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Dempsey, Noel

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 Nbr. 6


Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Third Level Colleges.

Was asked: the way in which he intends to address the difficulties faced by third level institutions as a result of the cutbacks in the 2003 Estimates.More Button

The Conference of Heads of Irish Universities and the Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology met separately with officials of my Department recently regarding the Estimates provision ...More Button

The recurrent allocation for the university sector in 2003 is 1.7% above the 2002 projected outturn when account of the additional income to the institutions from the increase in the third level ch...More Button

The provision of funding for 2003 was decided having regard to the current economic constraints and the Government's commitments and priorities. In this regard it should be noted that in the past f...More Button

In the circumstances it will be a matter for the universities to manage their resources in 2003 and, where necessary, to effect economies to keep expenditure within the approved budget.More Button

My Department and the Higher Education Authority are working to examine ways in which we might minimise problems arising out of the Estimates. I am confident that the regular monthly meetings betwe...More Button

I believe universities and third level institutes should have academic freedom, but that does not mean they should not try to be as effective and efficient as they can. The third level sector canno...More Button

Third level institutions should accept foreign students and not only for financial reasons. We should encourage them to accept foreign students as it will help build cultural relations between this...More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the implications for teacher numbers and the pupil-teacher ratio of the decision announced in the budget to reduce public service numbers by 5,000 and to impose a freeze on future recruitment; the ...More Button

My Department is in consultation with the Department of Finance regarding the implementation of the decision to which the Deputy refers. It is not possible at this stage to quantify the implication...More Button

Schools can be certain of what will happen. Any child that is properly assessed as having special needs in accordance with the Government decision of 1998 will be allocated the required resource te...More Button

It means the national educational psychological service is examining the applications. Once that is completed and the assessments are confirmed, the special needs resources will be made available.More Button

No, they will be examined by NEPS. Some of the applications were assessed outside of NEPS. We have changed the system of appointing special needs and resource teachers and NEPS is now in a position...More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Disadvantaged Areas.

Was asked: his views on the many requests to his Department from ICON, the Inner City Organisations Network, that a task force on education be established in view of the extreme education disadvantage in Dubl...More Button

The Inner City Organisations Network is one of four networks operating within the Dublin Inner City Partnership. At present, the work of the Dublin Inner City Partnership is supported by a represen...More Button

My Department also funds the services of an education co-ordinator. The role of this co-ordinator includes assisting with the identification of gaps in current education provision at local level, f...More Button

In addition, my Department directly supports the educational needs of the community served by ICON through targeted funding for schools under the Giving Children an Even Break programme, the home-s...More Button

As regards the Deputy's specific question on the establishment of an education task force in Dublin north inner city, I understand that such a proposal has been the subject of ongoing discussions f...More Button

Additional informationArrangements are currently in train for the roll-out of the regional offices from spring 2003.More Button

I have said publicly, on many occasions, that my priority is to assist the most disadvantaged people in the education system. The Deputy will be aware that, notwithstanding the challenging budgetar...More Button

I accept what the Deputy said, that there is a great deal of inequality and disadvantage in certain areas of Dublin city. Tackling disadvantage is a priority of mine. I read the various schemes tha...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that one of the biggest problems is that we have all these schemes but little measurement of outcomes. Once such schemes are in place, it seems they must stay in place forev...More Button

I do not accept that everything else has failed, although what is in place has not been so effective. I would prefer if the people concerned worked through the city development boards and set up un...More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - School Staffing.

Was asked: the reviews which are currently under way or are planned into the provision of resource teachers, special needs and classroom assistants; if he will clarify his remarks regarding such provision her...More Button

Children with special needs in the primary school system have an automatic entitlement to a response to their needs. The nature and level of the response is based on the professionally assessed nee...More Button

Since October 1998 the number of resource teachers in the system has grown from approximately 100 to 2,300. The number of special needs assistants has grown from approximately 300 to 3,800 full-tim...More Button

As part of its evaluative role, my Department's inspectorate recently conducted a review of 25 primary schools, which had recently been allocated such support. The objective of the review was to pr...More Button

The survey established that of the 6,908 pupils enrolled in the schools surveyed, 3% were enrolled in special classes, 6% were in receipt of resource teacher support and 12% were in receipt of lear...More Button

While expressing concern at the higher than expected incidence of significant disability identified in the survey, the report emphasised the need for caution in drawing firm conclusions because of ...More Button

Additional informationNonetheless, the report expressed concern that the greater availability of resources in recent years may also have led to significant over-identification of special nee...More Button

In view of the survey's findings, arrangements were made for an immediate review of the 788 applications for resource teacher and special needs assistant support recently received in my Department ...More Button

The schools were also advised that a psychologist from the national educational psychological service would be calling to carry out the verification process. The verification process commenced on F...More Button

I assure the House that the purpose of the reviews to which I referred is solely to ensure that the support services in question are properly targeted at the children who require them and that the ...More Button

No, it is not true that other psychological assessments will not be accepted. There is no change in the scheme in relation to psychological assessment. People can be assessed by NEPS. As that servi...More Button

The purpose of the review of the 788 applications is to ensure and verify that the special needs resources sought in those applications conform with the terms of the Department's circular governing...More Button

It is not the function of the Department of Education and Science to conduct psychological assessments or to determine whether they are necessary. The question of the number of children awaiting ps...More Button

I cannot assure the House that no child will be refused assistance. I assure the Deputy that any child who needs it and who conforms to the stipulations contained in the circular will receive the b...More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if 18,000 children with special needs will receive the maximum service; if he will ensure that there will be no cutback in the educational service; if services to the 6,000 children in special scho...More Button

I am grateful to the Deputy for giving me the opportunity to confirm the Government's commitment to ensuring that children who have been professionally assessed as having special educational needs ...More Button

The Government is committed to continuing to build on the unprecedented development of special education services which has taken place in recent years. Our commitment is reflected in the fact that...More Button

These figures represent real and substantial improvements in special education services and provide concrete evidence of the Government's commitment to the ongoing development of these services.More Button

In addition, I am taking steps to ensure that the necessary arrangements are put in place for an efficient and effective system for service delivery. A key development in this regard has been the d...More Button

Additional informationThe council, which will have a local area presence, will play a key role in the development and delivery of services for persons with special needs. It will also have a...More Button

