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McHugh, Joe

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

We are pulling together information now to try to establish how many are involved and what is required. I have had meetings with my officials about the matter and met representatives from Fórsa re...More Button

Status of History in the Framework for Junior Cycle: Statements

Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. Our appetite to learn more about our past has grown since the decade of centenaries. A new interest has been awoken in people of all ages across the count...More Button

I thank the Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan, an Independent Member, who helped organise an initial meeting with Deirdre Mac Mathúna and Mary O'Dubháin of the History Teachers' Association of Ireland wh...More Button

It is vital that we check in the rear-view mirror from time to time, so that we can learn how to avoid the mistakes of the past. I strongly believe that an understanding of history is vitally im...More Button

In November of last year I asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA, to carry out a review of the optional nature of history under the new framework for junior cycle. I als...More Button

Status of History in the Framework for Junior Cycle: Statements (Continued)

The significance of this was not lost on me. This came from a fellow Ulsterman from a town still coming to terms with the IRA’s 1987 Remembrance Day bombing and who was born after the signing of t...More Button

I received the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment's advisory report in July of this year. It is a detailed analysis and I am deeply grateful to the council for the work it has done. ...More Button

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment report, along with the wider public debate and the discussions I have had on the issue, led me to believe that it is not enough just to speak ab...More Button

The education system is responsive and progressive enough to allow for the junior cycle framework to be structured in such a way that history can have a special core status. Accordingly, I have ...More Button

The report contains some useful recommendations in this regard and I am keen to take these forward over the coming months. I have already expressed the need for a young historian competition to ...More Button

We also have an obligation to teach our young people about the dark side of our history, including the mistreatment of women, including those confined to Magdalen laundries, our State’s discrimin...More Button

Knowledge of how we have brought our planet to a tipping point and plunged our climate into crisis may hold the key to finding a solution. This is a subject that excites the interest of an entir...More Button

Our island’s journey from conflict to peace is a turbulent one that must be understood. An entire generation has grown up now in an Ireland at peace. We must ensure this generation knows the tr...More Button

As someone who returned to learning our language as an adult, I was captivated by the rich and vibrant history of our language and how it has helped shape our history and the history of the spoke...More Button

By seeking special core status for history and the associated promotion, my aim is to achieve three ultimate goals, namely, to increase the number of history students at senior cycle, to see ever...More Button

Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCeann Comhairle agus leis an Teach as an díospóireacht anocht. Tugaim aitheantas do gach aon duine as an tiomantas tras-pháirtí. Tugaim aitheantas do cheannairí na bpá...More Button

Gabhaim buíochas leis na Teachtaí as a gcuid teachtaireachtaí éagsúla tábhachtacha anocht. Chuir Baill na Dála an-bhrú orm thar an bhliain seo thart maidir leis an gcinneadh seo. Ba mhaith liom m...More Button

Let me be clear on the question of special core status. Prior to my announcement today the study of history at junior certificate level was optional but that is no longer the case. I have made ...More Button

I want to be really clear about a particular matter because Deputies posed very important questions about it.More Button

Core status means core status. It means ensuring the importance of history as students progress and transition from primary to secondary school. It also means looking at more creative and innovat...More Button

Deputy O'Loughlin spoke about how she studied history for her junior certificate, or perhaps it was her intermediate certificate - I do not want to get into controversy about when she studied it ...More Button

I started learning Irish in 2014 and that gave me a window to the appreciation of history, a connection to culture, to heritage and to local places, as was raised here tonight, and to local history...More Button

Ba mhaith liom m'aitheantas agus mo bhuíochas a ghabháil chuig gach aon duine as na moltaí agus na focail dearfacha - the positive words. I look forward to working with Deputies with regard to h...More Button

School Services Staff

Was asked: the way in which he and his Department plan to address the imbalance of salaries, annual leave and pension rights for school secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools.  I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment condition...More Button

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school...More Button

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools.  The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008.  These schemes have been superseded by t...More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes.  It is a matter for each ind...More Button

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration pr...More Button

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per ho...More Button

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.More Button

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim.  More Button

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the fu...More Button

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis. More Button

Officials from my Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The p...More Button

In these circumstances the industrial action by FÓRSA members is considered premature, not least because the period of the current arbitration agreement has not expired.  My officials are fully o...More Button

Was asked: if he and his officials have engaged with a union (details supplied) that represents school secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools.  I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment condition...More Button

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school...More Button

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools.  The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008.  These schemes have been superseded by t...More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes.  It is a matter for each ind...More Button

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration pr...More Button

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per ho...More Button

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.More Button

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim.  More Button

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the fu...More Button

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis. More Button

Officials from my Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The p...More Button

