Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Bhreathnach, Niamh

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 Nbr. 5


Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Leaving Certificate Examination Results.

Was asked: the reason it took until after 15 January, 1996 for the Price Waterhouse inquiry to commence in view of the fact that she decided on 14 December, 1995 that this inquiry was necessary; when the inqu...More Button

Was asked: when she expects to receive the results of the Price Waterhouse inquiry into the 1995 art examination results; and if she will make a statement on the matter to reassure those pupils preparing to s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 14 together.More Button

Following my decision on 14 December to have an independent inquiry, it was necessary for my Department to consider the most appropriate parties to conduct that inquiry. This necessitated a range ...More Button

I am informed by Price Waterhouse that the preparation of its report is well advanced. I am also informed that it has received legal advice which emphasises the importance of adhering to the princ...More Button

In the light of this advice Price Waterhouse advised me that although it is unable to be precise as to the date when the report will be finalised and made available for publication it understands t...More Button

The terms of reference include a commitment that I will publish the report.More Button

The Deputy's reference to the story breaking is unfortunate. The error was brought to my notice on 12 December and within two days I made a decision on the matter. Officials in my Department did no...More Button

We made the necessary contacts and soundings before deciding to proceed with an inquiry. There was open communication between the school involved and the Department. The investigation proceeded b...More Button

I dealt with the matter in an appropriate manner. We established an independent inquiry and I openly supplied information to Members. When the report is published I am sure there will be much mor...More Button

Was asked: whether she has received the formal report referred to in the reply to Parliamentary Question No. 86 of 6 March 1996 explaining the reason it took until February 1996 for her to respond to correspo...More Button

Was asked: what progress, if any, has been made in relation to the dispute concerning the marking of the 1995 leaving certificate higher level English papers of students in St. Mary's College, Dundalk, County...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 7 together.More Button

One hundred and four candidates sat the higher level English paper at St. Mary's College, Dundalk. Eighty of them were attempting the examination for the first time, 22 were repeating and two were...More Button

I have received the formal report on the circumstances surrounding the delay in conveying this to the correspondents from St. Mary's school, Dundalk. I regret the delay in giving the result of the...More Button

The report indicates that the correspondence from the parents and the school was immediately acknowledged by my Department. On receipt of the correspondence all 18 scripts were rechecked but no ch...More Button

As is normal practice, the matter was then referred to a senior member of the inspectorate. At that time he was engaged in other important duties, including preparation for the 1996 examination. ...More Button

When I issued the press release of 1 March last I was not aware that the management of St. Mary's school had written to the Department independently from the letter from the parents' group to me of...More Button

I had indicated I was prepared to ask the chief examiner for English, with the chief advising examiner and the deputy chief inspector, to again visit the school by appointment to meet all three te...More Button

The school and the parents wished the meeting to address the issue as to why candidates from the school with different perceived abilities were awarded the same grades and they wished to have compa...More Button

After the correspondence was acknowledged the results were rechecked. I have every confidence that the administrative procedure was followed through. Although the papers had been corrected three...More Button

An internal investigation will be carried out to ensure that this problem does not again arise. If we learn from this unfortunate incident and ensure that the procedures are tightened then we can ...More Button

No.More Button

When there was no change after the third recheck the senior official should have communicated this to the school. However, he did not do so and we did not know that.More Button

There is a system in place — it is like a set of traffic lights — but there was a breakdown in communications. When the matter was brought to my attention in February I took the excepti...More Button

There was never a question of renegotiating these marks. The papers were checked and rechecked and I have absolute confidence that they were marked according to national criteria. I was facilitati...More Button

The core issue was whether these papers were corrected according to national criteria. They were and that is the core issue for me.More Button

They were marked by three examiners who were overseen by two inspectors. Having been given the information, I am confident that they were marked according to the national criteria. With my offici...More Button

They were marked according to national criteria. Unfortunately this information was not conveyed to the school and I apologise for that.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Regional Education Boards.

Was asked: if she intends to proceed with the plans to establish regional education boards; the effect, if any, these will have on vocational education committees; the plans, if any, she has to rationalise vo...More Button

The White Paper on Education, Charting Our Education Future, published in April, 1995, sets out the Government decision to establish education boards and the geographical remit of each education bo...More Button

The draft heads of the legislation to establish the education boards were recently approved by the Government and are currently with the parliamentary draftsman for preparation of the legal text.More Button

The White Paper also states that vocational education committees will be retained and will function as providers of education within the framework established nationally by the Minister for Educati...More Button

The Commission on School Accommodation Needs will, as a first task, examine the existing vocational education committee structure and report and make recommendations on the rationalisation of vocat...More Button

The Deputy tabled a question which in no way indicated that she would further develop it to include the issue of costing. The White Paper spelt out the Government's decision that there would be ed...More Button

The legislation in preparation will include the gradual establishment of the boards. I refer the Deputy to the preface to the White Paper which states that the budget for education is one that is ...More Button

I know this has been the subject of earlier questions. I refer the Deputy to the commitment in the foreword of the White Paper as it has implications for many sectors where we are bringing about c...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed).

It is very significant that the proposals have been accepted by Cabinet and that the draft heads of Bills have been passed by Cabinet and are now with the draftsman. I have the confidence of my Ca...More Button

I have the confidence of my Cabinet colleagues. That answers the Deputy's question.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Private Colleges.