Arrangements for the establishment of the council are well advanced. A chief executive has recently been appointed to the council and it is intended that it will be vested by the end of March 2003.More Button

I also intend to bring forward legislation, based on the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill, to clarify the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities to an education service an...More Button

I am confident that the measures I have outlined will ensure that all children with special needs receive the support they require to enable them to gain maximum benefit from the education system.More Button

I agree with the Deputy and I outlined clearly in my reply the money provided by the Government and spent by the Department to ensure that the special needs of children are met in as fair and equit...More Button

I am aware of the case of a young girl who, because of her visual impairment, must travel to Jordanstown for education services. While a lack in this area is being addressed, it is not acceptable t...More Button

Some people are very vocal about and critical of what the church did in the past, and in the process, all members of the church are tarred with the same brush. Unfortunately, one of the side-effect...More Button

If the case to which the Deputy refers is the same as the one of which I am aware, this was assessed as the best opportunity for the girl in that she would be able to avail of this education here. ...More Button

Other Questions. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: his proposals for meeting the requirements of children with special needs in mainstream education; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Children with special needs attending mainstream primary schools on a fully integrated basis have an automatic entitlement to a response to their needs. The nature and level of the response is base...More Button

In some cases the level of special needs may be such as to require placement in a special class attached to a mainstream school. The number of special classes has grown from 350 to more than 500 si...More Button

In addition to maintaining the ongoing development of these services, we are also establishing the National Council for Special Education. The council, which will have a local area presence, will p...More Button

I also intend to bring forward the legislation based on the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill to clarify the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities to an education service ...More Button

Additional informationMy objective would be to secure the passage of this legislation through the Oireachtas before the summer recess.More Button

I am confident that the measures which I have outlined will ensure that all children with special needs receive the support they require to enable them to gain maximum benefit from the education sy...More Button

The date of vesting is the end of March 2003 and it will roll out over the following five to six months. I am anxious that the council be set up and have its staff, including local staff and the sp...More Button

I am not giving a dissertation. I am answering the specific question. There is a requirement for more formal training for special needs assistants and that is being considered in the Department.More Button

Yes, I support choice in education, within limits financial and otherwise. We cannot allow everybody to establish schools all over the place. However, the question related to special needs and whet...More Button

For some people with disabilities there is a huge educational value in having them in mainstream schools, rather than segregated in special schools. As the Deputy said, I accept people should be fa...More Button

People will make up their own minds whether they want to take legal action in relation to education. The Government made a commitment in 1998 to meet the requirements of every special needs pupil o...More Button

Other Questions. - Unfair Dismissal.

Was asked: the reason DCU management declined to submit a file containing allegations against a person (details supplied) when asked by a person (details supplied) to do so at the end of a meeting on 9 Novemb...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Universities Act, 1997 confers autonomous statutory responsibilities on universities in relation to the day-to-day management of their affairs. The conduct of staff rela...More Button

I will not comment on any specific case and responding to the Deputy's question would indicate that I was making a comment one way or the other. I am not going to do that. Section 14(1)(b) o...More Button

Other Questions. - School Transport.

Was asked: if the promised new appeals board for school transport has been established; the membership of the board; the steps being taken to promote public awareness of the board; and if he will make a state...More Button

Other Questions. - Disadvantaged Status.

Was asked: his specific proposals to meet the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government to implement changes to retention and support policies which will assist schools in areas of significant di...More Button

Was asked: his plans to give teachers in disadvantaged areas an extra allowance to encourage them to remain in these areas or to take up posts in these areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to claims in the report, An Action Plan to End Education Disadvantage, that schools in disadvantaged areas were at crisis point in regard to attracting and retrainin...More Button

Was asked: the way in which he intends to address the problem of recruitment and staff retention in disadvantaged schools.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32, 46, 87 and 88 together.More Button

An Agreed Programme for Government sets out a commitment to implement changes to retention and support policies which will assist schools in areas of significant disadvantage to recruit and retain ...More Button

My Department is in ongoing discussion with teachers' representatives concerning the conditions of service of primary teachers. The recruitment and retention of teaching staff is a difficulty for m...More Button

In the context of the commitment concerning retention and support policies referred to in the programme for Government, I have asked officials of my Department to examine how best this commitment c...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is not possible for me to produce teachers from my back pocket. The problem of teacher shortages arose because the number of graduates allowed to enter primary tea...More Button

It is a little contradictory to call for fewer children to be taught by untrained teachers while, at the same time, seeking a reduction in class contact times and pupil-teacher ratios as well as im...More Button

My priority is to provide teachers and ensure children, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, have trained teachers. That may mean making decisions on other matters which will not reduce class...More Button

There has been a move from disadvantaged areas and schools to disadvantaged pupils. That is something which is being considered. There is a certain validity in the argument that each child should b...More Button

The Breaking the Cycle programme applies to urban and rural schools and the school completion programme will apply to both as well. We need to take a thorough look at all these schemes and at how w...More Button

I would have no difficulty with any scheme which got teachers into schools, whether resource, part-time or otherwise. The home school community liaison scheme appears to be working well and has had...More Button

The Dáil adjourned at 6.15 p.m. until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 29 January 2003.More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Access.

Was asked: the recommendations made in the report of the action group on access to third level education which have been implemented; the recommendations still to be implemented; if a timetable has been set f...More Button

There is a provision within the national development plan for a third level access fund totalling €120 million over the period 2000 to 2006 to tackle disadvantage at third level. In line with ...More Button

To date a number of measures have been taken by my Department in response to some of the main recommendations in the report. The most significant spending recommendation of the group concerned the ...More Button

A new millennium partnership fund for disadvantage was introduced with effect from 2001. The fund provides assistance to partnership companies and community groups to develop support schemes for st...More Button

The report of the action group on access to third level education sets out a co-ordinated framework of actions required to improve equity of access to third level. The group considered a single co-...More Button

Some of the action group's recommendations relate to the achieving of targets for access to third level education, over the period of the national development plan, on the part of students from dis...More Button

Written Answers. - Breaking the Cycle Scheme.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the Breaking the Cycle scheme since its introduction; the number of schools involved in the scheme in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The Breaking the Cycle pilot project was launched in 1996 and seeks to discriminate positively in favour of primary schools in selected urban and rural areas which have high concentrations of child...More Button

It has been found, however, that Breaking the Cycle, in common with the disadvantaged areas scheme, does not take account of different levels of need. On this basis, a comprehensive survey of all p...More Button