In these circumstances the industrial action by FÓRSA members is considered premature, not least because the period of the current arbitration agreement has not expired.  My officials are fully o...More Button

Was asked: the engagement since 16 September 2019 with unions representing school secretaries in an effort to resolve the dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools.  I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment condition...More Button

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school...More Button

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools.  The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008.  These schemes have been superseded by t...More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes.  It is a matter for each ind...More Button

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration pr...More Button

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per ho...More Button

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.More Button

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim.  More Button

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the fu...More Button

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis.  In these circumstances any industrial action by FÓRSA members is consi...More Button

Officials from the Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The ...More Button

The Department restated to the trade union that their claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of these surveys. The Department reiterated its v...More Button

As the Union has previously been advised, the Department remains fully open to having further dialogue with FÓRSA on completion of the survey work.More Button

Was asked: his plans to implement proper pay and working conditions as sought by school secretaries following the recent work stoppage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools.  I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment condition...More Button

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school...More Button

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools.  The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008.  These schemes have been superseded by t...More Button

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes.  It is a matter for each ind...More Button

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration pr...More Button

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per ho...More Button

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.More Button

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim.  More Button

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the fu...More Button

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis.  In these circumstances any industrial action by FÓRSA members is consi...More Button

Officials from the Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The ...More Button

The Department restated to the trade union that their claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of these surveys.   The Department reiterated its...More Button

As the Union has previously been advised, the Department remains fully open to having further dialogue with FÓRSA on completion of the survey work.More Button

  Question No. 218 answered with Question No. 216.More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: the school supports in place for a person (details supplied); the number of waiting lists for schools with special classes they are on; and when they will be provided with a place in a special clas...More Button

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for me and the Government. 

  Nearly one euro i...More Button

Was asked: his plans for a special autism unit at national school level in Roscommon town, County Roscommon, to address and facilitate the needs of young children with autism in the area; and if he will make ...More Button

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for me and the Government.

  Nearly one euro in...More Button

Was asked: his plans to provide additional funding to a school (details supplied) to fit out its classrooms with the necessary furniture and appropriate materials for children with special needs following his...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that funding has been approved by my Department, in respect of the school in question, to provide necessary furniture and equipment for the new class.  This fundin...More Button

Devolved grants such as the one-off lump sum grant allow individual school authorities the means to address their specific priorities with a guaranteed amount of funding and gives them self-deter...More Button

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

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

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 218 together.

  I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circulars 0007/2019 for primary schools and 0008/2019 for post primary schools provi...More Button

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

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

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order tha...More Button

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality ...More Button

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.More Button

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independen...More Button

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 w...More Button

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was...More Button

As this question relates to a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) is not receiving the necessary supports to ensure their full participation in junior infants at a school; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order tha...More Button

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality ...More Button

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.More Button

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independen...More Button

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 w...More Button

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was...More Button

As this question relates to a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.More Button

School Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the status of alternative suitable temporary accommodation for a school (details supplied); the stage the plans are at for the permanent school building; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

My Department is currently exploring alternative temporary accommodation for use by the school referred to by the Deputy.

  In relation to permanent accommodation for the school,...More Button

Was asked: the arrangements being made to ensure alternative suitable temporary accommodation for a school (details supplied) is provided in view of the fact that its existing temporary premises has now been ...More Button

The facility in question is not a recognised school by my Department and the provision of accommodation does not come within the Department’s remit. I understand that the facility operates as an i...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) is only in short-term accommodation; when the official temporary accommodation on the designated site for the permanent ...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy is in temporary accommodation on the grounds of Grange Community College. 

  A planning application (Planning Ref. No: 3009/09) is ongoing t...More Button

School Management

Was asked: the reason schools are required to submit accounts on-line via an accountant to FSSU; the reason an individual school cannot file the figures directly to the unit by extracting the numbers from the...More Button

It is important to ensure that appropriate governance arrangements are in place for transparency and accountability in the management of public money.More Button

Therefore, all Boards of Managements of schools are obliged to comply with Section 18 of the Education Act 1998 and the arrangements set out in my Department’s circulars 0060/2017 and 0002/2018 i...More Button

The independence of an external accountant/auditor provides assurance to the Board and the State that the accounts are prepared in line with good accounting practice and standards. More Button

Responsibility for procurement of an external accountant/auditor and payment of same rests with the Board of Management in respect of schools operated by them. Boards of Management should take a ...More Button

School Transport Appeals

Was asked: the waiting time to have an appeal heard by the student transport appeal board for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Schools Health and Safety

