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O'Sullivan, Jan

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Business of Dáil (Continued)

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

School Transport Eligibility

Was asked: where families had previously relied on the medical card for school transportation purposes for children; if these families will be in a position to avail of the free service if a parent has been g...More Button

Education and Training Boards Places

Was asked: if and when a place on the Naas technology project FÁS course level 5 will be offered in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This is an operational matter for the Kildare Wicklow Education Training Board and I have asked them to contact the Deputy directly to clarify the position.More Button

Schools Recognition

Was asked: the names of primary schools in each county with temporary recognition; the year in which temporary recognition was granted to those schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps her Department requires a school to undertake to achieve permanent recognition; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 369 and 372 together.

For the Deputy's convenience, I have enclosed a table outlining the primary schools with temporary recognition and the year in whic...More Button

Minor Works Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the reason payment of the minor repairs grant is confined to schools with permanent recognition; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason schools with temporary recognition will not be paid the minor repairs grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 370 and 371 together.

Under Circular 0062/2013 the Minor Works Grant is issued to schools with permanent recognition. This is a continuation of the posit...More Button

  Question No. 372 answered with Question No. 369.More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the financial contribution her Department makes to running the Irish Primary Principals Network; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Irish Primary Principal's Network (IPPN) is a professional body which provides support and services to school Principals in their role as school leaders and engages with the Department on issue...More Button

The funding provided by my Department in this regard was approximately €179,000 in 2013.More Button

Was asked: the funding allocated to the Irish Second Level Students Union during each year since 2009. More Button

My Department provides funding to the Irish Second Level Student Union (ISSU) as follows:

For the 2013/14 academic year a sum of €18,000 was allocated. This was paid in two instalment...More Button

Broadband Service Provision

Was asked: the reason students attending courses run by Solas and the education and training board do not have access to the enhanced broadband deals through campus which are available to most other third lev...More Button

Special offers from private service providers for students undertaking Further Education and Training courses - which are provided by Education and Training Boards and others, and funded by SOLAS -...More Button

School Transport Applications

Was asked: when the special transport grant will be approved in respect of a person (detail supplied) in County Laois to enable them to attend the closest school to them that accepts them.More Button

Education and Training Boards

Was asked: the policies and procedures for staff of the County Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board on bullying and harassment in work; the way these policies are reviewed; and the procedures...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide the number of members of staff in the County Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board who have made complaints of bullying and-or harassment against other members o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 and 377 together.More Button

The ETBI/Unions' Consultative Forum provides a forum through which the discussion and drafting of agreed policies and procedures applicable to the sector is facilitated. The Forum comprises at le...More Button

The current "Bullying Prevention Policy – Complaints Procedure for ETB Staff" was agreed by the ETBUI/Unions' Consultative Forum. The policy has been implemented in the sector since 1 September 2...More Button

A copy of the policy and accompanying guidance notes are available to download from the website of Education and Training Boards Ireland www.etbi.ie.More Button

Education and Training Board are not required to report incidents of bullying and harassment to my Department. Therefore, the information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of membe...More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the status of the new building project for a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; if the site has been purchased; if planning permission has been applied for; and if she will make a stateme...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers is to be delivered as part of the Schools Bundle 5 PPP project. This bundle comprises one primary school, four post primary schools and one Institute of Furthe...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a school (details supplied) in County Louth now that Stage 2 B has been approved by her Department; the criteria that will apply before this building project can proceed to t...More Button

The Major School Building Project referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of Architectural Planning. The Stage 2b Detailed Design Submission was recently approved by my Department.
More Button

Was asked: if she will prioritise a school building for a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the current school building is in a deplorable conditi...More Button

Was asked: if she will approve the redevelopment of a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary which is operating for the past 20 years in substandard conditions and is a major health and safety concern;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 401 together.More Button

The next step in the architectural planning process for the school building project referred to by the Deputy is to appoint a full design team to complete the design of the extension and refurbis...More Button

The project will provide for refurbishment of the listed buildings on site and an extension to provide overall accommodation for a 16 classroom school. My Department has already secured planning ...More Button