Giving Children an Even Break is a key component of my Department's strategy to discriminate positively in favour of children who are at risk of school failure or who are experiencing educational d...More Button

All schools included in the Breaking the Cycle pilot project and those that were previously designated as disadvantaged will retain the resources allocated to them under those programmes. They may ...More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Staff.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the DCU disciplinary statutes were enacted without consultation with the union, contrary to the provisions of the Universities Act, 1997; and his vi...More Button

The conduct of staff relations is a matter for each university, in accordance with section 25 of the Universities Act, 1997. It would not be appropriate, in that context, to comment on the status o...More Button

Written Answers. - School Accommodation.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of extra accommodation at Nano Nagle special school, Listowel, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Architectural planning for the provision of additional accommodation at Nano Nagle special school is at an early stage. My Department recently authorised the board of management to instruct its des...More Button

Was asked: the use he proposes to make of public private partnerships to tackle the grossly substandard accommodation in hundreds of primary schools throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I have initiated discussions with the Minister for Finance in relation to the development of a multi-year plan for the provision of new schools at primary and post primary level. It is my intention...More Button

Was asked: the reason St. Finian's national school, Newcastle, has been granted a resource teacher but has not been allowed to provide a room or resources to purchase equipment; if this situation is likely to...More Button

A funding allocation will be made to the school in question early in the new year to facilitate the purchase of equipment for the resource teacher.More Button

My Department has received an application from the school for temporary accommodation, furniture and equipment. A decision on this application will be conveyed to the board of management as soon as...More Button

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Was asked: the proposed new independent appeals procedure for the allocation of secondary teachers; if the new procedure is now operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In accordance with the recommendations of two expert reports, an independent appeals body is being established to consider appeals by second level school management authorities for additional teach...More Button

Was asked: the steps he intends to take to address the concerns of primary school principals who are threatening a partial work to rule in January 2003 due to detrimental increases in their workload; and if h...More Button

I am aware that the introduction of new legislation and changing circumstances in society has created additional impositions on boards of management and principal teachers in primary schools. Howev...More Button

The scheme of release time was also introduced for the 2000-2001 school year. This scheme enables teaching principals of primary schools to be released from their teaching duties for a specified nu...More Button

I am aware that a claim regarding the category of allowances payable to primary teachers is being processed under the teachers conciliation and arbitration scheme. The Deputy will appreciate that i...More Button

Was asked: his plans to reduce the level of dependence on untrained teachers or untrained substitute teachers in primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A range of measures to improve teacher supply have been introduced in recent years. The intake to the bachelor of education programmes in the colleges of education has been increased dramatically. ...More Button

There are currently some 3,460 students enrolled and pursuing various stages of primary teacher training programmes in the colleges of education. Between 2002 and 2003, it is projected that some 2,...More Button

Those who successfully complete the three year Montessori course in St. Nicholas, Dún Laoghaire, which is recognised by the NCEA, and those who attain the Montessori qualification on complet...More Button

Was asked: the way in which he intends to ensure a greater gender balance in the provision of primary school teachers; and his plans to take steps to ensure a greater number of men enter the profession.More Button

The gender equality unit of my Department is in the process of establishing a committee to make recommendations for an initiative which will target male second level students to consider primary te...More Button

Was asked: the implications for teacher numbers and the pupil ratio of the decision announced in the budget to reduce public service numbers by 5,000 and to impose a freeze on future recruitment; the number o...More Button

My Department is in consultation with the Department of Finance regarding the implementation of the decision to which the Deputy refers.More Button

It is not possible at this stage to quantify the implications, if any, of this decision for staffing allocations in the education system.More Button

Was asked: his views on the fact that the proposed cuts in special needs teachers at primary school level will have disastrous consequences for children across the State; and whether it is another sign of the...More Button

There are no proposed cuts in special needs teachers. This Government is fully committed to ensuring that children who have been professionally assessed as having special educational needs will con...More Button

The Government's commitment to building on the unprecedented development of special education services which has taken place in recent years is reflected in the following facts: that the number of ...More Button

These figures represent real and substantial improvements in special education services. They provide concrete evidence of the Government's ongoing commitment to the development of services for chi...More Button

Was asked: the number of additional staff allocated to institutes of technology for the academic year 2002-2003; the amount of additional funding provided to pay these new staff; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

In response to requests from individual institutes of technology, in the course of the annual programmes and budget process, a total of 105 posts were approved for the academic year 2002-2003 in or...More Button

Written Answers. - Health and Safety Regulations.

Was asked: if the Health and Safety Authority is investigating conditions in a number of primary schools; the schools in respect of which improvement notices have been issued by the HSA; the communication his...More Button

Was asked: the assistance his Department has given to schools to ensure that they are in compliance with health and safety regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 39 together.More Button

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, it is the responsibility of school management authorities to have a safety statement in place in their schools. Schools are oblig...More Button

In practical terms, individual school authorities are best placed to assess the detail of their own health and safety requirements. I am satisfied that the majority of schools are aware of their re...More Button

To assist school authorities in fulfilling their responsibilities in relation to health and safety, my Department provides funding on an annual basis to each primary school at the current rate of &...More Button

Written Answers. - Institutes of Technology.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by the Council of Directors of Institutes of Technology that higher education faces a crisis in funding in 2003 which will see a cutback in...More Button

The Council of Directors of Institutes of Technology met recently with officials of my Department regarding the estimates provision for 2003. It has since written to me regarding its concerns about...More Button

Written Answers. - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the steps he intends to take to ensure that the pupil teacher ratio is reduced to ensure all pupils can maximise their potential.More Button

Was asked: his proposals to improve the pupil-teacher ratio; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 66 together.More Button

The pupil teacher ratios at both primary and second levels have improved significantly in recent years. At primary level the ratio has fallen from 22.2:1 in 1996/97 to 19.0:1 in the 2001 to 2002 sc...More Button

In line with Government policy, my Department will continue to provide further reductions in the pupil teacher ratio within available resources and subject to spending priorities within the educati...More Button

Written Answers. - Fund-Raising Activities.