Was asked: whether she has received the report of the working group on private commercial colleges; whether she will comment on and publish this report; whether she will meet with representatives of the Highe...More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding the introduction of a code of standards for private colleges; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 and 77 together.More Button

I have received the report of the Working Group on Third Level Private Commercial Colleges. The working group was required to make recommendations to me on the following issues: (a) a code of st...More Button

I expect to take decisions on the report in the near future. I will then, in accordance with the provisions in the 1995 Finance Act, seek the approval of the Minister for Finance for the codes of ...More Button

In preparing its report the working group considered submissions from a number of private colleges, including the Higher Education Colleges Association. The group also met representatives of the Hi...More Button

I have put the working group in place. A public notice was placed in the newspapers and people were invited to make submissions. The report has now come to my desk and I have to make decisions, i...More Button

I will concentrate my attention on having the report and the decisions taken conveyed to them. I have given a commitment that officials in the Department will be available to meet the association...More Button

I did not say that.More Button

I have spelled out to the Deputy the way in which this is proceeding. I suggest he should not attempt to read my mind. The working group was set up. A public advertisement was placed in the news...More Button

I note the Deputy's comments. I do not consider those students are discriminated against as extra places have been made available and a regressive tax has been abolished. I responded to calls by t...More Button

I was not asked to prioritise in that way. The 1995 Finance Act provides for tax relief on tuition fees paid to private colleges for approved courses. The Act states that courses and colleges wil...More Button

The question tabled asked if I received the report. I have received it. It also asked if I would comment on and publish the report. I will comment on it when I publish it. It asked whether I wi...More Button

The Deputy should not put words in my mouth. I have spelt out the timetable within which I will meet these commitments. Social equity was not raised in the question. I answered the question tabl...More Button

I have not yet considered the report, but I will do so. There will not be any undue delay in dealing with it as I would not like to cause people undue stress or strain. Under the Finance Act a comm...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Provision of Independent regional technical college in Castlebar.

Was asked: whether she is committed to the growth and development of a fully fledged independent regional technical college in Castlebar, County Mayo; and financial resources, if any, what have been made avai...More Button

A sum of the order of £2.2 million has been expended to date on third level capital developments at the Castlebar campus. A further provision of around £450,000 has been included in my...More Button

My Department does not allocate specific recurrent funding for the Castlebar campus. Such provision is a matter for Galway regional technical college from within its annual budget. It is estimate...More Button

The development of the Castlebar campus of Galway regional technical college is a new and unique concept in the regional technical college sector. The steering committee on the future development o...More Button

I reassure the people of Castlebar, including those in the action committee, that a financial commitment to the facility there has been met. I demonstrated my commitment to the success of the Cast...More Button

I reassure those who are concerned about this matter that the Government is committed to and has made a concrete investment in the Castlebar campus. The steering committee recommended that its dev...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Brailling Service.

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

Was asked: if she will consider the development of a new system and operation for the production of brailled books and the provision of a comprehensive brailling service for braille dependent students.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 6, 13, 22, 29, 30, 33, 39, 41, 48, 52, 57 and 68 together.More Button

It is my policy to provide suitable equipment and reading materials, including Perkins braillers and brailled reading materials, to pupils with visual impairments who need them both in ordinary and...More Button

The service for the brailling of textbooks for students with visual impairment is provided, through an arrangement between my Department and the Department of Justice, by Arbour Hill Prison. The b...More Button

The service provided by Arbour Hill is reviewed on a continuing basis by officials of my Department. The visiting teacher service of my Department is in regular contact with students with visual i...More Button

I am concerned that students feel they are treated badly. There are no more than 70 students in the education system who are fully braille dependent. Two years ago complaints were made of delays i...More Button

I share the Deputy's concern that these students feel in any way discriminated against. The forum referred to will provide an opportunity for representatives from the special schools in question,...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Southern Border Counties' Funding.

Was asked: the funds from the EU and other sources available for the southern Border counties; the funds that are additional or consequent on the peace process; and the purposes for which they have been or wi...More Button

The main EU sources of funding from my Department are the Operational Programmes for Human Resources Development, Tourism and Industrial Development. These come under the Community Support Framewo...More Button

EU aid for these programmes in 1994 in the southern Border counties, including capital, amounted to almost £13 million. The figure for 1995 is not yet available; the necessary data from voca...More Button

In addition to the mainstream operational programmes, education sector activities are also eligible for EU aid under a number of Community initiatives, including the Special Support Programme for P...More Button

Management and administration of measures under this programme, including the measures relevant to the education sector, have been allocated to Area Development Management (ADM) Ltd. and the Combat...More Button

Other sources of EU funding in the education sector are the EU acting programmes — SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI. Within the framework of the European Commission guidelines and eligibility ...More Button

The special support programme for peace and reconciliation is known as the Delors package. Shortly after the cessation of violence in autumn 1994 a task force was set up to look at giving practic...More Button

It is proposed that the initiative would run for five years from 1995 to 1999, equivalent to the remaining period of application for the current Structural Funds programmes. It runs in parallel bu...More Button

There is a lot of information which I will make available to the Deputy. The Department of Education has a specific role in support of the programme for peace and reconciliation's measures two, th...More Button

I have a responsibility to broadcast this information. There are many different programmes and I will convey the information to the Deputy. The main role of the Department is in disseminating inf...More Button

I note the Deputy's points. The main role for the Department is in the dissemination of information and we might proceed in greater detail on the different measures when I make the information ava...More Button

These are national programmes delivered by many of the partners. The vocational education committees played a positive role along with the second level schools, the regional technical colleges, th...More Button

In reply to an earlier question I gave a lot of information about the commission that has set about the rationalisation of the vocational education committees——More Button

I think it is relevant. There is a definite role for the vocational education committees. The question the Deputy has asked is relevant to an earlier reply. I have answered it already. I have un...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Ionad Oideachais (Gaillimh).

Maidir le ceapachán Stiúrthóra lánaimseartha don Ionad Oideachais i nGaillimh, ba mhaith liom a chur in iúl go gcuirfidh mé an cheist san áireamh i ...More Button

Tá athbhreithniú á dhéanamh agam ar fhorbairt agus ar fheabhsú na nIonad Oideachais faoi láthair, ach níl cinneadh déanta agam go fóil...More Button

I note the Deputy's remarks about waiting for a reply to his correspondence and I will convey them to the relevant officials. On the specific question concerning the Galway Education Centre, some ...More Button

I again apologise to the Deputy for any discourtesy arising from delays to correspondence. During the term of the Structural Funds investment education centres will be upgraded in the area for whi...More Button

This matter must be kept in proportion. My Department receives approximately 1,000 letters a week and the number of delays compared to the number of letters received is quite small. I agree there...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Sports Facilities.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself that sports grounds throughout the country are catering fully for people with disabilities.More Button

Written Answers. - Transition Year Recommendations.

