review of the NCSE is reviewing the need for permanent contracted SNA jobs in schools in the future particularly with the possibility that assessments will not be carried out by SENO...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, in 2016 I requested the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) to lead a comprehensive review of the SNA scheme to identify and recommend how, in the future, the...More Button

The NCSE published the Review on 30 May and the Government has noted the contents of the report.More Button

One of the recommendations in the Review is that a new frontloaded allocation model for Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support be introduced. This would ensure that SNA posts are in school and ava...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the NCSE Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) have no role in the diagnosis of disability.More Button

In response to the Review, I have undertaken to develop proposals for the implementation of the NCSE’s recommendations and to return to Government, following engagement with the Departments of Pu...More Button

Work is underway to assess the costs associated with the implementation of any recommendations that subsequently may be approved by Government.More Button

Work is also underway on the development of a new model for the allocation of resources to schools, as recommended by the NCSE. It is considered likely that the introduction of such a new model w...More Button

I expect to bring proposals for implementation of the Review’s recommendations to Government in the coming months.More Button

Student Unions

Was asked: the engagement his departmental officials have had with an organisation (details supplied) in the past 12 months; his plans to meet the organisation before the new academic year in September 2018; ...More Button

Officials from the Department of Education and Skills engage with The Union of Students Ireland (USI) on an ongoing basis through USI representation on relevant steering committees and working grou...More Button

Legislative Measures

Was asked: if the progression to Committee Stage of the Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill 2018 will be discussed at Cabinet (details supplied).More Button

In April of this year, I announced a major review of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum and this review is underway by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Th...More Button

Apprenticeship Programmes

Was asked: if he will report on his Department’s fulfilment of the targets set out in the Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship in Ireland 2016-2020; his views on whether all targets set out in...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the lack of capital expenditure on the printing apprenticeship programme.More Button

Was asked: his plans to remove apprenticeship fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of apprenticeship programme curriculum areas that commenced for the first time in 2016 and 2017; the reviews of these programmes that have been carried out; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are no college classroom places for apprenticeship plumbers and that they are obliged to remain out of education for one academic year; his pl...More Button

University Global Rankings

Was asked: his views on the decline in Irish universities’ ratings in international rankings; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the outset it is important to note that that there is a diversity of ranking systems under which universities are assessed on the basis of a number of different models.  The most recent world ra...More Button

The Deputy may wish to note that the most recent rankings again reflected a strong performance overall by Ireland’s Higher Education system.  In the 2019 QS World University Rankings Ireland sees...More Button

Caution is appropriate in interpreting the results of international league tables of universities in light of the significant methodological issues in terms of how the rankings are compiled.  In ...More Button

- do not measure the quality of teaching or the quality of learning; More Button

- do not take into account how universities support access or tackle educational disadvantage - a key national objective; More Button

- rely on global surveys of academics and employers who may have had no interaction with the institution in question; and More Button

- measure the impact of research by the number of times a paper is cited and do not factor in the quality of the journal in which the research appears.More Button

In conclusion, it is clear that international rankings can impact – both positively and negatively – on international perceptions of our national university system.  It is important, therefore, t...More Button

Springboard Programme

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 641 of 16 January 2018, the further plans that will be in place for Springboard in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Springboard+ 2018, which was launched in May, will provide for over 8,000 places on 245 higher education courses.  Courses will be delivered in public and private educational institutions throughou...More Button

Special Educational Needs

Was asked: if he has had discussions with the Minister for Health about delays in assessments of need for children resulting in delayed supports being put in place at primary school level for some pupils; and...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that in 2017, I introduced a new model for the allocation of Special Education Teachers to schools. The new model replaced an older model, under which most of these resource...More Button

In its 2014 policy advice, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) had recommended that it was no longer appropriate to require individual assessments or diagnoses in order that childre...More Button

In May of this year, the NCSE published its report of its comprehensive review of the Special Needs Assistant scheme. In its advice the NCSE recommends a new model for the allocation of SNA and o...More Button

