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Quinn, Ruairí

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 Nbr. 3


Written Answers - FÁS Training Programmes

Was asked: the arrangements in place or are intended to be put in place for FÁS/Solas to reduce delays in providing certificates including competency certificates for those who have satisfactorily comp...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Meath will be allocated a place on a FÁS ECDL course; the reason for the waiting list for ECDL course places when there is a high demand; and if he...More Button

I am informed by FÁS that the individual in question commenced an ECDL course on the 20th March 2012 in Drogheda. ECDL courses are very popular and a very high number of clients have been re...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: when it is expected that the new education and training authority SOLAS will be finally set up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding student grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I announced last December, the means test for student grants will be amended to take account of the value of certain capital assets as well as income for the 2013/14 academic year.More Button

A dedicated Capital Asset Test implementation group has been established. The group has been charged with bringing forward detailed implementation proposals on new means testing arrangements for st...More Button

However, any proposals will require further Government agreement and necessitate legislative amendment.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 211 of 13 March 2012, if he will provide clarification to a person (details supplied) regarding their student grant application; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the decision on eligibility for grant assistance is a matter for the relevant grant awarding authority — a local authority or VEC. More Button

Further to my answer in this case to Parliamentary Question No. 211 of 13 March 2012, officials of my Department have been in contact with the VEC concerned. I understand that the applicant applie...More Button

In the circumstances, any further queries in relation to this application should be directed to the VEC.More Button

If the applicant has been deemed ineligible for a student grant by the grant awarding authority, that decision may be appealed to the awarding authority’s appeals officer. Where the appeals o...More Button

Was asked: if he will ensure that the eligibility criteria for higher education grants for farmers' sons and daughters remains based on the yearly income of the farmer rather than the capital assets of the fa...More Button

As I announced last December, the means test for student grants will be amended to take account of the value of certain capital assets as well as income for the 2013-14 academic year. A dedicated ...More Button

Was asked: the method by which the distance from a person’s normal residence to an approved institution is measured for the purposes of determining whether an applicant is eligible for an adjacent or no...More Button

The measurement of the distances for student grant purposes is a matter for grant awarding bodies — the relevant local authority or VEC.More Button

There has been no change as to how these distances are measured. As in the past for all cases, the shortest most direct route to the institution attended is measured. I understand that a range of m...More Button

If the distance is disputed, the matter should be taken up with the grant awarding body concerned. In some cases, it may be necessary to carry out a physical measurement.More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I announced last December, the means test for student grants will be amended to take account of the value of certain capital assets as well as income for the 2013/14 academic year.More Button

A dedicated Capital Asset Test implementation group has been established. The group has been charged with bringing forward detailed implementation proposals on new means testing arrangements for st...More Button

However, any proposals will require further Government agreement and necessitate legislative amendment.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a student grant application to Dublin VEC (details supplied); and if they may appeal a decision as they did not receive correspondence from the VEC and therefore did not supp...More Button

The decision on eligibility for grant assistance under the student grant scheme is a matter for the relevant grant awarding authority, i.e. local authority or Vocational Education Committee.More Button

The closing date for receipt of completed grant applications including all required supporting documentation for the 2011/12 academic year was the 31st August, 2011. It is a matter for each grant ...More Button

As this is a matter between the candidate and the grant awarding authority concerned, any queries in relation to the candidate’s grant application, correspondence issued to the candidate or o...More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite an appeal in the case of a student grant application (details supplied) in County Kildare; if he will consider the issues raised in correspondence; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

A student may appeal the decision of the grant awarding authority’s appeals officer to my Department or the Student Grants Appeals Board, as appropriate.More Button

Appeals on grant applications made under the Student Grant Scheme 2011 and subsequent schemes are appropriate to the Appeals Board. This is provided for under the Student Support Act 2011. Appeals...More Button

As the appeal from the student referred to by the Deputy related to a grant application made under a previous scheme, it was considered by my Department rather than the Appeals Board. A response h...More Button

Written Answers - Home Tuition

Was asked: if extra home tuition hours will be allocated to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Home Tuition scheme provides funding to parents to provide for education at home for children who, for a number of reasons such as chronic illness, are unable to attend school. The scheme was e...More Button

Eligibility for children with a medical condition is assessed with reference to a completed medical report and attendance records supplied by the school in which the pupil is enrolled. The allocat...More Button

The allocation made to the child referred to by the Deputy cannot be increased for the remainder of this school year.More Button

Written Answers - Teachers’ Remuneration

Was asked: if he will clarify whether teachers may work a maximum of 25 hours per week; if he will further clarify if a resource or learning support teacher may only work a number of hours per week, whereas a...More Button