Was asked: the plans, if any, she has to implement the recommendations regarding the operation of transition year contained in the evaluation recently published by her Department; and if she will make a state...More Button

A general report of an evaluation of the Transition Year Programme (1994-1995) by the Inspectorate of the Department was published in February 1996. The report included a number of recommendations...More Button

This evaluation indicated that 89 per cent of the schools evaluated were following the Department of Education's guidelines on the transition year programme in a satisfactory manner. Reservations ...More Button

In the case of those schools where reservations have been expressed, inspectors have visited or will shortly visit the schools for the purpose of discussing the report and offering further advice a...More Button

Written Answers. - Stay Safe Programme Numbers.

Was asked: the number of primary schools and special schools currently teaching the stay safe programme; and the steps, if any, she intends to take to increase the number of schools participating in this prog...More Button

The latest report available to my Department for the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (CAPP) team indicates that some 2,300 or 70 per cent of primary schools are teaching the programme. This repre...More Button

About 2,800 schools (85 per cent of the total) have held parent meetings with a view to introducing the programme. I expect that most, if not all, these schools will teach the programme in the rela...More Button

Special schools are included in the overall figures in relation to teaching of the standard programme and have not been categorised separately by CAPP in their reports. The indications are that 50...More Button

CAPP personnel have been engaged in adapting the programme for use in special schools. Work on this project is at a very advanced stage. The adapted programme has been piloted in a number of spec...More Button

I am confident that progress can be maintained on having this important programme taught in all primary schools.More Button

Written Answers. - Integrating Disabled Children.

Was asked: the progress, if any, that has been made in integrating children with disabilities into mainstream schools; the number of children accommodated in schools other than special schools; and if she wil...More Button

The extent to which children with disabilities can be integrated into mainstream schools is governed by the particular needs of the individual children concerned. In some cases, full integration c...More Button

Since my appointment as Minister for Education, I have attached a high priority to improving the quality and level of support services available to all children with special educational needs, incl...More Button

I am satisfied that substantial progress has been achieved in this area. Measures which I have introduced include:More Button

The appointment of an additional 241 remedial teachers at primary level and 98 such teachers at second-level bringing the totals now in place nationwide to 1,188 and 350 respectively.More Button

The appointment of an additional 29 resource teachers in ordinary primary schools and 56 such teachers to second-level schools, bringing the totals now in place to 36 and 130 respectively.More Button

The remedial and resource teachers are a key support service for pupils with special needs who have been integrated into ordinary schools. In addition, children with specific disabilities such as ...More Button

My Department does not keep precise records of the number of children with special needs who are integrated into ordinary primary schools at any given time. A survey conducted in 1992 on behalf o...More Button

The measures set out in the White Paper in relation to special needs pupils are intended to refine and develop the current range of responses. A key objective will be to ensure that all children w...More Button

Written Answers. - Promotion of Women Teachers.

Was asked: the action, if any, she proposes to take to assist in overcoming barriers to promotion for women teachers; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The report of the Second Commission on the Status of Women concluded that the fact that so few lay women teachers become principals is a result, in part, of a lack of experience of interviewing by ...More Button

The commission also noted that most teachers believed that being male is an advantage in securing a promotion. Only a small number believed that being female is helpful in securing a promotion.More Button

The White Paper on Education, Charting our Education Future, states that the principals of schools will be selected on the basis of procedures prescribed by the Department of Education, following c...More Button

Written Answers. - Standards in Pre-School Nurseries.

Was asked: the input, if any, her Department has in relation to the monitoring of standards in child care in pre-school nurseries.More Button

The general legislative provisions regarding the supervision of pre-school services are contained in the 1991 Child Care Act. These matters are the responsibility of the Minister for Health.More Button

My Department's responsibility in the pre-school area is limited to its involvement in the delivery of the early start pre-school programme.More Button

This service is being developed as an integral part of the primary schools to which the early start pre-schools are attached. As such, it is subject to the normal supervision of my Department's in...More Button

My Department is represented on a working party established by the Minister for Health to prepare regulations to secure the health, safety and welfare and promote the development of pre-school chil...More Button

Written Answers. - Youth Services Funding.

Was asked: the progress, if any, that will be made in 1996 in addressing the concerns of voluntary youth organisations regarding the inadequate resources made available by the Government for the provision of ...More Button

Was asked: if the allocation available for youth services in 1996 has been finalised; if so, the total provision; the new initiatives, if any, that will be undertaken in 1996; and if she will make a statement...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 26 together. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that substantially increased funding has been made available for the provision of youth services in 1996.More Button

The funding will total £13.9 million which represents an increase of over 10 per cent on the figure for 1995.More Button

I am confident that this will enable the continued enhancement of the youth services including the consideration of new initiatives.More Button

Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

Was asked: if she will ensure that Portlaw national school, Portlaw, County Waterford is included in the disadvantaged areas scheme in view of the fact that they have been seeking this status since 1987 and t...More Button

Was asked: if she will include a school (details supplied) in County Waterford in the scheme of assistance for schools in designated areas of disadvantage; if she will provide a full time remedial teacher to ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 53 together. I am not in a position at present to extend disadvantaged area status to the schools in question.More Button

With regard to the provision of a full-time remedial service for the school mentioned by Deputy Deasy, I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the service in question has recently been put in place ...More Button

The House will be aware that in 1995, I commissioned the Combat Poverty Agency to undertake a review of our current approaches to the selection and support of pupils suffering educational disadvant...More Button

In making the report publicly available, I invited interested parties to make further submissions by the end of January 1996. I am pleased that my invitation has attracted a significant response.More Button

Also at the time of launching the report, I indicated that I had commissioned the Educational Research Centre to bring forward proposals on the precise criteria which should be used in future for t...More Button

My Department is currently considering the findings of these reports as part of the process of developing a revised approach to the selection and support of pupils with educational disadvantage. I...More Button

I have noted Deputy Timmins's comments in relation to a significant number of children with special educational needs attending Portlaw national school. I am arranging to have this matter investi...More Button

Written Answers. - Autistic Educational Facility.

Was asked: the progress, if any, she has made regarding the implementation of the proposals set out in her reply to a parliamentary question submitted by Deputy Flood on 7 February 1995 concerning the provisi...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that considerable progress has been made in developing the pilot programme of special education services for children with autism.More Button

I have sanctioned the establishment of three special classes dedicated to the educational needs of autistic children. Two of these classes are already in operation. Plans for the third class are no...More Button

The classes which are already in operation are attached to the Setanta special school, Beechpark, County Dublin and Cratloe national school, County Clare. The third facility will be established sho...More Button

The operation of the pilot programme will be closely monitored and evaluated to ensure that the children concerned derive maximum educational benefit. The experience gained under the pilot programm...More Button

Written Answers. - High Court Decision.