Was asked: if a fire safety inspection of the former premises of a school (details supplied) in Bray, County Wicklow, will be commissioned to see if it complies with safety rules for use by another secondary ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the premises to which he refers is not in my Department's ownership and the Department will not be commissioning a fire safety inspection of the property.  More Button

School Transport Data

Was asked: the average cost per child availing of the school bus programme on an annual basis; and the number of children attending primary and secondary school.More Button

Was asked: the number of school children that avail of school buses at both primary and secondary level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tionscadail Tógála Scoileanna

Tá áthas orm a dheimhniú gur cheadaigh mo Roinn oibreacha uasghrádaithe fuinneoige le déanaí faoin Scéim Oibreacha Samhraidh 2019 don scoil dá dtagraíonn an Teachta.

  Chuir an t...More Button

Schools Refurbishment

Was asked: his plans to provide a retrofitting programme for education facilities, including primary, secondary, and third-level to ensure that they become more energy efficient and sustainable.More Button

My Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland are currently involved in an energy efficiency retrofit pilot scheme for schools.  Now in its third year, the aim of the pilot is to cr...More Button

This is taking place in advance of the major programme of retrofits scheduled to commence in 2022, as outlined in Project Ireland 2040. It is intended to expand the intake of schools in the pilot...More Button

This pilot commenced in 2017 when ten schools received energy retrofits.  In 2018 six schools received retrofits and seventeen schools are set to benefit from this scheme in 2019.More Button

As part of the higher education capital programme, an upgrade and refurbishment programme is being advanced for the sector.  This includes investments that will deliver significant benefits in te...More Button

Higher Education Authority Funding

Was asked: if he has received a request for funding for the renovation of the Kane Science Building in UCC; and the consideration given to it.More Button

In the 2017 HEA Review of Higher Education Capital requirements, UCC had listed the Cork University Business School (CUBS) building as its first priority for funding, with the Kane Science Building...More Button

The CUBS project has recently secured approval in principle for an allocation of €25m from my Department under the Higher Education Strategic Infrastructure Fund.  This allocation, along with the...More Button

My Department will continue to engage with UCC in relation to its campus development plans.More Button

Schools Facilities

Was asked: the status of the provision of consent to a school (details supplied) to apply to Kildare County Council for planning permission for a sports facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has recently been in contact with the Patron of the school referred to by the Deputy in relation to this matter.More Button

Special Educational Needs Data

Was asked: the ASD units in schools in County Meath.More Button

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for me and the Government. 

  Nearly one euro i...More Button

Death-in-Service Benefits

Was asked: the status of a death-in-service payment case ongoing for nine months (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has recently sanctioned the payment of benefits in respect of the case referenced by the Deputy.  This matter took longer than usual to resolve, and I...More Button

Teaching Qualifications

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) with bachelor degrees from the United States of America is required to contact each individual statutory authority relative to each academia in order to be recognised...More Button

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the State Agency responsible for maintaining the National Framework of Qualifications, operates NARIC Ireland – the National Academic Recognition Informati...More Button

School Placement

Was asked: the number of children that travel out of Donabate, County Dublin to attend secondary school outside the area; the number of children that travel into Donabate to attend secondary school over the p...More Button

The following reply is the same as that previously provided under PQ 20661/19 as there has been no material change since that date. More Button

The information is not readily available in the format requested by the Deputy. However, the following information can be provided in relation to this matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographi...More Button

There is one post-primary school in the Donabate school planning area. Donabate Community College is a 1,000 pupil capacity post-primary school established in 2008, and has a 2018/2019 school yea...More Button

The Deputy might wish to note that such movement between school planning areas in relation to attendance at primary or post-primary schools is not unusual. A range of factors including parental c...More Button

Departmental Records

Was asked: if a copy of all correspondence between him and-or his office and-or his advisers and other offices or personnel in his Department regarding a school in County Tipperary will be provided from 1 May...More Button

Records such as this are not routinely retrieved and compiled to be provided outside of Freedom of Information requests. Requests for access to records may be submitted under Freedom of Informatio...More Button

School Funding

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) will be awarded a grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In March 2015 a grant was approved under the Additional Accommodation Scheme to enable the Board of Management to provide a Resource Room.  This grant was increased in December 2016 to allow for ad...More Button

The project went to tender in February 2018 with a significantly increased scope which included works that had not been approved by my Department. The school has been advised that the Department ...More Button

Gaeltacht Policy

Was asked: if he will consider reintroducing free Gaeltacht places for national trainee teachers that must attend and pay to attend a Gaeltacht twice during their four year course.More Button

The decision to stop the Gaeltacht placement grants was taken during the economic crisis when, unfortunately, very difficult decisions had to be made to stabilise the nation's finances.  At the tim...More Button

While there is no provision currently in my Department's budget for this grant, because of ongoing budgetary pressures which continue to be acute, the matter remains under consideration in my Dep...More Button

To assist with the costs of the Gaeltacht placement, students who are in receipt of a student grant which includes a 100% fee grant, or who would have qualified for a full fee grant but for the F...More Button

Education Policy

Was asked: when a policy to deal with the use of the Irish language from preschool to university will be published.More Button

The Department of Education and Skills has already developed a comprehensive policy for education in the Gaeltacht and is advancing the implementation of this policy.