It remains the case that an assessment of need is required to support applications to my department for assistive technology and special school transport. It is also the case that assessment of n...More Button

Changes to the Assessment of Needs process, which were recently announced, remain a matter for the Department of Health and will be the subject of consultation between that Department and officia...More Button

Third Level Charges

Was asked: his plans to reduce or abolish the student contribution for third level students; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The student contribution was introduced in higher education institutions with effect from the 2011/12 academic year and replaced the Student Services Charge. The Student Contribution currently stan...More Button

Measures are in place to assist students and their parents with meeting the cost of the student contribution. More Button

In 2016/17 approximately 43% of all fulltime undergraduate students had all or part of the student contribution paid for by the State on their behalf through the student grant scheme. More Button

In addition, in recognition of the financial pressures that the student contribution may place on families, my Department and the HEA have requested higher education institutions to put in place ...More Button

The cost of abolishing the student contribution would be approximately €220m for the 2018/19 academic year. This figure takes into account the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant...More Button

I am committed to providing a more sustainable funding model for higher education. As committed to in the programme for government I referred the Cassells report to the Joint Oireachtas committee...More Button

I the interim, I have been working to secure additional funding for higher education. This commitment is reflected in Budget 2017 and 2018 announcements in which the higher education sector was p...More Button

This additional funding will allow for targeted initiatives in higher education including skills programmes, performance and innovation funding, technological university development and apprentic...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staff

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) has lost the service of a full-time teacher due to being assessed on 2014-15 student numbers for learning support and resource allocation; and if he will make...More Button

DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.

  The revised allocation process replaces th...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to continue to ensure the availability of adequate special needs teaching places in all primary and secondary schools in County Kildare and throug...More Button

DES Circulars 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools set out details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.

  The re...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to continue to ensure the availability of an adequate number of # SNAs in all primary and secondary schools in County Kildare and throughout the c...More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care nee...More Button

Apprenticeship Data

Was asked: the number of registered apprentices in 2018; the target for registered apprentices in each of the years to 2021, by gender; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

First-Aid Training

Was asked: his plans to ensure that all teachers have a basic understanding of administrating adrenaline auto injectors in emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department promotes the quality of teaching and learning through the provision of quality teacher training programmes and continuing professional development and support for principals and teach...More Button

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. More Button

The Board of Management of each school is responsible for the care and safety of all of the students in their school and care and safety should be at the centre of all policy and practices. Scho...More Button

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advise that by law, employers and those who control workplaces to any extent must identify hazards in the workplaces under their control and assess the risk ...More Button

Employers must write down the risks and what to do about them. This is known as Risk Assessment. The aim of Risk Assessment is to reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with work. Th...More Button

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 set out the First-Aid requirements for workplaces as follows: "Employers have a duty to provide first-aid equipment a...More Button

It is important that the school management authority requests parents to ensure that the school is made aware of any medical condition suffered by any student attending. Where the school is awar...More Button

The administration of medicines in primary schools is the subject of an agreement between the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the organisation representing school management at primary l...More Button

My Department cannot direct any member of the Board of Management or the teaching staff of the school to administer medical treatment to pupils, action and procedures which are normally carried o...More Button

The organisation of training in the administration of medicines is a matter for the Board of Management and my Department has no plans for future training programmes in this area.More Button

Where a child requires adult assistance to assist in the administration of medicine and where the extent of assistance required would overly disrupt normal teaching time, SNA support may be alloc...More Button

It is a matter for the Board of Management to ensure that SNAs are in a position to effectively meet the care needs of students for whom SNA support has been allocated in the school when appointi...More Button

Where specific training is required, the Board of Management should liaise with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in order to ensure that the HSE provides guidance and training that enables the ...More Button

It is my Department's experience that once the matter has been discussed in detail with the Board of Management and staff of a school, and once all parties are clear as to the procedures to be fo...More Button

In September 2016, I requested the NCSE to lead a comprehensive review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme to identify and recommend how, in the future, the additional care needs of students, o...More Button