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supr...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21, 23, 24, 25, 36, 44, 51, 56, 59, 63, 66 and 78 together.More Button

In appealing the decision of the High Court in the case of Paul O'Donoghue the State is not appealing the central element in the High Court judgment — that a profoundly handicapped child is ...More Button

The judgment, however, raises issues of more general concern, primarily to do with the separation of the powers and duties of the Executive and judicial arms of Government and the appropriate relat...More Button

Written Answers. - Young Offenders' Educational Review.

Was asked: when she proposes to carry out a review of educational provision for young offenders as promised in the report of the special education review committee published in 1993.More Button

The recommendation to which the Deputy refers reflected the view of the special education review committee that educational provision for young offenders merited special separate consideration outs...More Button

Before conducting such a review, it is necessary to have accurate information on the categories of children to be catered for in these centres in the future and the range of special educational nee...More Button

In this connection, the House will be aware that the Government recently approved the general scheme of a new children Bill which sets down the framework for the future delivery of services to chi...More Button

Arising from the measures proposed in the Bill, my Department is currently reviewing the level and range of facilities which will be required in the future to cater for children placed into custody...More Button

Written Answers. - Maintenance Grants Extension.

Was asked: the decision, if any, she has made in relation to extending grant aid to Irish students on approved third-level courses in Britain; the constitution of an approved course; and if she will make a st...More Button

Consideration of the arrangements and conditions in relation to the extension of maintenance grants abroad is close to finalisation in my Department at present.More Button

The necessary details will be set out in the 1996 student support schemes with any other amendments that may prove necessary in the light of the normal ongoing review of the schemes.More Button

In line with the practice in recent years, the schemes will issue to the local authorities and vocational education committees by early May.More Button

Written Answers. - Teachers' Welfare Service.

Was asked: when she expects to have a teachers' welfare service in place; the form this service will take; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 32 on 20 February 1996 in which I confirmed my agreement to the establishment of a two year pilot employee assistance scheme for primary and second le...More Button

A number of issues of detail remain to be finalised in ongoing discussions with the interested parties. I am confident that, with the co-operation of all parties, these can be dealt with quickly a...More Button

Written Answers. - Junior Cycle Physical Education.

Was asked: her views regarding the recommendation of the draft interim report by the physical education course committee that students in junior cycle should be entitled to a minimum of two hours physical edu...More Button

A report from the junior certificate physical education course committee has not been received by my Department. However I understand that a draft report has been discussed by the council of the N...More Button

My Department is awaiting proposals which may arise out of the discussions on this report. When the report is submitted by NCCA it will be studied in the Department. I will then decide on the que...More Button

Written Answers. - Oberstown House (Dublin) Security.

Was asked: the steps, if any, she intends to take with a view to improving security at the Oberstown detention centre.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that steps are already being taken to bring about an improved level of security at the Oberstown campus.More Button

At my request, a campus security review committee comprised of senior representatives of the three centres located on the campus, has carried out a detailed review of existing security arrangements.More Button

Arising from this review, my Department is currently in discussion with the management authorities of the three centres with a view to putting a number of additional security measures in place.More Button

I can assure the House that I fully appreciate the genuine concerns of residents living in the Oberstown area in relation to absconds from the centre. While the nature of these facilities is such t...More Button

Written Answers. - Convoy (Donegal) School Extension.

Was asked: when she intends to proceed with the extension to St. Brigid's national school. Convoy, Lifford, County Donegal in view of the urgency of the overcrowding and potential fire hazards in existing pre...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in allocating resources towards the proposed extension to St. Brigid's national school, Convoy, County Donegal in 1995; if she will sanction funding as a matter of urgency;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 46 together.More Button

A building project at St. Brigid's national school, Convoy, County Donegal, is included in my Department's national school building programme in 1995. The project has been progressed through prel...More Button

Due to the current level of contractual commitments on the primary school building programme it is not possible for my Department to allow this particular project to proceed to tender immediately. ...More Button

Written Answers. - Dublin Schools Counselling Service.

Was asked: if she has received a submission on behalf of three primary schools, St. Michaels, St. Raphaels and St. Gabriels, in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, regarding their urgent need for psychological counsellin...More Button

A submission has been received by my Department from the chairperson of the management boards of the three schools, mentioned by the Deputy, in relation to the matters to which he refers.More Button

As far as the psychological service is concerned, a limited further extension of this service to primary schools serving disadvantaged areas in Dublin is being considered at present, as a continuat...More Button

With regard to further counselling services, a pilot programme involving the introduction of teacher counsellors to 31 primary schools serving disadvantaged areas in Dublin has been initiated by m...More Button

The provision of speech and language therapy services is a matter for the Eastern Health Board. The provision of educational facilities for children having such difficulties will be considered by ...More Button

Written Answers. - Deaf Community Issues.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself that facilities exist within her Department which ensures that when issues pertaining to deafness and the deaf community arise the opinions and values of the deaf commu...More Button

I am satisfied that where educational issues arise which would affect the interests of particular groups, including the hearing impaired, my Department makes every effort to ensure that the opinion...More Button

It is open to any group or individual to draw my attention to any issues relating to the work of my Department which affect them. I can assure the Deputy that any such representations receive ever...More Button

Officers of my Department are in regular contact with individuals and organisations representing the hearing impaired community in relation to matters affecting education services in this area.More Button

Written Answers. - Primary School Projects.

Was asked: when she will approve funding for renovations which are required at a school (details supplied) in Wexford; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recently announced that major improvement works at the school in question would be included in my Department's 1996 list of primary school projects for planning. My Department will be in touch w...More Button

Written Answers. - Truancy Report.

Was asked: when the report of the Task Force on Truancy will be available; if she intends to publish this report; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The School Attendance-Truancy report was published in April 1994.More Button

Early in 1995 the Minister of State at my Department, Deputy Currie, established a truancy task force with the following terms of reference: to examine the submissions received from interested part...More Button

The work of the truancy task force is nearing completion. When the report is available, I will consider its recommendations and the further action which will have to be taken.More Button

Written Answers. - Maintenance Grants' Extensions.