Special Educational Needs Expenditure

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 436 of 25 November 2014, the reason a request (details supplied) submitted to her Department on 21 March 2011 by a preschool registered as a charity, which was...More Button

The details supplied by the Deputy refer to a comprehensive proposal to the Department to fund an Academy for Children with Autism for children aged 4 – 14 as an alternative to State funded place...More Button

State Examinations

Was asked: if she will provide an update regarding the proposal to reform the junior certificate system; the benefits of the proposed new system and particularly the way it will benefit students; and if she w...More Button

Since my appointment as Minister, I have consulted widely with all education partners on the proposed reform of the Junior Cycle, including with representatives of parents. I have listened to the...More Button

Student Universal Support Ireland Administration

Was asked: when a Student Universal Support Ireland grant application will be paid in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois in view of the fact that the person's last additional information w...More Button

As part of a comprehensive customer service and communications strategy provided by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), to ensure that all necessary avenues are open to applicants to receiv...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staffing

Was asked: the number of special needs assistants and resource teachers who are employed nationally in our schools by her Department; of these the number who have been employed through JobBridge or any other ...More Button

There are 11,000 learning support/resource teacher posts, including those provided under the General Allocation model, in mainstream primary and post primary schools providing additional teaching...More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: if she will facilitate the relocation of a school (details supplied) in County Laois. More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question has submitted a proposal to relocate the school to alternative permanent accommodation in the area concerned to meet it's long term require...More Button

Was asked: if her Department recognises the need for a new primary school in Pelletstown, Finglas, Dublin 11, in view of the increases in population in that area; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is currently analysing the latest demographic data on a nationwide basis to determine where additional school accommodation might be needed from 2015 onwards.

  T...More Button

Summer Works Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: when the balance will be paid on the summer works scheme in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to an outstanding balance in respect of an emergency works grant allocated to the school in question. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the outstanding balan...More Button

National Parents' Council

Was asked: the funding allocated to the National Parents Council during each year since 2009. More Button

The information requested by the Deputy for both National Parents Councils', primary and post-primary, is available in the attached tables.

  Table 1: National Parents Counc...More Button

Residential Institutions

Was asked: her plans to repeal Section 28 of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 as survivors believe it curtails their right to justice; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 28 of the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2000 (as amended by section 34 of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Amendment Act 2005) prohibits the disclosure of information prov...More Button

School Transport Provision

Was asked: if she will intervene in a school transport issue affecting a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if she will review, and alter, the current bus route in place, in view of the danger bei...More Button

School Completion Programme

Was asked: the funding allocated to the school completion programme during each year while it was the responsibility of her Department.More Button

In 2011, under the National Education Welfare Board (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order, 2011 responsibility for the School Completion Programme (SCP) transfer...More Button

Was asked: if she has met officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to discuss the school completion programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2011, under the National Education Welfare Board (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order, 2011 responsibility for the School Completion Programme (SCP) transfer...More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: the options available in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare to assist with the education of a child; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that all schools have been allocated additional teaching resources to cater for children with high incidence special educational needs, including Specific Learning Disab...More Button

School Staffing

Was asked: her views on estimates that 10% to 12% of children attending Irish schools both primary and secondary schools are from an immigrant background and in many cases English is not the first language; i...More Button

Teacher allocations are approved annually in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment.More Button

Reforms introduced in the 2012/13 school year created a single simplified allocation process for both learning and language support. At primary level, learning/language support hours are allocate...More Button

The new arrangements also provided for additional permanent teaching posts to be given to schools with high concentration of pupils that require language support. Further additional temporary sup...More Button

The Teaching Council's criteria for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) sets out the mandatory elements to be contained in all Initial Teacher Education Programmes. These include Inclusive Education,...More Button

The Professional Development Service for Teachers offer workshops and school support in the area of EAL to primary schools. The purpose of the workshops is to provide key information on EAL to b...More Button

Was asked: the discussions that have taken place regarding 2015 staffing arrangements in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to primary schools is published annually. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the ...More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2015/16 school year will be published early in 2015 and this will enable schools to determine their staffing levels for that school year.More Button