Was asked: the average amount raised by primary schools and second level schools through voluntary contributions at the latest year for which figures are available; if parents will be asked to make an increas...More Button

My Department provides funding towards the day-to-day running costs of primary and second level schools. At primary level, the funding is provided by means of per capita grants. At second le...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: when he expects to announce his funding proposals for primary school development; the criteria which will be used in determining which schools will get funding; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

In January, I will be announcing how my Department will be spending the allocation made in the Estimates for primary school buildings. My Department will be framing the 2003 expenditure proposals, ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a replacement school (details supplied) in County Waterford; if this will be included in the 2003 building programme; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

Architectural planning for the provision of improved accommodation at the school in question is at an early stage. My Department is currently examining the initial architectural proposals for the p...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the reduction of 4% in the funding for building, equipment and furnishing of national schools in his Department's Estimate for 2003, especially having regard to the poor condition of...More Button

The capital expenditure proposals for my Department form part of the Government's overall proposals for improvement in infrastructure and due account has been taken of the requirements and prioriti...More Button

It is my Department's intention to release the projects in architectural planning to construction on a phased basis over a number of years.More Button

Was asked: when he intends to publish the priority list of school building projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I will be publishing my Department's expenditure proposals for primary school buildings in January.More Button

Was asked: the reason no progress has been made on 389 primary schools, listed by his Department as being at the architectural planning phase shortly before the general election; the proposals he has to ensur...More Button

The 450 major primary school projects in architectural planning that are listed on my Department's website were not included in the 2002 construction programme. As they are major projects, they hav...More Button

The starting date for construction of any major school building project depends on factors such as the size of the project, the complexity of the architectural planning, land acquisition where nece...More Button

The financial commitments to be met from building projects already in construction is also an important factor in determining the number of projects that may proceed at any given time.More Button

It is my Department's intention to release the projects in architectural planning to construction on a phased basis over a number of years. I will be announcing my Department's expenditure proposal...More Button

Was asked: if he will approve funding for three primary schools in County Roscommon for which a commitment was given prior to the general election; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I take it that the Deputy is referring to national schools at Ballyfeeney, Clooneyquin and Roxboro.More Button

Tender reports for the three schools are currently with the building unit of my Department. I will be announcing my Department's expenditure proposals for school buildings in the new year. It is no...More Button

Was asked: if he has received correspondence from Deputy Crowe regarding meeting parents and staff of St. Killian's junior and senior schools; and if he will meet the parents and staff to discuss the crisis s...More Button

It is not my intention to have meetings with school groups about building projects because this may convey the impression that decisions on school projects are based on political considerations rat...More Button

I will announce my Department's expenditure proposals in relation to school buildings in the new year. In the meantime, it is not possible to say when individual projects will proceed to tender and...More Button

Was asked: when he will sanction a temporary replacement building for Ennis educate together national school, Ennis, County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department authorised the school authorities, subject to certain conditions, to prepare revised tender documentation for the proposed provision of improved temporary accommodation.More Button

When this documentation is completed by the school's consultant architect the project will be considered further in the light of the available funds in 2003 for such projects. In the meantime the s...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the accuracy of his replies to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 236 to 261, inclusive, of 10 December; and if he will make a statement to address the concerns of the pa...More Button

The position is as set out in my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 236 to 261, inclusive, of 10 December.More Button

Was asked: the reason Ennis educate together national school was refused a temporary building in September; if his officials will re-examine the matter in view of the poor condition of the current premises; a...More Button

My Department authorised the school authorities, subject to certain conditions, to prepare revised tender documentation for the proposed provision of improved temporary accommodation.More Button

When this documentation is completed by the school's consultant architect the project will be considered further in the light of the available funds in 2003 for such projects.More Button

In the meantime, the school's board of management should use their devolved grant to deal with any urgent health and safety works.More Button

Was asked: if his Department will fast track the provision in principle of a new primary school in Newcastle in advance of a local area plan, in view of the cramped conditions in St. Finian's national school ...More Button

My Department has requested South Dublin County Council to reserve a site in the Newcastle Lyons area plan, which my officials have been informed is in the final stages of preparation. The Deputy w...More Button

Pending the production of the area plan and the determining of primary school needs in the area my Department has arranged for health and safety works to be carried out at St. Finian's national sch...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that his Department gave approval to County Galway VEC to proceed to tender stage for the provision of a science laboratory, refurbished home economics r...More Button

In October of this year, a tender report was received in the building unit of my Department from County Galway VEC for works at Tuam vocational school. An examination of the report revealed discrep...More Button

Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 32.More Button

Was asked: if his Department intends sending a consultant to investigate persistent sewage odours in classrooms at St. Peter the Apostle junior and senior schools, Neilstown, as requested by the schools.More Button

Was asked: if his Department intends sending a consultant to investigate persistent nefarious odours in classrooms at St. Peter the Apostle junior and senior Schools, Neilstown, as requested by the schools.More Button

Was asked: the reason planning for major roofing projects at Neilstown national school are at an early stage when the school roof was replaced in 1999 and is in fine condition and when other projects such as ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 to 141, inclusive, together.More Button

I take it the Deputy is referring to St. Peter the Apostle junior and senior schools, roll Nos. 19569 and 19642, in Parliamentary Question No. 141.More Button

My Department did grant aid roof works at these schools in 1999 and has no plans for any further such works.More Button

Architectural planning for window and fencing projects at St. Peter the Apostle junior and senior schools, Neilstown is at an advanced stage.More Button

I will announce my Department's proposals in relation to school buildings in the new year. In the meantime, it is not possible to say when projects will proceed to tender and construction.More Button

My Department will be in touch with the school authorities as soon as possible regarding the sewage odours in the classrooms. The schools should use their devolved grant to deal with any urgent hea...More Button

Was asked: if additional funding is available to Coláiste Pádraig, Lucan, for the renewal and redecoration of its old building, notwithstanding the ongoing work on the construction of the new ex...More Button

My Department is committed to the funding of the extension project and associated refurbishment works at the school in question.More Button

When an application for additional accommodation is being considered in any school the existing accommodation is also examined and consideration is given to educational spaces that require refurbis...More Button

It must be stressed that the capital allocation available to my Department is not intended for redecoration of existing accommodation. This work is considered to be a matter for the school authorit...More Button

Written Answers. - Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Was asked: the programmes in place in schools to combat alcohol and drug abuse; the cost of running these programmes in 2002; the reviews which have been carried out into the effectiveness of these programmes...More Button

Education concerning alcohol and drug misuse and abuse is addressed in both primary and post primary schools in the context of the social, personal and health education, SPHE, curriculum. Specific ...More Button