The issues raised by the Deputy are being examined by officials from my Department and a reply will issue direct to the Deputy. More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing

Was asked: his plans to allow a school (details supplied) in County Donegal to retain its permanent learning support teacher; if not, if an avenue is open to them to appeal this loss; and if he will make a st...More Button

Was asked: if he will examine the case of a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny which requires 25 general allocation teaching hours, and the difficulties being faced by the principal of the school in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 184 together.More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue ...More Button

The new simplified approach to the General Allocation Model of support for schools will make it easier to automatically update it annually in line with the changes in the number of classroom teache...More Button

The GAM/EAL allocation for each school is conditional on schools making all reasonable efforts to combine their GAM/EAL hours into full-time GAM/EAL posts through contact with neighbouring schools....More Button

There are also new and separate arrangements for how resource hours for individual pupils are converted into teaching posts in schools. The requirement for resource hours in a school varies from ye...More Button

All of the changes are designed to enable a more efficient operation of the teacher allocation and redeployment process and to reduce the impact of travel time between schools where teachers are sh...More Button

The staffing schedule also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board. Details of the criteria for appeal are contained in ...More Button

Was asked: if he will take action to ensure that a school (details supplied) in Dublin 17, does not lose two of its legacy posts in the staffing schedule for the school year 2012/2013; and if he will make a s...More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the alloc...More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers is a DEIS Band 1 School but was not among the 140 DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 schools included in the recent report on the impact, in terms of posts, that certain B...More Button

Applying the new staffing schedule for Band 1 schools to this school, it is due to lose two mainstream class teachers due to falling enrolment for the 2012/13 school year.More Button

The allocation process also includes an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the ci...More Button

The closing date for submission of appeals for the April meeting of the Staffing Appeals Board was 23 March, 2012. The Appeals Board meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 April, 2012 which will b...More Button

Further meetings of the Appeals Board will be held as required in June and October, 2012. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final. The final staffing po...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers has submitted an appeal.More Button

Was asked: his views [776]on the suppression of four teaching posts in a school (details supplied) in County Donegal in the past year; if he will review the staffing situation of t...More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the alloc...More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

Arising from the decisions taken following Budget 2012, of the 328 DEIS Rural primary schools, 16 of these schools with legacy posts will lose one teaching post each, including the school referred ...More Button

The Appeals Board meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 April, 2012 which will be prior to the release of the main redeployment panel and allow for any impact of the Board’s decision on red...More Button

The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until later in 2012. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staffing Appeal Boa...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which urgently required extra facilities at a school (details supplied) have been identified in the wake of meeting special needs provisions; if he will identify the full extent of ex...More Button

I understand that the Deputy’s question relates to the provision of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support at the school referred to by him. More Button

I wish to advise that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating SNAs to schools to s...More Button

The NCSE has advised all schools, including the school referred to by the Deputy, of their SNA allocation for the current school year, taking into account the care needs of qualifying pupils attend...More Button

The NCSE has retained a number of SNA posts in order to allocate them over the remainder of the school year in respect of emergency cases or new diagnosis. Should a school seek to have their SNA pr...More Button

Schools have also been advised to make applications to the NCSE for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2012/13 school year by 16th March, 2012. Schools will subsequently be advised by the NC...More Button

Was asked: when the National Council for Special Education review will take place at a school (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating resource ...More Button

Schools have been advised to make applications to the NCSE for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2012/13 school year by 16th March, 2012. Schools will subsequently be advised by the NCSE of...More Button

It is open to schools to contact their local SENO in this regard, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.More Button

Was asked: if he has any plans to reinstate the appeals process for National Council for Special Education decisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for allocating resource...More Button

Whereas the NCSE does not currently have a formal appeal system in place, in relation to the allocation of SNA support, the NCSE has retained a number of SNA posts in order to allocate them over th...More Button

The NCSE has advised my Department that it is in the process of reviewing and developing an appeals process which is intended to be in place for the 2012/13 school year allocations process.More Button

Was asked: the loss of teaching positions and other support positions to a school (details supplied) in County Donegal in 2011/2012 academic year; the proposed reduction in teaching positions and other to the...More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the alloc...More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

Arising from the decisions taken following Budget 2012, of the 328 DEIS Rural primary schools, 16 of these schools with legacy posts will lose one teaching post each, including the school referred ...More Button

The allocation process also includes an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the ci...More Button

The Appeals Board meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 April, 2012 which will be prior to the release of the main redeployment panel and allow for any impact of the Board’s decision on red...More Button

Further meetings of the Appeals Board will be held as required in June and October, 2012. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.More Button

The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until later in 2012. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staffing Appeal Boa...More Button