The administration of medication and other such issues in schools, were raised with the NCSE as part of the consultation process of this review.More Button

The Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme was published by the NCSE on 30 May 2018 and my Department is developing proposals to implement the recommendations of the Review. More Button

Student Grant Scheme

Was asked: his plans to reduce the non-adjacent rate of the grant below the current 45 km; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The student maintenance grant is a contribution towards the living costs of a student.  It is not intended to cover the full costs of attending college.  The student grant scheme does however, prov...More Button

Budget 2011 provided for a number of student grant measures which came into effect for the 2011/12 academic year, including the change in the assessment of the qualifying distance criterion for t...More Button

The 24km distance criterion was originally set in 1968 and had not been updated in more than 40 years. Since then, significant improvements have taken place in the road and rail network and it is...More Button

The current qualifying distance of 45km for the higher non-adjacent rate of student grant takes into account a reasonable radius within which students may commute on a daily basis. More Button

Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate ...More Button

Student Support Schemes

Was asked: if part-time and further education students will receive the same supports as full-time students in the same circumstances; if a hardship fund will be made available; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-19 contains more than 30 actions that are intended to make higher education more representative of wider society. One of five goals i...More Button

The Student Assistance Fund was recently extended to part-time students in higher education following the allocation of an additional €1m in Budget 2017. The current SAF allocation for the 2017/1...More Button

The potential for reviewing other options for existing access funding initiatives to part-time studies in higher education and further education could only be considered in the context of the ove...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staff Data

Was asked: the estimated cost of employing an additional 450 resource teachers.More Button

DES Circulars 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools set out details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.

  The re...More Button

Psychological Services

Was asked: the allocation provided for educational psychologists; and the estimated cost of employing a further ten, 20, 30, 40 and 50 educational psychologists, respectively.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools. This involves direct...More Button

Following on from an increase allowed in the 2017 Budget that the sanctioned number for NEPS psychologist stands at 184 whole-time equivalents of which some 179 w.t.e. posts are currently filled ...More Button

Additionally the Deputy may be aware that under the provisions of Budget 2018 I was pleased to announce that NEPS psychologist numbers will expand by a further her 10 posts from the start of the ...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that a national recruitment competition is currently in operation by the Public Appointments Service in conjunction with my Department to replenish NEPS Regional Recruitme...More Button

In answer to the Deputies specific question I can inform her that the average direct pay and non-pay cost per annum of engaging an individual Educational Psychologist is €73,000 per annum. The esti...More Button

Information and Communications Technology

Was asked: the allocation being invested in information technology infrastructure.More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question, in 2018, the funding allocated to Information Technology Infrastructure is outlined as follows.   

Schools ICT Infrastructure Fundin...More Button

Third Level Funding

Was asked: the allocation being invested in minor works and grants at third-level.More Button

Out of an allocation of €10m for minor works and equipment renewal requirements that has recently been made available to Institutes of Technology, €5.890m of this allocation was paid out in 2017. T...More Button

Was asked: the status of the expert group’s report, the Cassells report, on the funding of third level here; the work being undertaken in regard to the future funding of higher education expenditure; and if h...More Button

The Expert Group’s Report (Cassells Report) which was published in July 2016, clearly outlines the funding challenges in the higher education sector and offers a number of approaches and recommenda...More Button

The committee recently asked my Department to undertake an economic evaluation of the options presented in the Cassell’s report to assist their consideration of the report.  I have agreed to this...More Button

In the interim I am committed to investing in Higher Education through securing additional funding for the sector. This commitment is reflected in Budget 2017 and 2018 announcements in which the...More Button

Furthermore as part of Budget 2018, the Government decided to raise the National Training Fund levy by 0.1% in 2018 to 0.8%, and by a further 0.1% in both 2019 and 2020 (subject to the reform of ...More Button

My Department and the HEA are further reforming the model by which higher education funding is allocated.  An independent Expert Panel was appointed by the HEA in 2016 to review the current alloc...More Button

