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McHugh, Joe

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


School Services Staff

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

Schemes initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools were withdrawn completely in 2008 and have been superseded by the capitation grant schemes. T...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

School Services Staff (Continued)

This arbitration agreement covers the period up to 31 December 2019. The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secr...More Button

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills on 9 April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff. Last May, officials from the Dep...More Button

On 30 September, Fórsa asked the Department to agree to use the services of the Workplace Relations Commission to resolve the dispute. As is normal practice, the Department agreed to use the ind...More Button

I reiterate that the talks have not broken down or collapsed. We come to a solution or agreement when people are around a table. Yes, there was disappointment about what was on the table. The ta...More Button

As I said to the Deputies, this is not a situation I wish to see arise. The world and its mother know my position on this, which is that I want this issue to be resolved. This has been an issue...More Button

Negotiations are ongoing and the talks have not collapsed.More Button

I once again urge the Fórsa union to continue the talks. If they have not collapsed there is still an opportunity to find a solution.More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: the pension entitlements to the spouse of a retired teacher in cases in which a teacher has retired in advance of a divorce from a first marriage and subsequently enters a second marriage also pre-...More Button

Officials from the Pension Unit of my Department contacted your office seeking clarification in relation to your question, from which I understand that the query relates to the spouse of a retired ...More Button

In general the pension entitlements of spouses of retired teachers who retire in advance of a divorce from a first marriage and subsequently enter a second marriage are determined by the pension ...More Button

Staff in the Pension Unit of my Department maybe contacted for clarification in regard to the provisions of the original or revised Spouses’ and Children’s Pension Schemes for serving and retired...More Button

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Was asked: his plans to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio in DEIS band 1 schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The DEIS programme allows for a reduced class size in Urban Band 1 primary schools with the application of a preferential staffing schedule to these schools of 20:1 at junior classes and 24:1 at se...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, DEIS Plan acknowledges the allocation of teaching resources to DEIS primary schools with the highest concentrations of children at risk of educational disadvantage has...More Button

In order to facilitate this a Class Size Working Group was established comprising representatives from the Education Partners, the Educational Research Centre and the relevant Business Units in m...More Button

A report on the work of this group is currently being finalised, and will take into consideration the feedback and observations of the working group members. It is intended that this will be fin...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: his views on the restrictions experienced by Irish citizens who do not meet the residency time limits criteria with regard to the lower tier of third level registration and tuition fees; his plans ...More Button

In order to qualify for funding towards tuition fees, students must be first-time undergraduates, hold inter alia EU/EEA/Swiss nationality or certain permissions given by the Minister for Justice a...More Button

Higher Education Institutions Staff

Was asked: the staff to student ratio in publicly-funded higher education institutions here; the corresponding ratios from 2009 to 2014; the comparator figures from benchmark EU countries such as Denmark, Fin...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the attached table. Data for Ireland is available from 2011 onwards. The latest internationally comparative data available relates to the peri...More Button

Emergency Works Scheme Applications

Was asked: if an application was received for emergency works submitted by a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; if so, when a decision is likely to be made with respect to the application; if his at...More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that the school to which he refers has submitted an Emergency Works Application. This application was assessed and the Department wrote to the school authority in that r...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: the steps that can be taken by the family of a child (details supplied) in circumstances in which no suitable school place is available for them in September 2020.More Button

The provision of education for children with special needs, including those with Autism, is an ongoing priority for Government.

  Currently, almost 20% of the total Education V...More Button

Was asked: the status of the case of a person (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

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: if suitable SNA supports will be allocated for a person (details supplied).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

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

Psychological Assessments

Was asked: if a NEPS assessment will be expedited for a person (details supplied).More Button

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

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

I have made enquiries in relation to the child, the subject of the Deputy’s question, and can confirm that the school’s NEPS psychologists has been consulting with his parents and the school in r...More Button

I can, in the interim, assure you of the continuing input of the NEPS service to the child, his parents and school in relation to his ongoing maintenance and support in school.More Button

School Transport Eligibility

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

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 19 November 2019, if the accommodation brief has been finalised; if so, the details of same; when a design team will be appointed; and if he will make a...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is currently finalising the accommodation brief for the proposed building project for the school in question. My Department will be in contact with th...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 169 of 17 September 2019, if authorisation has issued to invite tenders for the project; if so, when tenders will be invited; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at Stage 2(b) – Detailed Design.

  The Department understands that the Design Team is currently...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 170 of 17 September 2019, if approval has now issued for the invitation of tenders for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This building project referred to by the Deputy is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.

  The major ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 172 of 17 September 2019, if the accommodation brief has been finalised; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department's school building programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan....More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 153 of 12 November 2019, the number of tenders received for the building project by the closing date of the end of November 2019; the estimated time it will ta...More Button

The project to which the Deputy refers is currently at tender stage. The closing date for tenders has now passed and six tenders have been returned. The Department expects that the Tender Report wi...More Button

Subject to no issues arising, it is anticipated that construction will commence in the 1st quarter of 2020 and the project is expected to take approximately 20 months to complete.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 156 of 12 November 2019, when work will be completed on the project in view of the fact a contractor is now on site; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the delivery of the project at Naas Community College has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB).

  Work began on site ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 96 of 24 October 2019, if a definitive date for completion of phase 1 of the project has been given; when phase two will be completed; and if he will make a st...More Button

The school building project to which the Deputy refers is currently on site.

  The first phase, consisting of the construction of the new 8 classroom school is due for completio...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 95 of 24 October 2019, if stage one has been completed; if stage 2A has commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the delivery of the project for St. Farnan's Post Primary School has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB).

  The Stag...More Button

School Enrolments

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 182 of 19 November 2019, if an application for temporary accommodation has been lodged to deal with the shortage of school places for September 2020; if so, wh...More Button

The Deputy will be aware from my previous response of the building project at the school to which he refers. I can confirm to the Deputy that a request for temporary accommodation has been received...More Button

Schools Site Acquisitions

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 154 of 12 November 2019, if there has been further progress in resolving the technical considerations; if a joint meeting has been held between his Department,...More Button

My Department continues to engage with the landowner and Kildare County Council in regard to the technical considerations crucial to the delivery of the site and the commencement of architectural p...More Button

It is a priority for my Department to commence the architectural planning process for this site at the earliest possible stage. For the time being - given the commercially sensitive nature of sit...More Button

School Accommodation Provision

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 175 of 17 September 2019, if approval has issued for the provision of additional mainstream and specialist accommodation for the school; if so, the details of ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has received an application, from the school in question, for capital funding.  I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the project brief has been fina...More Button

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Was asked: the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of hi...More Button

The Department's costs in relation to communications strategy initiatives in 2019 are set out below.

  2019 Costs

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Was asked: the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by h...More Button

The costs incurred by the Department in relation to video commissioning, development and production in 2019 are set out below. The Department also produced a number of videos in-house during the ye...More Button


 

 

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