Was asked: the number of teachers that are employed by the State to teach transition year students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The management authority of each school carries responsibility for making decisions regarding the Transition Year (TY) Programme in that school. Based on information available to my Department the ...More Button

Was asked: the time frame for considering a submission and appeal in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny relative to the retention of a fourth mainstream class teacher and if he will exp...More Button

Was asked: when he expects the final staffing position for primary schools to be known taking into account the work of the appeals board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 227 and 246 together.More Button

The closing date for submission of appeals for the April meeting of the Staffing Appeals Board was 23 March, 2012. The Appeals Board meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 April, 2012 which will b...More Button

Further meetings of the Appeals Board will be held as required in June and October, 2012. The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final. The final staffing po...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding small schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As part of the Budget decisions announced, the number of pupils required to gain and retain a teaching post in small primary schools will be gradually increased between September 2012 and September...More Button

This Government recognises that small schools are an important part of the social fabric of rural communities. They will continue to be a feature of our education landscape. However, this does not ...More Button

My Department has expanded the existing appeals process so that it is accessible to the 73 small schools that are losing a classroom post as a result of the budget measure. These schools will not l...More Button

The Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.More Button

Was asked: the total staffing complement for a school (details supplied) in Dublin 1 for 2011/2012; the number of teachers this school will have for the next school year; if this school will retain its existi...More Button

The total staffing complement for the school referred to by the Deputy in 2011/12 is 7.83 posts. The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 whic...More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers was among the 140 DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 schools included in the recent report on the impact, in terms of posts, that certain Budget measures would have on the...More Button

The main focus of this report concerned additional posts allocated under disadvantage schemes pre-dating DEIS. The outcome of this report was published last month and schools were notified of the G...More Button

As I have already indicated, I requested my Department to examine these schools due to conflicting number of posts being reported as potentially lost to these schools. It was necessary to obtain cl...More Button

Applying the new staffing schedule for Band 1 schools and the Government’s decision in relation to schools retaining posts from previous disadvantage schemes ensures that these schools, inclu...More Button

The allocation processes also include an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the c...More Button

For the coming school year the existing staffing appeals criteria have been extended to enable some limited phasing arrangements for schools where the combination of budget and reform measures impa...More Button

The final staffing position for all schools at primary level will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staf...More Button

Was asked: the reason a DEIS Band 1 primary school (details supplied) in County Tipperary, which had two legacy posts, has not had these posts reinstated in their staffing schedule for 2012/13 as per his anno...More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the alloc...More Button

Applying the new staffing schedule for Band 1 schools to this school, it is due to lose one mainstream class teacher for the 2012/13 school year due to falling enrolment.More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers is a DEIS Band 1 School but was not among the 140 DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 schools included in the recent report on the impact, in terms of posts, that certain B...More Button

The allocation processes also include an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the c...More Button

For the coming school year the existing staffing appeals criteria have been extended to enable some limited phasing arrangements for schools where the combination of budget and reform measures impa...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers has not submitted an appeal.More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a primary school (details supplied) in County Cork is rapidly expanding, that it has recently been forced to use multiple locations, that it will ne...More Button

The building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an early stage of architectural planning. While a site has been identified for purposes of a new permanent school build...More Button

Details of all projects on the Five Year Plan are published on my Department’s website, www.education.ie, and this will be updated regularly.More Button

Was asked: when an application for funding was made in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Mayo; the stage this application is at; the reason this school was not included in the recent announceme...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

The Major Building Project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of Architectural Planning.More Button

School building projects currently in architectural planning, including the project referred to by the Deputy, will continue to be advanced incrementally over time within the context of the funding...More Button

Was asked: the reason two schools (details supplied) in County Meath are not listed as part of the school building programme 2012-2016. More Button

The Deputy will be aware of the demographic challenges that we are facing. Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by almost 70,000 between now and 2018 —...More Button

Was asked: the reason two schools (details supplied) in County Louth are not listed as part of the school building programme 2012-2016 More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

The building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The Design Team are currently working on Stage 2(b) of Architectural Plann...More Button

School building projects currently in architectural planning, including the project referred to by the Deputy, will continue to be advanced incrementally over time within the context of the funding...More Button

However, in light of current competing demands on the Department’s capital budget, it is not possible to progress this project to tender and construction at this time.More Button

Was asked: the criteria used to establish which schools were included in the schools building programme which he recently announced. More Button

The Deputy will be aware of the demographic challenges that we are facing. Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by almost 70,000 between now and 2018 —...More Button

Question No. 184 answered with Question No. 168.More Button

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Laois was not included on the schools building programme announced by him on 12 March 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In view of the need to ensure every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital investmen...More Button