  The D.ES...More Button

University Global Rankings

Was asked: his views on whether education is key to maintaining competitiveness here; and his further views on the continuing falling in the rankings by universities here in the university league.More Button

An agile education system is vital to maintaining and enhancing Ireland’s competitiveness into the future, particularly in the context of the rapid rate of change evident at the current time which ...More Button

The National Strategy for Higher Education (2010) and the National Skills Strategy (2016) were published to ensure that the education system is appropriately structured to meet the challenges of ...More Button

The higher education system is delivering programmes in a more flexible manner than before. There were 7,967 remote enrolments and 40,101 part-time enrolments in the higher education system in th...More Button

The private higher education ranking systems, of which there are many, each monitor different aspects of international higher education institutions.  The systems award different weightings to va...More Button

The outcome of the rankings in any particular year therefore not only depend on how an individual institution has performed, but also on how it has performed in relation to all other institutions...More Button

In the context of overall system performance progression and excellence, the fulfilment of specific broader Government policies may also impact on rankings.  For example, national policy on Initi...More Button

This beneficial policy objective increased the proportions of undergraduate students in the university, which, in turn, impacted negatively on the Universty’s ranking in some systems. This reflec...More Button

The European Commission fund a ranking system (U-multirank) which focuses on the needs of students and end users, producing summaries of specific areas of interest (where measures are rated from ...More Button

School Transport Administration

Was asked: the reason the public services card will soon be required to make an appeal to his Department in relation to the provision of access to school transport schemes in view of the fact that under the c...More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: the status of the provision of a new Gaelscoil primary school for areas (details supplied); when enrolment is expected to commence; the details of an additional ASD unit for the peninsula in view o...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, I recently announced that five new primary schools being established from 2020-2022, including the new school to be established in Donabate in 2020, are being designated...More Button

The school will be established in September 2020 in suitable interim accommodation. The Department is also working on plans for the permanent accommodation. More Button

In the case of all new schools, it is general practice to include a Special Education Needs Base in the accommodation brief for new school buildings being constructed, unless local circumstances ...More Button

Was asked: the length of time a school (details supplied) has been at the pre-qualification stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This building project is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.More Button

The project is currently at Stage 2B of the Architectural Planning process – Detailed Design Stage which includes securing statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents. The pre-qua...More Button

Stage 2(b) Detailed Design is arguably the most complex and detailed of all the stages in Architectural Planning. In addition to securing the necessary statutory approvals it also includes the pr...More Button

The next step for this project is Stage 3 - tender stage which normally takes 7-8 months to complete. My Department will be in contact shortly with the school and Design Team regarding the progre...More Button

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

I am aware that the project to which the Deputy refers provides for two mainstream classrooms and a WC for assisted users under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme. I am pleased to info...More Button

The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority so it is now a matter for the Board of Management to advance the project.More Button

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

As the Deputy is aware, a project has been included on my Department’s Capital Programme to provide permanent accommodation for the school referred to. 

  In order to progress th...More Button

School Patronage

Was asked: when the online patronage process system for new primary schools to be established in 2020 will commence in order for parents of eligible children to be provided an opportunity to indicate their pr...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2018 the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide, demo...More Button

Construction Contracts

Was asked: if a contractor has been appointed to a college (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the project to which she refers has been devolved for delivery to Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB). I can inform the Deputy that a preferred tenderer...More Button

As the tender process in that respect has not yet concluded, I am not in a position to confirm the identity of the relevant contractor at this time. However, I can say that the school authority w...More Button

Minor Works Scheme Payments

Was asked: if the minor works grant is being provided to schools for the 2019-2020 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department's approach in relation to the Minor Works Grant is for it to be paid in either December or January of each school year. 