In addition to this, a budget of €645,000 was allocated in the financial year 2002 to support this service in primary schools in the local drug task force areas. From this budget a once off Wa...More Button

In post-primary schools, the implementation of SPHE, which incorporates substance misuse education and prevention, at junior cycle has been supported by the post-primary SPHE support service since ...More Button

Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: when it is intended to introduce the payment of maintenance grants through a unified and flexible grants payments system in regard to the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government; and...More Button

My Department funds four maintenance grant schemes for third level and further education students. These are the higher education grants scheme, the vocational education committees' scholarships sc...More Button

Given the nature of the student support schemes and the application, means testing and disbursement processes involved, officials of my Department have engaged with officials of the Department of S...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the time frame for delivering on the commitments in the agreed programme for Government of June 2002, is the term of office of the Government. When I have had an oppor...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the reduction of 13% in the funding for university scholarships, research grants and fellowships in his Department's estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The 2003 budgets for each of the research areas funded by my Department have not yet been determined or notified to the agencies.More Button

The overall provision for research has increased from a revised estimates volume figure of €41.139 million in 2002 to €48.87 million in 2003. This increase reflects my commitment to maint...More Button

The costs of schemes administered by the agencies such as the Higher Education Authority, Institutes of Technology, Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, Irish Research Co...More Button

Following the consultation process budgets will be finalised and notified to the agencies.More Button

Question No. 82 answered with Question No. 61.More Button

Written Answers. - School Enrolments.

Was asked: his plans to introduce a standardised enrolment policy for primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Statutory rights to choice of school derive from the Education Act 1998, section 6 of which provides for a number of objects to which those concerned with the implementation of the Act must have re...More Button

At present, officials in my Department are working with officials in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Government with a view to drawing up regulations under the Act governing the prep...More Button

Where a board of management refuses to enrol a student in a school the parent of the student or, where the student has reached 18 years of age, the student themselves, following the conclusion of a...More Button

Written Answers. - Private Schools.

Was asked: his plans to review the level of financial support provided by the State to private fee paying schools, especially having regard to spending restrictions in other areas; and if he will make a state...More Button

Was asked: the proposals he is considering to require fee paying schools to admit a quota of disadvantaged students; the way in which the proposed system would work; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: his plans regarding allowing people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter private fee paying schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 73 and 75 together.More Button

The total annual amount paid in respect of fee-charging secondary schools is some €77.5 million. Of this sum, approximately €68.5 million relates to salaries and allowances of teachers. T...More Button

I have no plans, at this stage, to withdraw State support for the payment of teachers in fee-charging schools. This support has been a long standing feature of our education system and one continue...More Button

Written Answers. - Early School Leavers.

Was asked: the progress which has been made to counteract early school leaving in areas with high levels of drug misuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Early school leaving is the most significant cause of keeping people caught in cycles of disadvantage and is a key indicator for subsequent difficulties including long-term unemployment, homelessne...More Button

My Department's strategies to tackle the problem of early school leaving have included widening the educational experience available to students. The aim is to achieve a greater level of inclusiven...More Button

Evidence generated from the pilot phases of the school completion programme shows that the most effective way of addressing educational disadvantage is through an integrated services approach and n...More Button

Such concentrated and focused deployment of funds should lead to more and more young people staying on and completing second level education. That is the most effective way to assist in redressing ...More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Institutions Redress Board.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the operation to date of the Educational Institutions Redress Board.More Button

The Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2000 was signed into law by the President on 10 April 2002. The Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 provides for the establishment of the Residentia...More Button

The redress board is accommodated in Belfield Office Park, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4. Judge Kieran O'Connor, retired judge of the Circuit Court presided over the planning stages for the redress board, t...More Button

It was of vital importance that the procedures and practices of the board were drafted and prepared in as sensitive and user friendly manner as possible for victims. Prior to formulating an applica...More Button

Was asked: when he will proceed to appoint a new Chairman to the Redress Board; when the other members of the Board will finally be appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2000, was signed into law by the President on 10 April 2002. The Act provides for the establishment of the Residential Institutions Redress Board. The purp...More Button

Judge Kieran O'Connor, retired judge of the Circuit Court, presided over the planning stages for the board, together with Professor Desmond Greer, Dr. Helen Cummiskey and Dr. Ruth Pilkington. It wa...More Button

The board commenced an advertising campaign in Ireland on 1 December 2002 informing possible applicants that application forms and a guide to the application process are available from its offices ...More Button

Written Answers. - School Curriculum.

Was asked: if it is intended to implement the recommendation of the task force on physical sciences that science should be a compulsory subject for all junior certificate students; and if he will make a state...More Button

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment advises on the curriculum for primary and post-primary schools. Science is now a part of the curriculum for all primary school students. The vast ...More Button

All pupils should have an opportunity to study science at junior cycle level and they should be encouraged to do so. This aim can best be realised through persuasion rather than by compulsion. I am...More Button

Was asked: the percentage of pupils at primary and second level who are classed as exceptionally able; the way in which such exceptional ability is recognised; the programmes in place to assist such pupils to...More Button

Pupils of exceptional ability may be considered as those pupils who perform at the extreme upper end of the continuum of normal ability in one or more areas, such as the cognitive domain, music, ar...More Button

Exceptional ability is recognised through teacher vigilance and classroom observation, performance on achievement and ability tests, through assessments by educational psychologists and through nom...More Button

Under the terms of the Education Act, 1998 it is a function of the board of management of each school to publish the policy of the school relating to participation by students with special educatio...More Button

In recent years new syllabi and curricula have been devised for second level schools. These have been devised in such a way that the differing needs of a wide range of pupil ability can be catered ...More Button

While content is outlined in the curricula at both levels, process is also heavily emphasised. Enabling children to learn is stressed and facilitated. The development of language skills, investigat...More Button

In general, schools at both primary and second level attempt to use strategies such as curriculum differentiation, curriculum enrichment and acceleration to facilitate the development of pupils who...More Button

In addition, in 2002 my Department provided funding of €80,000 to the Centre for Talented Youth at Dublin City University to support its work in delivering programmes which are designed specif...More Button

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 53.More Button

Was asked: the action he intends to take to address the low uptake of science at second level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am very conscious of concerns expressed about the uptake of the sciences at second level. Before outlining the measures being taken by my Department to address the issue, I should point out that ...More Button