Question No. 188 answered with Question No. 175.More Button

Was asked: the five new schools announced for Lucan, Dublin, when were these projects initiated; the anticipated timeframe for delivery; the stage of these projects; if delays are anticipated; the funding tha...More Button

On the 12th of March I announced a five year plan which outlined the major school projects that will proceed to construction over the lifetime of the plan. Details of the individual projects and th...More Button

A total of €1.5 billion will be spent on those projects included in the five year plan. This expenditure will form part of a larger €2 billion capital investment programme over that period.More Button

There will be a small number of additional projects, required for demographic reasons, which will need to proceed to construction in the lifetime of the Plan which did not form part of my recent an...More Button

Details of the five year plan and the individual projects included in the plan are available on my Department’s website at www.education.gov.ie.More Button

Was asked: when an extension for a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow will take place; if the urgent nature of this extension can be taken into consideration; the current status of the school’s...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, on 12th March last, I announced details of the new major school building projects where construction is expected to commence over the next five years as part of a €1.5 ...More Button

The timeline for when work is expected to proceed is outlined in the announcement. Each project is listed in the year when the commencement of construction works is anticipated. The Department will...More Button

Details of all projects in respect of the current school building programme, including this project, are available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie.More Button

In the meantime, I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has recently approved a temporary mainstream classroom to meet the school’s immediate accommodation needs from September,...More Button

Was asked: when a school (details supplied) in County Meath can expect an announcement about their school building project; when it will go from design stage to the next stage; and if he will make a statement...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

School building projects currently in, or entering into, architectural planning, including the project referred to by the Deputy, will continue to be advanced incrementally over time within the con...More Button

The process of appointing a design team to the school building project referred to by the Deputy is currently nearing completion, i.e. contracts are being signed by the Client and the design team c...More Button

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Galway was not included in the schools building programme considering it had been approved for schools building for the past number of years; and if...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

The process of appointing a design team for the major school building project referred to by the Deputy is nearing completion. Once appointed, the design team will start commence work on Stage 1 o...More Button

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Galway was not included in the schools building programme considering it had been approved for schools building for the past number of years; and if...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

The building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning and the Stage 2(b) submission (Detailed Design) was approved by the Departm...More Button

However, in light of current competing demands on the Department’s capital budget, it is not possible to progress this project to tender and construction at this time.More Button

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Galway was not included in the schools building programme considering it had been approved for school building for the past number of years; and if ...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

The building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The Design Team are currently working on Stage 2(b) of Architectural Pla...More Button

School building projects currently in architectural planning, including the project referred to by the Deputy, will continue to be advanced incrementally over time within the context of the funding...More Button

However, in light of current competing demands on the Department’s capital budget, it is not possible to progress this project to tender and construction at this time.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for an extension to a school (details supplied) in County Cork; if he will confirm whether the position has advanced since his reply on this issue of 1 March 2...More Button

Officials from my Department have recently been in contact with the school to which the Deputy refers and further information regarding their application has been received. This is currently under ...More Button

Question No. 229 answered with Question No. 182.More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs

Was asked: the position regarding the retention of the special class and the existing special needs assistant provision at a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applicat...More Button

The NCSE is responsible for the allocation of resource teaching hours and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) to schools to support children with special educational needs, as well as the establishment...More Button

I have therefore arranged for the Deputy’s question in relation to the continuation of a special class at a particular school to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.More Button

In relation to the allocation of SNAs, I wish to clarify for the Deputy that SNAs are recruited specifically to assist in the care of pupils with disabilities in an educational context. SNA allocat...More Button

Schools have been invited to make applications to the NCSE for SNA support for the 2012/13 school year by 16th March, 2012. Schools will subsequently be advised by the NCSE of their allocation for ...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm when a school place will be made available to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 17. More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through the local special educational needs organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from primary and post primary schools f...More Button

The NCSE also has a role to assist parents in identifying suitable school placements for children with special educational needs.More Button

All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child’s special educational needs, using the contact de...More Button

I have arranged for the matters raised by the Deputy to be forwarded to the NCSE for their direct reply.More Button

Was asked: if he will consult with professional bodies in applied behaviour analysis Ireland to ascertain the extent of the misrepresentation of ABA in the report of the taskforce on Autism. More Button

Was asked: in relation to appropriate investment in education the reason professionals not trained in applied behaviour analysis are being consulted with rather than international organisations representing ...More Button

Was asked: if he will review a matter (details supplied) regarding autism. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 197, 198 and 218 together.More Button

The Task Force on Autism Report was published in 2001 and its recommendations concerning broad educational provision for children on the autistic spectrum from pre-school through to third level pro...More Button