An implementation group has been established which is comprised of representatives from DES, HEA, DPER, THEA & IUA. The Group are progressing a number of key priority recommendations for 2018 in...More Button

Speech and Language Therapy Staff

Was asked: the number of speech and language therapists employed; and the estimated cost of employing an additional 100.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the provision of Therapy services, including Speech and Lanaguage Therapy services, is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive (HSE), under the Health Ac...More Button

Further Education and Training Programmes

Was asked: the steps he is taking in respect of the back-to-education initiative, BTEI, conversion deal and the implementation of same in County Cork (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

A conversion process for staff employed in ETBs to deliver programmes under the BTEI was agreed between the Department of Education and Skills and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) in May 2016.More Button

Under the process, BTEI staff affected will be given the option of converting to a Teacher (qualified or unqualified), an Adult Educator or to remain as is.  Following an analysis by the employin...More Button

This process is underway within ETBs and each individual ETB will manage the process on behalf of staff that are in its employ. The Department has recently written to all ETBs, including Cork ET...More Button

Departmental Legal Costs

Was asked: if all monetary compensation as a result of High Court orders against his Department have been paid to the persons involved; if not, when the payments will issue; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

There are no instances where monetary compensation as a result of High Court orders against the Department of Education and Skills have not been paid to the persons involved.More Button

Teacher Training Provision

Was asked: his plans to ensure that all teachers and special needs assistants receive training on administrating EpiPen adrenaline auto-injectors in emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department promotes the quality of teaching and learning through the provision of quality teacher training programmes and continuing professional development and support for principals and teach...More Button

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school.More Button

The Board of Management of each school is responsible for the care and safety of all of the students in their school and care and safety should be at the centre of all policy and practices. Scho...More Button

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advise that, by law, employers and those who control workplaces to any extent must identify hazards in the workplaces under their control and assess the risk...More Button

Employers must write down the risks and what to do about them. This is known as Risk Assessment. The aim of Risk Assessment is to reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with work. Th...More Button

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 set out the First-Aid requirements for workplaces as follows: "Employers have a duty to provide first-aid equipment a...More Button

It is important that the school management authority requests parents to ensure that the school is made aware of any medical condition suffered by any student attending. Where the school is awar...More Button

The administration of medicines in primary schools is the subject of an agreement between the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the organisation representing school management at primary l...More Button

My Department cannot direct any member of the Board of Management or the teaching staff of the school to administer medical treatment to pupils, action and procedures which are normally carried o...More Button

The organisation of training in the administration of medicines is a matter for the Board of Management and my Department has no plans for future training programmes in this area.More Button

Where a child requires adult assistance to assist in the administration of medicine and where the extent of assistance required would overly disrupt normal teaching time, SNA support may be alloc...More Button

It is a matter for the Board of Management to ensure that SNAs are in a position to effectively meet the care needs of students for whom SNA support has been allocated in the school when appointi...More Button

Where specific training is required, the Board of Management should liaise with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in order to ensure that the HSE provides guidance and training that enable the S...More Button

It is my Department's experience that once the matter has been discussed in detail with the Board of Management and staff of a school, and once all parties are clear as to the procedures to be fo...More Button

In September 2016, I requested the NCSE to lead a comprehensive review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme to identify and recommend how, in the future, the additional care needs of students, o...More Button

The administration of medication and other such issues in schools was raised with the NCSE as part of the consultation process of this review.More Button

The Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme was published by the NCSE on 30 May 2018 and my Department is developing proposals to implement the recommendations of the Review.More Button

Was asked: his plans to make training available for principal teachers on enactment of the schools admission legislation in view of the fact that these principals will have additional responsibilities in area...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Education Admissions to School Bill, which is currently progressing through the Seanad, aims to provide a new framework for school enrolment that is designed to en...More Button

The approach taken, aims to strike the right balance between school autonomy and fairness in our education system.  More Button

In relation to the role of the school Principal, the Bill does not alter, but recognises the current position that it is the school Principal who normally implements the school’s admission policy...More Button