School Enrolments Data

Was asked: the number of pupils in each of the primary schools in the parish of St. Lawrence O’Toole, North Wall, Dublin 1, in each of the past five years; her plans for the future of the schools and schoolin...More Button

The Statistic's Section of my Department's website i.e. www.education/statistics.ie contains extensive data at individual school level in County order. The most recent published information relates...More Button

The National School Annual Census is generally returned by schools to the Department by end October. Data relating to the 2014/15 school year will be published later in the current school year.More Button

Due to additional funding made available for the schools' building programme as part of the Government's "Investing in Infrastructure and Jobs" package, 28 school projects that were not contained...More Button

My Department is also considering applications for capital works from two schools in the area and my Department expects to be in a position to liaise further with the schools in question shortly. More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the payroll savings to her Department as a result of the one day of industrial action by secondary school teachers on 2 December 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The total estimated savings arising from the one day of industrial action by teachers in voluntary secondary, community/comprehensive and ETB schools is 4.8 million euros. This includes employers P...More Button

Departmental Staff Data

Was asked: if she will provide in details the consequences there will be to personnel numbers for the State examination section of her Department if the reforms of the junior certificate as outlined will proc...More Button

There are no plans to change staff numbers in the State Examinations Commission.More Button

I have put a revised proposal on the table which is different from that originally proposed. This has not been accepted by the teacher unions. What is clear is that reform will be introduced gr...More Button

Third Level Staff Data

Was asked: her plans to address the under-representation of women in senior academic positions in third level institutions.More Button

I understand from data released by the HEA that women represent 43% of academic staff in the universities and institutes of technology. 21% of professors and associate professors in Irish universi...More Button

The HEA has a specific legislative role in relation to 'promoting the attainment of equality of opportunity in higher education'. The Universities Act 1997 and the Institutes of Technology Act 20...More Button

The HEA also publishes profiles of individual higher education institutions and these provide the framework for the enhancement of data-collection by the HEA across all areas of the mission of hi...More Button

  Question No. 401 answered with Question No. 394.More Button

English Language Training Organisations

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the €60 per week charge to students transferring in to Marketing English in Ireland-facilitated courses following the closure of language schools th...More Button

Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) is an association of 54 recognised English-language schools in Ireland. All MEI schools have ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services) ...More Button

MEI schools provide an additional support to displaced students in that they have arrangements in place for the protection of learners. The private colleges which have closed did not have such l...More Button

The normal practice is for MEI schools to require total course fees on enrolment. However individual MEI schools have facilitated displaced students by allowing them to make weekly payments inst...More Button

As of Friday 5 December 2014, MEI had received 720 enquiries from students in relation to their discounted course offer. A total of 565 students have now taken up the MEI offer.More Button

Language Schools Closures

Was asked: the projected cost of a fund to fully subsidise the cost of attending courses for students transferring into MEI facilitated courses following the closure of language schools they were registered at.More Button

MEI schools have agreed to provide course places to genuine displaced students at a fee of €60 per week. This fee, which was calculated on a cost provision basis, represents a significant discount...More Button

The other variable is the number of weeks outstanding for each student affected by the private college closures. It is not possible to provide a projected cost of a fund referred to by the Deput...More Button

As of Friday 5th December 2014, MEI had received 720 enquiries from students in relation to their discounted course offer. A total of 565 students have now taken up the MEI offer.More Button

Was asked: if she has met with the Department of Justice and Equality on the matter of visa issues for students following the closure of language schools they were registered at.More Button

On 2nd September last, my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality and I jointly announced robust regulatory reforms to the International education sector in response to the closure of a num...More Button

I am aware that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of the Department of Justice and Equality has been working closely with the Irish Council for International Students to put...More Button

I understand that INIS is continuing to provide on-going support and advice to students regarding visa issues through meetings, email, telephone, Facebook and also through regular immigration sta...More Button

Was asked: if she has met with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government concerning the matter of the number of homeless students who are now rough sleeping in the Phoenix Park because the...More Button