The Task Force was composed of a combination of parents, education and health professionals, advocates and researchers. The professional backgrounds of members included psychiatry, psychology and e...More Button

In line with the recommendations of the Task Force Report, my Department strives to ensure that a continuum of special education provision is available as required for children with special educati...More Button

This policy is based on advice received from my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), research and reviews published by international and national experts, including:More Button

My Department continues to develop policy and programmes for children with special educational needs, including those with autism, and will continue to take relevant professional advice into accoun...More Button

Was asked: the number of autistic children and children with special needs for Inishowen, County Donegal, that are forced to travel to Letterkenny, to avail of post primary education; and his plans to address...More Button

My Department provides for the education of children with special educational needs through a number of support mechanisms depending on the child’s assessed disability. In general, educationa...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing application...More Button

I have therefore arranged for the questions raised by the Deputy to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Health Service Executive recommendations compiled after inspection; the position regarding the implementation of the recommendations; if he will provide any proposals he ...More Button

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the Board of Management of the school in question has advised that the recommendations of the HSE report have been implemented in full. My Department remains...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that my Department’s policy is focused on ensuring that all children including those with autism can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferabl...More Button

The Deputy will be familiar with the standards associated with qualified teachers, the registration of qualified teachers required by the Teaching Council, the probationary process, whereby teacher...More Button

Was asked: if he will end the proposed reduction in provision for special needs students at exam time (details supplied). More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations including organising the holding of examinations, determining procedu...More Button

In view of this I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to him.More Button

Question No. 246 answered with Question No. 227.More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Courses

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the number of degree courses in oil and gas exploration in universities here; if he has plans to address this position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Universities are autonomous institutions and my Department does not have any function in relation to decisions concerning course provision. More Button

Potential students have access to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in science and engineering disciplines many of which contain modules relevant to the field of oil and gas ex...More Button

Written Answers - Gaelscoileanna

De bharr an riachtanais atá ann lena chinntiú go mbíonn rochtain ag gach aon pháiste ar ionad scoile, beidh sé ina phríomhfhócas ag an infheist&iacu...More Button

Tá an tionscadal mór tógála don scoil dá dtagraíonn an Teachta ag ardchéim phleanáil ailtireachta faoi láthair agus thug Aonad Plean&a...More Button

Ní féidir, áfach, i bhfianaise na n-éileamh iomaíocha faoi láthair ar bhuiséad caipitil mo Roinne, an tionscadal seo a chur ar aghaidh chun tairisce...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet the demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital inve...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Fees

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the policy of a university (details supplied) to charge non-EU resident fees for persons who are Irish and EU citizens who have resided in the United States of Am...More Button

Was asked: the directives he has issued to third level institutions as regards Irish and EU citizens who apply for postgraduate courses of study who have lived abroad in non-EU/EEA states but who are classifi...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a situation (details supplied) whereby a university refused to classify an individual as an EU resident and insisted on charging non-EU resident fees; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the reason Irish passport holders who have been abroad for three years or more have to pay significantly larger non-EU rates to partake in education courses when they return home to Ireland, while ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 to 177, inclusive, and 188 together. More Button

Under the terms of my Department’s Free Fee Scheme the Exchequer meets the cost of tuition fees in respect of eligible students who are pursuing full-time undergraduate courses of study which...More Button

Higher education institutions are autonomous bodies and the criteria governing the level of tuition fees to be charged (EU or Non EU rate), in cases where undergraduate students do not qualify for ...More Button

Section 473A, Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, as amended by Section 11 of the Finance Act 2011, provides for tax relief, at the standard rate of tax, for tuition fees paid in respect of approved cou...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation

Was asked: the position regarding an application in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Clare. More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers submitted an application for grant-aid towards ancillary office accommodation in the school. In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a sc...More Button

Was asked: the reason every application by a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary to have the prefabs on the school grounds replaced with proper classrooms has been refused; and if he will make a sta...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that this school has also submitted an application for a major extension refurbishment school project, that includes for the replacement of the temporary accommodation refe...More Button

Written Answers - School Placement

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Meath is not being allowed to continue their dual school placement; the way they can appeal this decision; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: his formal policy on dual placement for children with autism between applied behaviour analysis schools and mainstream schools; if schools are allowed informal arrangements between themselves for t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 and 229 together.More Button

The enrolment of a child in a school is a matter in the first instance for the parents of the child and the Board of Management of a school. My Department has no role in relation to processing appl...More Button

My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools which have enrolled pupils with special educational needs in order to ensure that, wherever a child is enrolled, s/h...More Button