Was asked: if she intends to extend the same policy regarding grants to students in private colleges of education in Ireland as to Irish students on approved courses in Britain.More Button

A decision in principle has been taken to extend maintenance grants to approved courses being followed by Irish students in Great Britain with effect from the 1996-97 academic year. Consideration ...More Button

I expect to take decisions in the near future on the recommendations of a working group about codes of standards for the approval of colleges and courses and the level of tuition fees that should b...More Button

Written Answers. - Remedial Teacher Appointments.

Was asked: when she intends to appoint further remedial teachers; the number she proposes to appoint in 1996; and the projected figure for 1997.More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, she has to appoint a remedial teacher to the national schools of Athleague and Fuerty, County Roscommon; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 and 73, together.More Button

I am not in a position at present to make additional remedial teacher posts available. I am keeping the position regarding medical needs under ongoing review. Any decision on further remedial tea...More Button

Given the level of competing demands in the special needs area, I regret that it is not possible to meet the needs of all pupils for remedial teaching. Unfortunately, I do not have access to unlimi...More Button

Written Answers. - Dunmore East (Waterford) School Facilities.

Was asked: if she will sanction the provision of an all purpose room at the Light of Christ girls national school, Dunmore East, County Waterford in view of the fact that it has no indoor recreational/assembl...More Button

It is not possible to provide grant-aid towards the cost of a general purpose room at the Light of Christ girls' national school, Dunmore East, County Waterford, at this time.More Button

In 1994, I announced that new building projects at schools of four classrooms or more would also include a general purpose facility. While I am anxious to extend the provision of general purpose f...More Button

Written Answers. - Swimming Pool Sanction.

Was asked: the reason a letter of sanction dated 29 September 1995 addressed to the Assistant City Manager of Cork Corporation sanctioning a tender for the erection of a swimming pool complex was withdrawn an...More Button

A grant of £2.5 million was allocated by my Department under the major sports capital programme to Cork Corporation for the provision of a regional sports centre, including a swimming pool, a...More Button

A letter issued from my Department on 29 September 1996 authorising Cork Corporation to accept a tender for the construction of the building. This letter outlined the terms and conditions for the ...More Button

As the question of access to the site was the subject of legal proceedings between Cork Corporation and the residents of Rossbrook estate, Cork Corporation was not in a position to give the confirm...More Button

Written Answers. - Fees Tax Relief.

Was asked: if she will make a statement regarding her decision to provide tax relief on fees for approved courses in approved third-level private colleges in view of her decision to abolish such relief namely...More Button

Was asked: if she will make a statement on her decision to provide tax relief on fees for approved courses in approved third-level private colleges in view of her decision to abolish such relief namely covena...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 86 together.More Button

The Government decided to make changes in the tax treatment of covenants not only as part of the restructuring of State support for third level education but also to curb the growing cost of covena...More Button

The benefit conferred under the covenant tax relief was available to students in both publicly funded and private third level colleges. It was highly regressive as the extent of the tax relief was...More Button

The loss of covenant tax relief is offset by the free fees initiative for those students who are eligible to avail of it. Students in private colleges are not eligible for free fees and it was deem...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreign Policy White Paper.

Was asked: the action, if any, her Department is taking to promote awareness of the White Paper on Foreign Policy in the country's schools.More Button

It is of course a matter for the Minister for Foreign Affairs to determine the strategy to be used to publicise the White Paper including action in relation to the schools. However, I understand th...More Button

Written Answers. - Peace Programme Funding.

Was asked: the discussions, if any, she has had with the administrators of EU special support programme for peace and reconciliation 1995-1999 sub-programme measure 1-6 regarding qualification for funding for...More Button

I have not had any discussions on the matter raised by the Deputy.More Button

The strategic aim of the EU funded Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, 1995-99 is: to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and to promote reconciliation by ...More Button

The implementation mechanisms being utilised are those which are considered most appropriate to the range of actions envisaged for the programme and the local circumstances within the eligible areas.More Button

It is a matter for individual organisations to submit their applications for funding for specific projects or range of projects to the management structure designated for the relevant measures with...More Button

Written Answers. - Language Studies in Dublin.

Was asked: her views on the potential to develop and establish Dublin as the international centre of excellence for education in particular for English language studies; and if she will make a statement on th...More Button

In so far as the question refers to teaching English as a foreign language I am fully aware of the great potential of Ireland with its extensive network of people with expertise and experience in t...More Button

I believe that the existence of the reconstituted ACELS, which works in close co-operation with Bord Fáilte, ensures we have the structures in place to enhance the reputation of Dublin and I...More Button

In so far as the question may infer that some specific institute dedicated to English language studies should be established to make Dublin an international centre of excellence for English languag...More Button

Written Answers. - Monaghan School Extension.

Was asked: when funding will be made available for the proposed extension to the Patrician High School, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.More Button

My Department has approved in principle the provision of additional permanent accommodation at the Patrician High School, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that th...More Button

The appointment of a design team to undertake the project is being considered in my Department at present.More Button

The question of funding does not arise at present as this project is at such an early stage of planning.More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the reports, if any, she has received from the interdepartmental co-ordinating committee on services for young people with special educational needs for schools in Dublin 1, 3, 5 and 9; and if she ...More Button

As I recently indicated to the Deputy, it is not envisaged that the interdepartmental co-ordinating committee on services for young people with special educational needs will engage in the presenta...More Button

The role of the committee is to seek to achieve maximum co-ordination of service delivery through consultation and agreement with relevant parties. As part of this process, the committee will keep...More Button

The work of the committee is focused on approaches to service delivery in relation to special needs children nationally. The needs of schools in particular locations, such as those mentioned by th...More Button

Written Answers. - Cork School Expulsions.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that up to 30 disruptive children in the Cork area have been expelled from school and are currently without alternative education accommodation; the plan...More Button

Primary or second-level schools are not required to notify my Department of cases where children are suspended or otherwise excluded from schools. However, I am aware of the problem of children w...More Button

Under the rules for national schools, no pupil shall be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without the prior consent of the patron and unless alternative arrangements are made for the ...More Button