At junior certificate level there is one science subject and the uptake of this subject has been consistently high, with approximately 89% of the cohort studying it. At leaving certificate level th...More Button

The uptake of physics and chemistry has been a cause of concern for some time. I should mention that this is so, not just in Ireland, but also in most developed economies. The decline in uptake of ...More Button

The task force on the physical sciences presented its final report in March. A consultative period followed, with a deadline for submissions of 1 September 2002. Last month I brought a memorandum t...More Button

I am confident that the measures already in place, together with those being planned by my Department in response to the task force report, will have a significant impact on the uptake of the scien...More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made with reference to the primary schools sports initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The primary school curriculum was launched in 1999. In 2001, the Minister for Education and Science set up a task force representative of the partners in education and the sporting bodies to advise...More Button

The primary school sports initiative was established under the auspices of the task force to introduce a pilot programme in physical education. A national co-ordinator and two assistant co-ordinato...More Button

Some 27 schools with 350 teachers were selected to participate in the pilot projects. To date, 2.5 days in-service training in four strands of the physical education curriculum have been provided f...More Button

As part of the primary school sports initiatives, grants of €635 were paid to all schools in 2001, and again in 2002, to enable them to purchase equipment for teaching physical education. Desi...More Button

Feedback on the effectiveness of the primary school sports initiative was obtained verbally and in evaluation forms from the teachers who participated in inservice. An evaluator has now been appoin...More Button

The primary school sports initiative team has worked in collaboration with other sporting organisations in drawing up guidelines for coaches who are involved in providing programmes in schools. The...More Button

Questions Nos. 87 and 88 answered with Question No. 32.More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the consultation he has had or plans to have, with interest groups regarding the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Following the general election I decided that, rather than proceed with the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2002, I would allow more time for further consultation among all those inte...More Button

I intend to bring proposals for revised legislation to Government early in the new year with a view to publishing a Bill in March.More Button

Was asked: the reviews which are taking place regarding provision of resource teachers and special needs assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Children with special needs in the primary school system have an automatic entitlement to a response to their needs. The nature and level of the response is based on the professionally assessed nee...More Button

The survey established that of the 6,908 pupils enrolled in the schools surveyed, 3% were enrolled in special classes, 6% were in receipt of resource teacher support and 12% were in receipt of lear...More Button

In view of the survey's findings, arrangements were made for an immediate review of the 788 applications for resource teacher and special needs assistant support recently received in my Department ...More Button

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 41.More Button

Was asked: if he will assist the seven children with disabilities receiving services outside the State; if he will act to bring the services to the families rather than the families having to travel for servi...More Button

I am most anxious that children with disabilities should have their needs addressed within the jurisdiction.More Button

Decisions to place children in facilities outside the State are only taken in exceptional circumstances and usually arise because of the very specialised educational or health care or medical needs...More Button

The majority of the cases to which the Deputy refers relate to children on the autistic spectrum for whom placements abroad were arranged prior to the formal introduction of dedicated school based ...More Button

It is open to the parents of the children in question to seek placements for their children in this jurisdiction and to avail of the significantly increased levels of service which have since becom...More Button

Was asked: the provision which has been made for the appropriate second level education of children who are currently in special outreach classes, and for children with autism in mainstream primary schools wh...More Button

My Department allocates resource posts, special needs assistant posts and concessionary teaching hours to second level schools and vocational education committees to cater for special needs pupils....More Button

I am taking steps to ensure that the necessary arrangements are put in place for an efficient and effective system for service delivery for special needs pupils. A key development in this regard ha...More Button

I also intend to bring forward legislation, based on the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill, to clarify the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities to an education service an...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3 will receive the maximum education care.More Button

I would be anxious to ensure that the child in question, in common with all children with special needs, receives the support he requires to enable him to benefit fully from the education system. T...More Button

Concern has previously been expressed to my Department regarding the non-availability of a respite care service in this case. Responsibility for respite services rests with the relevant health auth...More Button

I am arranging for my Department to make further contact with the Department of Health and Children in relation to this matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Student Support Schemes.

Was asked: the terms of reference of the review of student support provisions he has commissioned; the person by whom the review is being undertaken; when its results are expected to be available; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the proposals he is considering which would require students attending third level institutions to take out repayable loans to pay for tuition costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to introduce a loan scheme for third level students; if he has sought a report on the issue; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 61, 63 and 82 together.More Button

A review of student support provisions is under way with the aim of ensuring that the benefits of the substantial investment being made are maximised in accordance with the following terms of refer...More Button

To review the present system of tuition fees and student supports, having regard to international experience, in order to provide options for the Minister's consideration with a view to ensuring gr...More Button

This review will cover a broad range of topics relating to the schemes of student support including the level of maintenance grants, eligibility, income limits with respect to the grants, the free ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Estimates.

Was asked: the reason for the reduction of 10% in the funding for second level schools, building grants and capital costs, in his Department's Estimates for 2003, especially having regard to the poor conditio...More Button

In light of the overall changing economic and financial circumstances, a modest reduction of less than 5% has been made to the second level schools building programme for 2003.More Button

Question No. 63 answered with Question No. 61.More Button

Written Answers. - University Examinations.

Was asked: the reason fourth year students at Dublin City University were repeatedly told that a subject called science and society was non-examinable, although files obtained under Freedom of Information ind...More Button

Was asked: the reason students in DCU were offered extra marks in an exam to give evidence against a person (details supplied).More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 70 together.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Universities Act, 1997 confers autonomous statutory responsibilities on universities in relation to the day-to-day management of their affairs. I have no information in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Recognition.

Was asked: the proposed new appeals system for the recognition of new primary schools; when the new system will be in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I intend to introduce an appeals facility as part of a more comprehensive procedure for dealing with applications for the recognition of new primary schools. The new procedure is based on recommend...More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made in relation to granting recognition to Gael Coláiste St. Augustine's College, Duckspool, Dungarvan, County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The application for recognition of an all-Irish unit at St. Augustine's College is being considered in the planning section of my Department.More Button

Every effort will be made to ensure that a decision is made in this case as soon as possible in 2003.More Button

Written Answers. - Community Support Framework.