My Department does not facilitate the dual enrolment of children. Children with special educational needs may transfer from special schools to special classes attached to ordinary primary school or...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that my Department strives to ensure that a continuum of special education provision is available as required for children with special educational needs. In line with this...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Amalgamation

Was asked: the reason the amalgamation of two schools (details supplied) in County Laois were not included on the schools building programme announced by him on 12 March 2012; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

In view of the need to ensure that every child has access to a school place, the delivery of major school projects to meet significant demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capi...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the way roofing and construction companies can be included on his Department's tender lists for works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

School building projects are tendered in line with public procurement procedures. There are two methods of tendering, the Restricted procedure and the Open procedure. In both procedures, there ar...More Button

Was asked: the total capital allocation in his Department for school building in 2012; the amount of this which is available for devolved grants; the way the remainder of the allocation will be spent; and if ...More Button

The total capital allocation for my Department is €430 million, of which €357 million has been assigned to the school sector. Expenditure in 2012 on large scale projects and the acquisit...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the cost of the provision of transition year imposed on the Exchequer each year since its conception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Transition Year was introduced as a pilot project in September 1974, and was mainstreamed in September 1994.More Button

My Department is not in a position to provide the information requested by the Deputy going back to 1974. Schools offering transition year are provided with additional teaching and financial resour...More Button

In the current school year, an additional teacher allocation is given to each school in the Free Education Scheme offering the transition year based on a pupil teacher ratio (PTR) of 19 to 1. In th...More Button

Schools in the Free Education Scheme also qualify for payment of a transition year grant of €95 for each pupil participating in the programme. Fee-charging schools do not receive any grant aid...More Button

Written Answers - Training Programmes

Was asked: the eligibility criteria for those 9,000 construction workers who were included in the globalisation funding; and who defined who was eligible and who was excluded under the european globalisation ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: if he will provide a list of staff in his Department that serve as directors of companies arising from their employment; the names of the companies involved; the annual remuneration received, if an...More Button

Three officials from my Department are serving as directors of companies arising from their employment. The officers concerned do not receive remuneration. Mr. Micheál Delaney is a directo...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Expenses

Was asked: the amount of expenses claimed on a monthly basis since March 2011 by all Ministers attached to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Details of the amounts of expenses claimed by the Ministers attached to my Department since March 2011 to date are included in the following table:More Button

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn)More Button

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciaran Cannon)More Button

Written Answers - Statutory Trust Fund

Was asked: the reason he is proceeding with the establishment of the statutory trust fund despite the objection of many survivor group leaders and individuals, and upon the recommendation of which groups or o...More Button

I had a very constructive meeting with groups representing survivors of residential institutional abuse on 22nd July last, when we discussed the Government’s approach to the proposed Statutor...More Button

I am aware that some former residents advocated a simple distribution of the available money rather than the establishment of the Statutory Fund. However, as I outlined when I published the legisla...More Button

I am committed to establishing the proposed Statutory Fund for survivors of institutional abuse. Work on the drafting of the Bill is currently being finalised and I expect to be in a position to p...More Button

Written Answers - Religious Education

Was asked: the reason Ireland mislead the UN Human Rights Committee by rejecting the request to eliminate religious education on the grounds that there are a growing number of non-denominational schools, when...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that Ireland did not mislead the UN Human Rights Committee in any way in relation to this matter. More Button

The UNHRC request in question related to the elimination of religious discrimination in access to education. Ireland did not accept this. There is a growing non-denominational school sector in Irel...More Button

I would like to clarify for the Deputy that there is a distinction between the classification of schools by the Department on the basis of the ethos of the schools as against that of the governance...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: the steps he will take to ensure that the English language sector is represented on the board of directors of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland; and if he will make a st...More Button

Was asked: the reason the advertisement for expressions of interest in being on the board of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland appeared during the Christmas holiday period of the e...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 206 and 207 together.More Button

In December 2011, expressions of interest were sought, through the Public Appointments Service (PAS), from suitably qualified and experienced persons for positions on three Boards of State Bodies u...More Button

In making appointments to any Board vacancies, I am not necessarily confined to those who apply through that process, but I will in all cases ensure that all of those appointed have the relevant qu...More Button

The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill 2011 provides for an eight person board to include an international expert and a representative of learners. The Bill does no...More Button

Sixty expressions of interest were received for positions on the board of QQAAI. The selection of members has not yet taken place.More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum

Was asked: if there is a national transition year curriculum programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme that forms the first year of a three-year senior cycle. More Button

It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate programmes. It is available to all second level schools. Transition Year is optional for students in most sc...More Button

Each school designs its own Transition Year programme to suit the needs and interests of its students. The Transition Year Programmes document 1994-95 published in 1993 provides overarching guideli...More Button