  An announcement with regard to the timing...More Button

State Examinations

Was asked: the position regarding payments to examiners under the SEC; if there are delays; and when outstanding payments will issue.More Button

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

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

Schools Amalgamation

Was asked: the status of the amalgamation of the national schools in Cahir, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the decision making authority for any amalgamation belongs to the Patron/Trustees of the school, and this is subject to the approval of the Department. My Departmen...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: the agencies that have been permitted to provide sex education in schools; and the amount each agency has received for its services in each of the past five years.More Button

The engagement of external providers to support delivery of the curriculum is a matter for the board of management of the school in question.

  Department Circulars set out the b...More Button

Was asked: his views on placing the time for religious faith formation outside of core school hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Religious education is one of the seven curricular areas of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) and schools are currently required to allocate thirty minutes per day for religious education.  Howe...More Button

Under the Constitution and the provisions of Section 30(2)(e) of the Education Act 1998 parents have a right to have their children opt out of any subject which is contrary to the conscience of t...More Button

The manner in which any school ensures that the right to opt out of any class including religion is upheld is a matter for the school concerned. The precise nature of the arrangements have to be ...More Button

The Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector (2012) acknowledged that denominational religious education, including faith formation and sacramental preparation...More Button

However, the Advisory Group had concerns about the amount of time which can be devoted to sacramental preparation in some schools and they recommended that it should not be allowed to encroach on...More Button

Multi-denominational schools, such as Community National Schools, teach a multi-belief and values curriculum, which is inclusive of all children. In such schools, faith formation and preparation ...More Button

School Transport

Was asked: if the additional funding the Minister of State for training and skills is of the view will be made available through his Department will be able to provide a service for students (details supplied...More Button

Was asked: if he will address a matter regarding school transport (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will address a matter regarding school transport (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Education Data

Was asked: the steps he is taking to address issues raised in a new report by an organisation (details supplied) which shows schools need far greater capacity to meet the learning, language and socio-emotiona...More Button

With regard to the report referred to by the Deputy, a number of recommendations have already been implemented by my Department, prior to the publication of the report. More Button

 In 2018, my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and Inspectorate conducted an appraisal of the education settings in the  Emergency Reception Orientation Centres (EROC...More Button

The current situation is that, in general, primary school age children are provided with on-site education in EROC schools for an initial period and transition to mainstream schools when school r...More Button

Access to supports from NEPS and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and access to continuing professional development (CPD) through the Professional Development Support Services is...More Button

 With regard to the needs of pupils at the time of resettlement, my Department provides a range of supports in schools to meet the identified additional educational needs of the children and youn...More Button

Teachers' Remuneration

Was asked: the position regarding pay restoration for teachers here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. The starting salary for a new entrant teacher in 2012 was €30,702. As a result of the program...More Button

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

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

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

On 24 September 2018, an agreement was reached between the Government and the public services committee of ICTU in respect of new entrant pay.More Button

This agreement will benefit 16,000 teachers and nearly 5,000 SNAs within the education sector. The deal provides for a series of incremental jumps for new entrants.More Button

I am fully aware that the teacher unions have outstanding issues of concern following the September 2018 agreement. These outstanding matters will be given full consideration. This will happen ei...More Button

The current series of restorative measures for new entrants have been achieved through continued engagement and collective bargaining between the Government and the public service unions and show...More Button

School Staff

Was asked: the position regarding the allocation of a weekly release day for teaching principals; his views on this policy; if he will create national clusters of panels to cover this release; and if he will ...More Button

Since my appointment as Minister for Education and Skills I have met with a number of Teaching Principals and I appreciate the pressures they face. In Budget 2019, school leadership is again suppor...More Button

This builds on measures in previous budgets, including €0.4 million made available in Budget 2018 to fund almost 4600 additional release days for teaching principals in primary schools. This fund...More Button

Since September 2018, there are arrangements in place for schools to cluster their principal release days into a full-time post which will assist teaching principals to more effectively plan thei...More Button

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

Capital Expenditure Programme

Was asked: the final agreed tender price, the date of the tender for the contract and the final overall amount actually paid and the date of the final payment in respect of each capital expenditure project co...More Button

I will arrange for a response to issue directly to the Deputy in relation to this question.More Button

Minor Works Scheme

Was asked: the status of the minor works grant for a school (details supplied) for 2019; if the school is receiving this grant in 2019; when is it likely to be paid; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

My Department's approach in relation to the Minor Works Grant is for it to be paid in either December or January of each school year. 

  An announcement with regard to the timing...More Button

Summer Works Scheme

Was asked: if a summer works scheme application by a school (details supplied) will be granted due to the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy has submitted an application for replacement of corroded load bearing PVC windows to front and rear of school (Category 7) under my Department’s multi-annual Su...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that commensurate with the level of funding available for the SWS in 2020, applications will be assessed on a top down basis in accordance with the prioritisation crit...More Button