Was asked: the technical accounting issues in the processing of some receipts in respect of the 2000-2006 community support framework; the resulting shortfall in receipts; when he expects these to be paid; an...More Button

Schools and third-level colleges engaged in the delivery of EU-aided programmes under the 2000-2006 Community Support Framework, are also involved in the delivery of other non EU-aided programmes. ...More Button

With regard to the current 2000-2006 round, an issue has arisen in relation to the methodology used since 1997 to apportion the above overheads. This has delayed the processing of expenditure retur...More Button

Question No. 70 answered with Question No. 67.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to claims made in the report of the National Forum on Primary Education, that a number of primary schools were discriminating against poorer and weaker pupils in the...More Button

Pupils and parents enjoy a number of legal rights regarding their choice of school for primary education. These derive from the Constitution, legislation and my Department's rules.More Button

Statutory rights to choice of school derives from the Education Act 1998, section 6 of which provides for a number of objects to which those concerned with the implementation of the Act must have r...More Button

In addition, section 15 (2)(d) of the 1998 Act provides that a board of management of a primary school shall “publish, in such manner as the board with the agreement of the patron considers ...More Button

At present, officials in my Department are working with officials in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Government with a view to drawing up regulations under the Act governing the prep...More Button

It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of schools that are not in a position to admit all pupils seeking entry to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act....More Button

Where a board of management refuses to enrol a student in a school the parent of the student or, where the student has reached 18 years of age, the student themselves, following the conclusion of a...More Button

In addition, in cases where parents experience difficulties in having their child admitted to the school system, my Department gives assistance in securing a suitable school placement through the i...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Funding.

Was asked: the specific proposals he has to meet the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government, to ensure that every school attains set modern standards; the proposed set standards; and if he wil...More Button

The Government remains committed to continuing the work that it has started and to consolidate the substantial progress that has already been made in order to ensure that the needs of schools throu...More Button

In order to ensure the long-term planning of capital provision through a precise and detailed identification of accommodation needs in schools, my Department has undertaken, on a pilot basis, a com...More Button

The proposed standards will be largely based on the planning guidelines for primary and post-primary schools currently used by my Department.More Button

Question No. 75 answered with Question No. 53.More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Education Centres.

Was asked: his plans to implement the Government decision to establish the west Cork third level campus in Skibbereen; and his proposals in this regard.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in 2000 my predecessor announced plans to strengthen the education base in regions which are not well served at present and to establish effective links with higher and furt...More Button

Following further consideration of the matter it was decided last year to proceed with plans to develop outreach centres in Wexford and Kilkenny. The position, as already outlined to the Deputy in ...More Button

Written Answers. - National Drugs Strategy.

Was asked: if the Walk Tall and On my Own Two Feet programmes have been implemented in all schools in the local drugs task force areas; if the evaluation of said programmes has been completed; and if he will ...More Button

Action 32 of the national drugs strategy 2001 to 2008 requires that the Walk Tall and On My Own Two Feet programmes be implemented in all schools in local drugs task force, LDTF, areas in the conte...More Button

Since the launch of the strategy, specific measures have been taken by my Department to support all primary and post primary schools in the LDTF areas in addressing the substance use aspect of the ...More Button

Evaluations of the implementation of Walk Tall and On My Own Two Feet in LDTF area schools are currently under way and the reports are expected to be available in the first half of 2003. The evalua...More Button

The most recent survey by my Department, which was completed in early 2002, indicated that 71% of primary schools and 66% of post-primary schools in LDTF areas were implementing Walk Tall and On My...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the reason for the reduction of 81% in the allocation for other capital projects in the third level sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the capital development of the Irish Academy for the Performing Arts will not be progressed in 2003, it is not necessary to provide funding at this time.More Button

The allocation is adequate to meet the contractual commitments on other projects in the subhead.More Button

Written Answers. - Youth Services.

Was asked: the assistance given by his Department to the No Name Club organisation; his views on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The No Name Club receives funding from my Department under the youth service grants scheme, which is administered by the youth affairs section. Funding is made available on an annual basis through ...More Button

In 2002, the No Name Club has been allocated €106,658 under this scheme towards the costs associated with its on-going programmes and services. This figure represents a 5.5.% increase over 200...More Button

This organisation has received a 65% increase in funding over the last four years, which is an indication of the importance which I and my Department place on the work of the organisation. Local no...More Button

An application for financial assistance for 2003 will be considered in the light of available financial resources and existing commitments.More Button

Written Answers. - School Transport.

Was asked: the cost of implementing each of the recommendations of the Education Committee report on school transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will implement the recommendations of the Education Committee report on school transport.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 and 125 together.More Button

In 2001, following a review of the school transport scheme and taking account of the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee Report on School Transport, a number of improvements were put ...More Button

These included reducing the qualifying distance for eligibility for school transport for primary school pupils aged ten and over from 3 to 2 miles, so that all primary pupils are treated equally fo...More Button

The scope of the remote area grants, payable to pupils in certain circumstances, was extended and the rate of grant payable increased. The travelling and waiting time for post primary pupils was re...More Button

A consultation paper regarding safety on school buses, including the seating arrangements and the provision of seatbelts was produced by the Department of the Environment and Local Government, Bus ...More Button

It is not possible, at this stage, to provide a costing regarding each recommendation of the committee report.More Button

Written Answers. - Vocational Education Committees.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the financial management of the vocational education committees throughout the country; if all vocational education committees have up to date audited annual accoun...More Button

The audit of VEC accounts falls within the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General. If during the examination of a VEC's accounts, the Comptroller and Auditor General considers that there is a...More Button

In relation to the VEC accounts for 2000, audits have been concluded in 14 vocational education committees and one section 7(4) report has been raised. Audits are ongoing in the balance of the voca...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the State properties, both lands and buildings, in the ownership of his Department; the present use of same in each case; and if it is available for disposal.More Button

The information as sought by the Deputy is not readily available in my Department. If the Deputy has a particular query in relation to a specific building or site I will endeavour to provide the re...More Button

In general all buildings and sites purchased by my Department are currently used for educational purposes or intended for use for future educational purposes.More Button

Written Answers. - Autism Services.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the group called Abhaile and the fact that it intends to set up a CABAS school in Meath-Louth to cater for 18 children with autism (details supplied); if his atte...More Button

I am aware of the group in question and its proposal to establish a CABAS school to cater for children with autism in the Meath-Louth area.More Button

Officials of my Department have met representatives of the group in question and outlined the Department's requirements in relation to the funding of such projects. The key issues related to the ne...More Button

My Department subsequently issued a detailed response to funding proposals put forward by the group. The response in question set out the Department's funding proposals across a range of issues and...More Button

Arising from my Department's response, the group has sought a further meeting with my Department. Arrangements will be made to hold this meeting early in the new year.More Button

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Written Answers. - North-South Education System.