Written Answers - Transition Year Programme

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the number of students who are partaking in transition year in 2012; the number of students per year who have partaken in transition year since its inception; and...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the number of students as a percentage of the cohort of eligible students [785]who are partaking in transition year in 2012; the perce...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214 and 215 together.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available. I have asked my officials to compile the information for the past five years and to forward it to the Deputy as soon as it is available.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to any Irish or international research that has proven education or social benefits resulting from participation in transition year; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

An evaluation of the Transition Year Programme was published by the ESRI in 2005. A key finding from this study was that school principals and teachers see the Transition Year programme as broadly...More Button

The evaluation showed that transition year students were 1.3 more likely to enter higher education, and achieved higher grade point averages in the Leaving Certificate that non transition year prog...More Button

The Transition Year Programme is designed to enable students to experience a wide range of educational inputs, sample subjects which have not been taken at lower second level, and provide for a str...More Button

There are no formal examinations, but schools provide for assessment through a range of test, journal, project and portfolio approaches. Most schools offer a mix of academic subjects, a key focus o...More Button

School musicals, fashion shows, participation in competitions such as the Young Scientist and the Young Enterprise and the Young Social Innovators Programme provide important opportunities for stud...More Button

Some 28,500 students in 550 post-primary schools follow this option (approx 50% of cohort).More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the average extra cost imposed on families who have a child partaking in transition year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Information concerning the costs referred to by the Deputy is not available to my Department. More Button

The key aim of the Transition Year Programme is to provide for a strong focus on personal development, collaborative and experiential learning, learning in the community and work experience. The pr...More Button

Schools are free to devise a flexible modular programme within an overall framework set out by my Department. The cost therefore of the programme is dependent upon the particular circumstances in a...More Button

My Department provides specific teaching resources and additional grant aid to schools that offer transition year.More Button

Question No. 218 answered with Question No. 197.More Button

Was asked: if he will indicate the level of resources which would normally be provided by him to a new post primary school for the purposes of establishing its first transition year programme; if he will indi...More Button

Was asked: if he will indicate the resources, if any, sought by a school (details supplied) for the establishment of a transition year programme for the 2012/2013 academic year; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos 219 and 220 together.More Button

The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme that forms the first year of a three-year senior cycle. It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate pr...More Button

Each school designs its own Transition Year programme to suit the needs and interests of its students. A Transition Year Programmes document is published on my Department’s website and provid...More Button

The management authority of each school carries responsibility for making decisions regarding the Transition Year Programme in that school. In some schools, the programme is compulsory for all stud...More Button

It is the board of management of each individual school that decides the number of places available to students on programmes such as Transition Year. In cases where restrictions apply, schools sho...More Button

My Department has recently published Circular 0009/2012 setting out the staffing arrangements for post-primary schools for the 2012/13 school year. A proportion of posts allocated to post-primary ...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy has projected that there will be 24 pupils in Transition Year for the 2012/13 school year. These pupils will be included in the overall enrolment of the school ...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: if an appeal against his decision not to pay 40 hours of home tuition will be expedited in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that my Department has, as an exceptional measure, agreed to pay the full amount of grant aid in this case.More Button

The persons to which the Deputy refers have been notified of this decision.More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Status

Was asked: the length of time it will take to consider a submission from a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny with regard to the proposed cuts in teaching posts in DEIS schools; if he will protect t...More Button

My Department has considered a submission received from the school to which the Deputy refers in January 2012 in relation to proposed Budget measures.More Button

The staffing arrangements for the 2012/13 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0007/2012 which is available on my Department’s website. This includes details of the reform of the alloc...More Button

The overall objective with the reforms is to enable the teacher allocation and redeployment process to operate more smoothly and efficiently within the new climate of fixed ceilings on teaching pos...More Button

The new arrangements incorporate a long overdue updating of the General Allocation Model (GAM) combining learning support for high incidence special needs and language support for all schools. It a...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers was among the 140 DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 schools included in the recent report on the impact, in terms of posts, that certain Budget measures would have on the...More Button

The main focus of this report concerned additional posts allocated under disadvantage schemes predating DEIS. The outcome of this report was published last month and schools were notified of the Go...More Button

As I have already indicated, I requested my Department to examine these schools due to conflicting number of posts being reported as potentially lost to these schools. It was necessary to obtain cl...More Button

Applying the new staffing schedule for Band 1 schools and the Government’s decision in relation to schools retaining posts from previous disadvantage schemes ensures that these schools can co...More Button

The allocation processes also include an appeals mechanism under which schools can appeal against the allocation due to them under the staffing schedules. The appeal procedures are set out in the c...More Button