The managerial authorities of second-level schools are responsible for ensuring that a fair and efficient code of behaviour, encompassing rules, sanctions and procedures, is drawn up and applied in...More Button

Circumstances will vary from school to school and it is only those intimately involved with a particular school who can draw up the detail of a code of discipline appropriate for that school. Accor...More Button

In 1990 and 1991, my Department issued Guidelines Towards a Positive Policy for School Behaviour and Discipline together with A Suggested Code of Behaviour and Discipline to all schoo...More Button

Within these guidelines individual boards are given the discretion to work out specific details. The guidelines lay considerable stress on the use of expulsion only as a last resort and I am satis...More Button

My Department gives assistance in securing placement in individual cases. Typically this can rise where a pupil has been suspended as a result of disruptive behaviour and where alternative arrangem...More Button

I am aware that the Deputy has been in touch with officials of my Department regarding the situation in the Cork area and my Department is endeavouring to assist in relation to one particular case.More Button

Written Answers. - Absenteeism Survey.

Was asked: if she received a community-based survey of absenteeism of children at primary school level in the Cherry Orchard area of Ballyfermot, Dublin 10; and the steps, if any, she is taking to address the...More Button

I have received a copy of the survey referred to by the Deputy, which includes data on the population of school-going age in support of a claim for a national school for this area.More Button

As I indicated to the House on 27 March 1996, I have decided to provide early start and junior primary school facilities in the Cherry Orchard area.More Button

Written Answers. - Sports Activities Recognition.

Was asked: the activities such as chess, bridge and draughts in respect of which applications have been made for recognition as sports activities; if such requests will be granted; and if she will make a stat...More Button

The applications in question were considered extensively by Cospóir, the National Sports Council. Following this the council recommended that chess, bridge and draughts should not be recogni...More Button

In the circumstances, I am not in a position to grant recognition to either chess, bridge or draughts as a sport.More Button

Written Answers. - Higher Education Report.

Was asked: her views on whether inequitable constraints are placed on Cork students and in particular, on the Cork Regional Technical College arising from the interim report from the Higher Education Committee.More Button

Was asked: her views on whether inequitable constraints are placed on Cork students and in particular, on the Cork Regional Technical College arising from the interim report from the Higher Education Committee.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 76 together.More Button

The steering committee on the future development of higher education was established under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority to advise on the future development of the higher education sy...More Button

The committee's published report, which takes account of the interim report of the technical working group, is based on a comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the demographic and policy framewor...More Button

The steering committee set out indicative full-time student numbers by institution for the years 2000-01 and 2006-07. These include a large increase in student numbers in the Regional Technical Co...More Button

The report of the steering committee is currently being examined together with the recommendations of the Higher Education Authority. When this process is completed I will take the necessary decis...More Button

Written Answers. - Fee Paying Schools.

Was asked: the progress, if any, that has been made towards encouraging fee paying schools to enter the free education system; her views on the future role of fee paying schools in Irish society; and if she w...More Button

As outlined in the Programme for a Government of Renewal, the Government is committed to the encouragement of fee-paying schools to enter the free education scheme.More Button

Progress on this matter will involve discussions with the managerial authorities and trustees of the schools concerned, through their representative associations.More Button

Written Answers. - Non-Executive Director Remuneration.

Was asked: the level of remuneration of the non-executive directors of boards, companies or agencies under the aegis of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Higher Education Authority is the only body under the aegis of my Department where non-executive members receive a fee. This fee is subject to sanction by the Department of Finance and current...More Button

Written Answers. - Teachers' Pay Deal.

Was asked: her views on the outcome of the teachers unions' ballots regarding the proposed pay deal; and the steps, if any, she intends to take to resolve this matter.More Button

One out of three teacher union ballots has been completed. I understand that the outcome of the INTO ballot was in favour of acceptance of the proposals. It would clearly be inappropriate for me ...More Button

Written Answers. - Cumas Gaeilge Múinteoirí.

Tá mé sásta go gcinntíonn na socruithe maidir leis na cúrsaí oiliúna sna coláistí oideachais go bhfuil go leor múinteoirí...More Button

Written Answers. - Ramelton (Donegal) School Extension.

Was asked: if she will sanction an extension to Ramelton, No. 2, national school, County Donegal as requested by the board of management; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The accommodation needs of Ramelton No. 2 national school are currently being examined within the planning section of my Department. When this examination is completed, my Department will be in to...More Button

Written Answers. - Meeting with Deputation.

Was asked: if she will meet with a deputation from Waterford University Action Group; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Steering Committee on the Future Development of Higher Education was established under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority to advise on the future development of the higher education sy...More Button

The committee's published report is based on a comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the demographic and policy framework and a thorough examination of the needs of all regions, including Waterfor...More Button

Having considered the technical working group's findings the steering committee recommended an increase in student places in Waterford regional technical college, an increase in the degree level aw...More Button

I understand that representatives of both the technical working group and the steering committee met the Waterford University Action Group prior to finalising their reports and conclusions in relat...More Button

The report of the steering committee is currently being examined together with the recommendations of the Higher Education Authority. When the report has been fully considered I will take the nece...More Button

In all the circumstances I do not consider that a meeting between the action group and myself would serve any useful purpose.More Button

Written Answers. - Art Examinations' Recheck.

Was asked: whether the chief art examiner and other art examiners have been in the examinations branch of her Department, Athlone, County Westmeath, in the last five or six weeks and rechecked all the 1995 le...More Button

The officials concerned have not visited the examinations branch for the purpose described by the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers. - Advertising Boards.

Was asked: whether it is normal procedure to place on advertising boards on sites where development under the aegis of her Department is taking place, statements to the effect that the development is being fu...More Button

It is a condition of the EU Commission that billboards be erected on the sites of capital projects part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. As a consequence, since the proposed new...More Button

The Dún Laoghaire regional technical college has not yet been statutorily established and the site for the college remains vested in the Minister for Education. In addition, unlike third lev...More Button

The sign erected on the site of the proposed new regional technical college was authorised by the manager of the third level section of the planning and building unit of the Department of Education...More Button

Written Answers. - Regional Technical College.