I am not aware of any cases of international students who have been made homeless as a result of the private college closures. Officials from my Department have consulted with officials in the Iri...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: the way she has supported the teaching of Irish Sign Language within the education system to date; and her plans to improve upon this.More Button

Sign language is an option in the Leaving Certificate Applied. There is also an opportunity for students to learn sign language in the course of Transition Year. In addition, the Post-Primary Langu...More Button

Furthermore, there are specific supports in place for students learning through Irish Sign Language (ISL). There are a number of initiatives in place which seek to promote, develop and implement ...More Button

- the special schools for the deaf/hearing impaired have been encouraged in relation to the use of sign language in class.More Button

- funding for an ISL weekly home tuition service whereby deaf tutors visit the homes of deaf pre-school children and deaf school-going pupils to provide training in ISL for the deaf children, pupil...More Button

- funding is also made available through the Special Education Support Service (SESS) to enable individual teachers and whole school staff to undertake courses in Irish Sign Language which are avai...More Button

- my Department, through the Higher Education Authority (HEA), has established and funds a Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity College, Dublin which provides diploma courses for ISL/English interpre...More Button

Schools Building Projects Applications

Was asked: the position regarding an application for a new school (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the school to which he refers has made an application to my Department for large scale capital funding. More Button

The Five Year Construction Plan that was announced in March 2012, outlines the major school projects that are scheduled to commence construction over the duration of the Plan. These have been pri...More Button

My Department will also consider applications on an ongoing basis from individual schools for devolved funding to meet an immediate accommodation requirement because of increased enrolments and w...More Button

The current status of all projects on the school building programme, including the school in question, may be viewed on my Department's website at www.education.ie.More Button

Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: the arrangements schools can put in place requesting Garda vetting for students who wish to complete their leaving certificate or FETAC levels 3, 4 and 5 in schools throughout the country in partic...More Button

The arrangements for garda vetting of teaching and non-teaching staff were introduced in September 2006. In late 2010, my Department issued Circular 0063/2010 which updated and clarified the requir...More Button

This circular also sets out the vetting requirements of non-employees such as volunteers, sports coaches etc. The circular does not require vetting of students in schools. However, in accordanc...More Button

In all cases, school authorities must be cognisant of their responsibility to provide a duty of care towards the children attending the school. This is particularly relevant where the school aut...More Button

An Fhoireann Rannach

Léiríodh trí shuirbhé a rinneadh ar fhoireann riaracháin mo Roinne in 2013 go bhfuil inniúlacht sa Ghaeilge ag tuairim is 10% den bhfoireann. Chuir 1.5% den bhfoireann riaracháin in iúl go raibh a...More Button

I dteannta leis an bhfoireann riaracháin, tá ardleibhéal inniúlachta sa Ghaeilge ag mórán den bhfoireann allamuigh ar nós cigirí agus síceolaithe oideachais. Ag an mbunleibhéal, cuireann an Chig...More Button

Tá Aonad Oiliúna agus Forbartha Foirne mo Roinne tiomanta do dheiseanna cuí oiliúna agus forbartha, oiliúint sa Ghaeilge san áireamh, a chur ar fáil don fhoireann go léir chun riachtanais tosaíoc...More Button

Site Acquisitions

Was asked: the progress of site acquisition in respect of a primary school (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials from my Department have been working very closely with officials from Galway County Council to secure a suitable site for the school. I can confirm that a suitable site has been identifie...More Button

Was asked: the progress of site acquisition for a post-primary school (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials from my Department have been working closely with Galway County Council under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and the County and City Managers' Association to ident...More Button

School Services Staff

Was asked: her views on recognising grant paid school secretaries as public servants; if she will change their terms and conditions to reflect this; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme now receive capitation grant assistance to provide for secretarial services. Within the capitation grant schemes...More Button

Notwithstanding the above, a forum was established under the Towards 2016 Agreement involving the Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, IMPACT and SIPTU to examine the fact...More Button

Secretaries employed by schools using grant funding are not regarded as public servants except for the purposes of the pay reduction under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest ...More Button