Minor Works Scheme Payments

Was asked: if the payment of the minor works grant each year will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Minor Works Grant was introduced in 1997 and since then has issued to primary schools each year with the exception of the 2012/2013 school year. The payment of the Minor Works Grant is not con...More Button

It is intended that the Minor Works Grant in respect of the 2018/2019 school year will issue no later than January 2019.More Button

My Department recognises the importance of the Minor Works Grant to primary schools. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 signals a gradual ramping up in capital expenditure in the schools se...More Button

Schools Data

Was asked: the number of students on roll in the 20 smallest schools; if his Department takes responsibility to manage school amalgamations in circumstances in which enrolment trends are declining and unlikel...More Button

The position in relation to enrolments at the 20 smallest schools in the country, four of which are island schools, is set out in the table.

  In respect of two of the schools li...More Button

State Examinations Data

Was asked: the number of persons required overall in recent years and to date in 2018 to correct papers and to assess projects in the State examinations; and the proportion of these persons who were registere...More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations.

  In view of this I have forwarded your query to...More Button

Teacher Data

Was asked: the number of teachers who in the most recent years for which statistics are available were in receipt of a principal teacher’s allowance throughout one school year and on the payroll but not in re...More Button

Principal teachers are employed by the managerial authorities of their schools and the information required for their payment on payrolls operated by my Department is provided by them.  The informa...More Button

A Data Protection Privacy Statement is included on these forms. The Data Statement outlines that the main purpose for which my Department requires the personal data provided is the payment of wa...More Button

The information is retained on databases to ensure the correct payment of the teaching staff paid by my Department and employed in the schools on an ongoing basis.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy could only be obtained from these databases. A statistical analysis of the aggregated data requested for voluntary secondary community and comprehensive s...More Button

School Transport Provision

Was asked: if a school bus for a school (details supplied) will be retained; if the situation will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Departmental Contracts Data

Was asked: the number of times his Department has engaged polling companies and-or Irish market researchers to conduct research on its behalf in each of the past two years; the names of such companies; the as...More Button

For the Deputy's information, my Department has not engaged polling companies or Irish market researchers to conduct research on its behalf in either of the past two years.More Button

School Services Staff

Was asked: if the employment situation of school secretaries employed by boards of management will be examined with reference to their pay and conditions and pension entitlements.More Button

To answer the Deputy, the majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme receive capitation grant assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning se...More Button

Commissions of Inquiry

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 107 of 11 May 2017, the status of the bill of costs that has been submitted to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse by each of the religious congregation...More Button

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, established under the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, is independent in the exercise of its functions.

  I have been advis...More Button

School Enrolments

Was asked: the extent to which primary and second level educational requirements are being met in Maynooth, County Kildare; if adequate provision in line with the requirements as set out by local management a...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Celbridge, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the releva...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Naas, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant se...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Leixlip, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Clane, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant s...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Kilcock, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and-or second-level educational requirements are being met in Leixlip, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Timahoe, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Depa...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Tiermohan, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his De...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Sallins, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Depa...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Clogherinkoe, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 227, 232, 233 and 235 together.

  My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulg...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Newtown, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Depa...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Johnstownbridge, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of ...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Rathcoffey, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his D...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Straffan, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Dep...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Questions Nos. 232 and 233 answered with Question No. 227.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which extra primary and or second-level educational requirements are being met in Prosperous, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relev...More Button

My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansio...More Button

Question No. 235 answered with Question No. 227.More Button

School Playgrounds

Was asked: the extent to which the requirements of a school (details supplied) regarding the resurfacing of a playground surface have been facilitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that the school in question applied for funding under the Summer Works Scheme, under Category 10 - External Environment Works to upgrade the school's play area.

More Button

Further Education and Training Programmes Eligibility

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is an anomaly between eligibility criteria for progression routes in the PAC system when applying for higher diploma programmes as compared to...More Button

This matter is being considered by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and I understand a response will issue to the Deputy.More Button