Was asked: the financial provision she has made available in the 1996 Estimates for the development of Dún Laoghaire Regional Technical College, County Dublin.More Button

On 13 January 1994 I announced that I had included £120 million in the 1994-99 European Regional Development Fund programme for a broad range of capital developments in the third level sector...More Button

The Government subsequently agreed that a special projects provision of £9 million included in the programme would be set aside for the development of regional technical college at Dún...More Button

A financial provision of the order of £1.5 million has been included in the Department's 1996 third level capital programme in respect of the planning of the new regional technical college an...More Button

Written Answers. - Examinations Results Queries.

Was asked: the number of queries and representations received by her in the last number of months as a result of the errors discovered in the 1995 leaving certificate art examination papers regarding concerns...More Button

I am informed that in the last number of months my Department has received 19 queries, including representations made to me, regarding results in State examinations prior to 1995.More Button

The queries which are generally from candidates or their parents have, for the most part, expressed concern about individual results achieved in earlier years.More Button

In addressing the specific concerns of correspondents my Department outlines both the nature of the appeal process and the fact that it provides for remarking by an experienced examiner. Candidates...More Button

The position is that over 1.2 million scripts are received in my Department each year. Subsequent to the examination cycle these are disposed of as confidential waste on an annual basis.More Button

Written Answers. - Degree Course Places.

Was asked: the concerns, if any, she has that the number of places available on the Bachelor of Business Studies course at Cork Regional Technical College does not meet student demand; the actions, if any, sh...More Button

The provision of additional places on the course in question is a matter in the first instance for the Regional Technical College, Cork, and the college has to date made no proposals to my Departme...More Button

Written Answers. - Female Student Numbers.

Was asked: her views regarding the number of female students taking up options at third level in the technology area; and the figures relating to this matter over the last three years.More Button

I am acutely aware of the need for increased representation of women in technological education. To this end I have set out in the White Paper on Education thatMore Button

All institutions will be asked to develop and publish policies to promote gender equality. These will include ... strategies to encourage increased participation by women students in faculties and...More Button

In addition, the legislation relating to the regional technical colleges passed in 1992 contains a commitment to “the attainment of gender equity and of equality of opportunity in education”. Furt...More Button

There are also a number of programmes specifically for women which are being assisted under the New Opportunities for Women (NOW) initiative. It is expected that these will have a positive impact ...More Button

Written Answers. - Bullying in Schools.

Was asked: the extent of bullying in the primary and second level sectors.More Button

The authorities of primary or second-level schools are not required to notify my Department of bullying cases in their schools and, consequently, I am not in a position to supply the Deputy with th...More Button

I established an expert working group in 1993 to produce draft guidelines to counter such behaviour in schools. Following consultations with the education partners, the guidelines on countering bu...More Button

I am confident, therefore, that the guidelines, which were issued to primary and post-primary schools, will assist schools in identifying the incidence of bullying and in reducing the level of bull...More Button

It is suggested in the guidelines that schools monitor the effectiveness of school policy on this issue and their views will, of course, be taken into account in any review of the guidelines.More Button

Written Answers. - Storage of School Bags.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the widespread concern regarding the possible detrimental effect on children of carrying heavy school bags; the measures, if any, she will take in this regard; an...More Button

I am aware of considerable concern about the possible detrimental effect on children of carrying heavy school bags. My own view is that optimum solutions to this problem are most likely to be achi...More Button

Teachers and parents working in partnership at the level of each individual school can make suitable practical arrangements for schoolwork and homework. These involve time-tabling and advance plan...More Button

Parents can ensure that schoolbags themselves do not add to the problem by being excessively heavy and also by ensuring that pupils do not carry unnecessary material in their schoolbags.More Button

In the case of primary schools the advisory committee on textbooks and materials which I established has been requested to take these concerns into account when new guidelines are being prepared fo...More Button

Written Answers. - Studies on Children.

Was asked: the studies, if any, that have been carried out to assess the impact of children been driven to school rather than walking or cycling; if she has received submissions regarding this matter; and if ...More Button

I am not aware of any studies having been carried out to assess the impact of children being chauffered to school rather than walking or cycling, nor have I received any submissions on the matter.More Button

I regard this issue as one of parental choice, and I do not propose to issue any statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Remedial Teacher Service.

Was asked: the number of schools that have applied for the appointment of a remedial teacher in Dublin 1, 3, 5 and 9; the schools that have been approved for an individual or shared basis: and if she will mak...More Button

Of the 71 ordinary national schools in the areas in question, 62 already have a remedial teacher service, either on a full-time or shared basis; 12 national schools have applied to my Department fo...More Button

None of the 12 schools referred to has received approval in respect of their applications. I am not in a position at present to make remedial teacher posts available to the primary school sector.More Button

When I am in a position to extend the remediation service, all schools who have applied for a remedial teaching post will be given every consideration.More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Programmes.

Was asked: her views on the broadcasting of children and adult educational programmes; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The broadcasting of educational programmes for children and for adults is primarily a matter for the broadcasting authorities. Such programmes are regularly broadcast from our own national broadca...More Button

A range of educational programmes broadcast from services abroad aimed at both adults and children is also widely available in this country.More Button

These programmes have obvious educational value for both adults and children. For children they can support and enrich their school experiences. It is desirable that parents would monitor and supe...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools' Security Levels.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself with the level of security in schools during school attendance times to ensure the safety and welfare of children in attendance; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: the submissions, if any, she has received on the need for improved protection and security arrangements in national schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her views on the need for auxiliary personnel in schools other than the teaching complement in order to provide back up and support when the need arises; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the safety procedures, if any, she intends to introduce to all schools to counteract violent attacks on pupils and teachers.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 98, 99 and 114 together.More Button

The safety and welfare of children in schools during school attendance times is, of course, a matter of concern to me as Minister for Education. The issues which arise in this context are complex ...More Button

It is also important, in considering security in schools, to have regard to their wide diversity in terms of size, accommodation and location. In practical terms, therefore, individual school auth...More Button

My Department is keeping the issue of school security under close review and, in this context, full account will be taken of any submissions received on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Schools' Improvements Applications.