For the coming school year the existing staffing appeals criteria have been extended to enable some limited phasing arrangements for schools where the combination of budget and reform measures impa...More Button

The Appeal Boards operate independently of the Department and their decisions are final.More Button

The final staffing position for all schools at primary level will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staff...More Button

Written Answers - Stay Safe Programme

Was asked: if, due to the new primary school staffing schedules, a school is reduced to a staffing complement of one, and if there is no other support staff in that school, he will outline the implications, i...More Button

Last Autumn, my Department published updated “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools”. These procedures are based on the recently published “Children First — Nationa...More Button

The new procedures incorporate significant improvements to the previous school guidelines and are intended to better ensure consistent and uniform implementation of Children First across all school...More Button

Written Answers - School Transport

Was asked: if he will grant an exemption to proposed changes in school transport rules in relation to students (details supplied) if it can be demonstrated that there will not be a cost saving to enforcing th...More Button

Written Answers - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding survivor groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Office has corresponded previously with the person concerned.More Button

The position in relation to the proposed Statutory Fund is that last July, I announced that the Government was proceeding with legislation to provide for the establishment of a Statutory Fund to su...More Button

Some former residents advocated a simple distribution of the available money rather than the establishment of the Statutory Fund. However, as I outlined when I published the legislative proposals, ...More Button

I had a very constructive meeting with groups representing survivors of residential institutional abuse on 22nd July last, when we discussed the Government’s approach to the proposed Statutor...More Button

Work on the drafting of the Bill is currently being finalised and I expect to be in a position to publish it very shortly.More Button

Written Answers - State Examinations

Was asked: the number of retired teachers involved in oral Irish examinations, oral French examinations, oral German examinations and oral Spanish examinations in the State Examinations 2011; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: the number of retired teachers employed supervising the State Examinations 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of then recently qualified graduates who applied for employment with the State Examinations 2011; the number that were offered employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of retired teachers involved in oral Irish examinations, oral French examinations, oral German examinations and oral Spanish examinations in the State Examinations 2012; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: the number of recently qualified graduates who applied for employment with the State Examinations 2012; the number that were offered employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of retired teachers who were employed to correct examination papers for the State Examinations 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of retired teachers who will be employed to correct examination papers for the State examinations 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 to 242, inclusive, together.More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations including organising the holding of examinations, determining procedu...More Button

In view of this I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to him.More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment

Was asked: the position regarding an application for major capital works at a school (details supplied) in County Carlow; if correspondence sent to his Department by the board of management has been processed...More Button

I can confirm that the school referred to by the Deputy has an application with the Department for a major school project involving school refurbishment and ancillary accommodation. Information in ...More Button

In view of the need to prioritise available funding for the provision of additional school accommodation, the delivery of major school projects required to meet demographic demands nationally will ...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: the position regarding an application for early retirement in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person is question has not applied for early retirement at this time. However, he has recently sought details from my Department as to the earliest date at which he may retire with a pension. ...More Button

Written Answers - National Lottery Funding

Was asked: if he will confirm the amount of National Lottery funds allocated to his Department; if the funds are spent on specific projects; if so, the name of the project; if the National Lottery fund is all...More Button

The Revised Estimates Volume (REV) published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform provides summary details of programmes part-financed by the National Lottery and disbursed by relevan...More Button

€147,000 in funding has been allocated to my Department’s Vote for expenditure in 2012 which will be part-financed by the National Lottery. The allocations for specific recipients have n...More Button

For the information of the Deputy I enclose details of National Lottery related expenditure disbursed by my Department in 2010 and 2011 in a spreadsheet.More Button

2010 National Lottery Funding from Vote 26 — Education and SkillsMore Button

6.1National Lottery FundingMore Button

Under subheads B.1 and B.14, a total of €1.06 million was grant aided in 2010 to support adult education and cultural activities. The subheads in Vote 26 from which the funding was paid are ...More Button

Recipients of Funding from National LotteryMore Button

Recipients of Grants from Subhead B.1 — Adult Education OrganisationsMore Button

Recipients of Grants from Subhead B.14 — Cultural ActivitiesMore Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: if he will provide a full breakdown by gender of all appointments to State boards since February 2011; the current status of State boards in relation to the percentage of participation of women and...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is being compiled and will be forwarded in the near future.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Equipment

Was asked: the number of laptops in use in his Department; the number of tablets in use in his Department; the number of the laptops in use that are due to be upgraded this year; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

There are 439 laptops currently deployed within my Department. No tablet PCs have been purchased for use by officials.More Button

My Department does not have an annual programme for the upgrading of laptops. Individual laptops are replaced when deemed beyond repair. Since the start of 2012, a need to replace 5 laptops has b...More Button