Was asked: his views on the idea of the development of an All-Ireland education system; his further views on the benefits this could bring to all the people of this island; the work his Department has done in...More Button

In An Agreed Programme for Government the Government determined that the overriding priority would be to secure lasting peace in Ireland through, inter alia, the development of a spirit of f...More Button

One of my major objectives is to contribute to the achievement of this priority through the development of North-South co-operation and common action, in our common interest, in the area of educati...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Good Friday Agreement provides for co-operation through implementation bodies, common policies and separate implementation.More Button

Aspects of education were identified among the areas for North-South co-operation and implementation. In a joint statement of 18 December 1998 the Northern First Minister and the Deputy First Minis...More Button

These have been the subject of ongoing discussions and conclusions within the North-South Ministerial Council education sector format, which despite the political difficulties that have emerged sin...More Button

Co-operation in education at primary, postprimary and third level is maintained across a very wide area of activity including school exchange, joint school projects, Irish language, youth exchange ...More Button

Specific provision has been made in measure 5.5 of PEACE II to provide funding for approved projects in support of education, cross-Border school and youth co-operation. The Departments of educatio...More Button

Departments of education North and South have also been mandated to explore the potential for further areas of co-operation in education, which might be proposed in future programmes of work. There...More Button

Co-operation in relation to the development of policy on education and training has gained considerable momentum at EU level with the approval of the EU Education Ministers, in February 2001, of a ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: the extra resources he has provided to educational establishments to pay wages to which their employees are entitled under the terms of the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001; and i...More Button

The 2003 education Estimates have been settled on the basis that all contractual commitments arising next year must be met within the 2003 provision. Allocations to individual institutions have yet...More Button

Written Answers. - Institute of Technology Report.

Was asked: if he has received the O'Hanlon report on Limerick Institute of Technology; his plans to publish the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The O'Hanlon report was a confidential report commissioned by the institute of technology to assist it in its deliberations in relation to a breach in the integrity of the institute's examinations....More Button

On foot of the report, the governing body of the institute decided to ask the Minister for Education and Science to set up a sworn inquiry into the matter. It was decided to accede to the governing...More Button

Given that the O'Hanlon report was commissioned by the institute and merely furnished to me, it is a matter for the governing body rather than me to decide whether it should be published. I have no...More Button

Written Answers. - Access to Education.

Was asked: the percentage of children from the Dublin 1 area who attend third level education; the percentage who complete their leaving certificate; the percentage who drop out of second level education; and...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is being compiled by my Department and will be forwarded directly to him.More Button

Written Answers. - Literacy Levels.

Was asked: the literacy levels of children at 15 years of age in the Dublin 1 area.More Button

My Department does not compile literacy statistics for specific geographical areas and so the information requested by the Deputy is not available.More Button

Written Answers. - National Centre for the Visually Impaired.

Was asked: if maximum assistance and support will be given to all involved in the plan for the national centre for the visually impaired, Grace Park Road, Dublin 9; and his plans to keep this project moving f...More Button

As previously indicated to the Deputy, the project team engaged to consider an overall development strategy in relation to the proposed centre has only recently presented its report to my Department.More Button

I am satisfied that the project team's report is receiving appropriate attention within my Department and that issues arising from it will be addressed without undue delay.More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Disadvantage.

Was asked: if he will target educational resources to the 8% of children that are living in severe poverty.More Button

Since my appointment as Minister for Education and Science, I have made it clear, at every opportunity, that addressing educational disadvantage is my top priority. It is my intention to ensure tha...More Button

My overall approach to tackling educational disadvantage is set in the context of An Agreed Programme for Government and the Government's national anti-poverty strategy. Education is a central elem...More Button

The NAPS approach for education is based on a continuum of provision, from early childhood through adulthood, with the focus on preventive strategies, targeting and integrated community responses. ...More Button

The school completion programme incorporates the elements of best practice established by the eight to 15 year old early school leaver initiative and the stay-in-school retention initiative at seco...More Button

The home-school-community liaison service serves primary and second level schools with designated disadvantaged status. The scheme promotes active co-operation between home, school and community ag...More Button

In addition to these three schemes a wide range of other supports are in place including those for Traveller children, children of non-nationals and other vulnerable groups. Also, the establishment...More Button

In all this work I am advised by the statutory educational disadvantage committee set up under the Education Act, 1998, to advise on the policies and strategies to be adopted to identify and correc...More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Guidance Service.

Was asked: the number of projects under the adult educational guidance initiative which are located in County Meath; the location of same and the funding allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Under the adult educational guidance initiative there are 26 projects located throughout the country with the aim of providing a quality educational guidance service for adults.More Button

The first phase of ten projects began early in 2000. The second phase of eight projects began in autumn 2001 and the third phase of another eight projects in summer/autumn 2002.More Button

All projects in the initiative have been selected by an inter-agency selection committee on foot of applications which were publicly advertised. None of the 26 projects approved to date are located...More Button

Since the beginning of the initiative the following funding has been provided by my Department: 2000 –€454,286; 2001 –€1,262,900; and 2002 –€2,646,844.More Button

A sum of €44.5 million has been earmarked for this service in the National Development Plan 2000-2006 with a view to having a comprehensive service in place by 2006.More Button

Written Answers. - Crime Awareness Programme.

Was asked: the statistics in respect of County Meath in relation to the copping on programme which began in 1996 in the Department of Education and Science and has trained over 1,500 people from organisations...More Button

The crime awareness programme copping on is funded by my Department, FÁS and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in co-operation with the Prison Service and the Garda juvenile...More Button

The following table prepared by the copping on office indicates the number of people from County Meath who have received training over the past six years:More Button

The national copping on initiative was funded in 2002 to a level of €92,410 by my Department. The overall annual expenditure is of the order of €190,000 with the balance being paid by oth...More Button

Written Answers. - National Youth Work Development Plan.

Was asked: the funding needed and available to implement the national youth work development plan; the timescale in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The proposals for the national youth work development plan are currently with my Department. They have been approved, in principle, by the Minister for State with responsibility for youth affairs. ...More Button