Was asked: the current position regarding an application for an extra classroom by a school (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding an application by a school (details supplied) in County Cork for various improvements; the estimated cost of these works; and when she will be in a position to grant ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 101 together.More Button

The school applied for an additional classroom at the end of February. The request is currently being examined by my Department's planning section. When a decision has been reached, it will be con...More Button

An application for various improvement works at the school has also been received. The estimated cost of these works is £10,000. While my Department considers the works to be desirable impr...More Button

Written Answers. - Kerry Second Level School.

Was asked: whether she has approved in principle a second level school (details supplied) in County Kerry.More Button

My Department has approved in principle the second level school referred to by the Deputy.More Button

Provision for the project has been made in the 1996 capital programme and it is intended that construction will commence during the course of the year.More Button

Written Answers. - Inver (Mayo) National School.

Was asked: when an application for the Inver national school, County Mayo will be approved for work to be carried out on this building.More Button

An application for grant-aid towards improvement works at Inver national school has been fully considered within my Department. While it is accepted that the requested works would be a desirable i...More Button

Written Answers. - County Mayo School.

Was asked: if he will give sanction to the preparation of drawings and tender documents in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Mayo in order that there will be no delay in the commencement of bui...More Button

The drawings have been prepared and were forwarded to the authorities of the school in question on 28 February 1996. The next step is for the school to apply for planning permission. When this is ...More Button

Written Answers. - Diploma in Education Course.

Was asked: if new entrants will be accepted in to the Graduate Diploma in Education Course in 1996; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current post-graduate course in the colleges of education was introduced on a “once-off” basis and is due to end in June 1996. However, the White Paper on Education recognises the benefi...More Button

Written Answers. - Youthreach Programme Co-ordinators.

Was asked: the progress, if any, that has been made in providing permanent status for the co-ordinators of the Youthreach Programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has commissioned a consultancy study on the staffing structure in Youthreach. The review in question began in late December 1995 and a report from the consultants is expected by the e...More Button

Written Answers. - County Cavan School.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the condition of accommodation at a school (details supplied) in County Cavan; if she will sanction the necessary improvement works or new permanent accommodation...More Button

An application for grant-aid towards the cost of improvement works at the school referred to by the Deputy has been received within my Department.More Button

My Department's technical advisers have been requested to furnish a report in the matter. On receipt of this report my Department will be in touch with the school authorities.More Button

Written Answers. - Kenmare (Kerry) Sports Hall.

Was asked: if she will replace the town sports hall which was demolished during the course of preparatory works for the proposed new community school in Kenmare, County Kerry by way of including a replacement...More Button

The proposed community school in Kenmare is being developed in two phases. Phase one of the development has been constructed as an alliance type system buildings. A new basketball court has been ...More Button

The architectural planning for phase two has been completed and the sports hall being planned is the standard provision for a school of this size. However, the design of the hall is such as to all...More Button

Written Answers. - Swords (Dublin) School.

Was asked: the progress, if any, being made for Coláiste Choilm, Swords, County Dublin to be included in the capital programme with a view to building a new school in view of the dilapidated condition ...More Button

Sanction has been given to the authority of Cólaiste Choilm, Swords, County Dublin to proceed to stage IV, detail design, of the architectural planning process of the project.More Button

Every effort is being made by my Department to expedite the planning process and the question of provision of capital will be considered at the appropriate stage.More Button

Written Answers. - Arts Projects Assessment.

Was asked: if she will consider local centre assessment of art projects in view of the fact that this is already being done in the oral/aural language examinations; and his views on whether this is a more log...More Button

Junior certificate art examination exercises are already marked in schools by visiting examiners. In the light of the problems which arose in the 1995 leaving certificate art examination the option...More Button

The Deputy will also be aware that the operation of the 1995 leaving certificate art examination is the subject of an ongoing inquiry by Price Waterhouse.More Button

Written Answers. - Supervision of Pupils.

Was asked: the plans, if any, she has for the supervision of pupils when classes are split-up due to the unavailability of substitute cover for certified sick leave staff absences.More Button

The organisation of classes within schools, which includes a responsibility to ensure that classes are adequately supervised, is a matter for principal teachers. Similarly, the matter of employing...More Button

Written Answers. - Classes of Disturbed Children.

Was asked: if she intends to set up special classes and/or units for socially maladjusted and/or emotionally disturbed pupils who cannot operate in mainstream classes without seriously disrupting the educatio...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that any application for the establishment of a special class to cater for children who have been assessed as being emotionally disturbed will be given urgent and sympatheti...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that I recently introduced a pilot scheme of teacher-counsellors which is intended to offer special targeted support to selected schools encountering particular difficulty i...More Button

The key role of the teacher-counsellor is: (a) to co-ordinate a whole school approach to devising and implementing good practice and strategies which will help prevent the occurrence of disruptive ...More Button

The pilot scheme has been introduced in the Tallaght-Clondalkin area and in the north inner city area of Dublin.More Button

The pilot scheme is being closely monitored by my Department's primary inspectorate. The question of further development of the scheme will be considered in the light of the review of the pilot ph...More Button

Written Answers. - Colleges of Education Intake.

Was asked: the increase, if any, in the intake to colleges of education she envisages for the academic year 1996-97 to provide for the current qualified substitute cover requirement.More Button

Decisions have not yet been taken regarding the number of students to be admitted to the colleges of education for the 1996-97 academic year.More Button

However, in reaching decisions in this matter, full cognisance will be taken of all pertinent factors which contribute to the supply of, and demand for, primary teachers.More Button

Written Answers. - Roscommon Teacher Appointments.

Was asked: if she will make the post of woodwork and building construction instructor permanent in the vocational school in Roscommon in view of the vital importance of these subjects to students attending th...More Button

My Department has approved an additional teacher allocation to the vocational education committee concerned to cater for the provision of woodwork in the school referred to by the Deputy.More Button

There are a number of supernumerary teaching posts in this particular vocational education committee. In view of the surplus staffing situation in the scheme and the difficulty in accommodating th...More Button

Written Answers. - 1995 Leaving Certificate Art Examiners.

Was asked: whether all art examiners involved in the correction and marking of the 1995 leaving certificate art examinations papers were fully qualified in that particular subject and that prior to undertakin...More Button

All art examiners involved in the correction and marking of all aspects of the 1995 leaving certificate art papers were fully qualified art teachers with teaching and marking experience. Applicant...More Button