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Quinn, Ruairí

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Student Grant Scheme Administration

I thank the Deputy for raising this important matter. The project to establish a single authority for student grants was of a very significant scale within the education system. It required the e...More Button

Additionally, a major benefit in having a central database of information in a single awarding authority is that it enables efficient electronic data sharing with relevant authorities of income a...More Button

I understand from SUSI that as part of its ongoing internal examination of the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of its operation, quality checks are conducted at both grant award and payment...More Button

The Deputy has brought to my attention three cases, of which I was not aware. Without reservation, if he can demonstrate that a person was clearly told by SUSI that he was entitled to and was re...More Button

I thank the Deputy for bringing the matter to my attention. Some 42% of third level students are receiving some grant. The amounts of money involved are substantial. If the fault in administrati...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Administration (Continued)

My intention is that the students will not be at a disadvantage. Having been told in good faith that they were getting the grant, they in turn made the necessary commitments and arrangements and t...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staffing

Was asked: if he will review the special needs assistant allocation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath in order to facilitate mainstreaming in September 2014; and if he will make a stat...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 allocates a quantum of SNA support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support. The deployment of SNAs within schools is t...More Button

All schools who wish to make applications to the NCSE for SNA support for children who have assessed care needs, should now submit such applications to the NCSE for their consideration. Details o...More Button

School Staffing

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Cork has had its appeal for a fourth class teacher for the 2014-15 school year refused; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) in County Limerick can retain all its teachers.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 279 and 381 together.More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on the Department's website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individua...More Button

As part of the Budget 2012 decisions, there is a phased increase in the number of pupils required to gain and retain a classroom teaching post in small primary schools with four teachers or less....More Button

An appeals process is available to small schools which have had their staff number reduced as a result of the budget measure. A school with four classroom teachers or less which is losing a teach...More Button

The schools referred to by the Deputies submitted an appeal to the February, 2014 meeting of the Primary Staffing Appeals Board. Having considered the schools' applications in the context of the ...More Button

Was asked: if he will address the fact that his Department payroll section pays special needs assistants based on the standard which is used for post primary being applied to primary, although both work compl...More Button

This question raises two matters and I will deal with each in turn. Firstly, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are paid on the SNA salary scale which is set by the Minister for Education and Skills ...More Button

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) has not been granted an additional teacher for next year in view of the fact that the number of students attending the school will increase dramatically; and ...More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on the Department's website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual...More Button

Was asked: if he will intervene to prevent the loss of a vital teacher in a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that current and projected enrolment figu...More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts for the 2014/2015 school year is set out in the Staffing Schedule (Circular 0007/2014) which is available on the Department website. The key ...More Button

Was asked: the criteria for a secondary school to be eligible to appoint a second deputy principal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Teacher allocations to all second level schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. The criteria for the allocation of p...More Button

  Question No. 387 answered with Question No. 384.More Button

School Transport Fees

Was asked: if he will instruct Bus Éireann to introduce a payment plan for families so that they can pay for the cost of school transport over the course of the school year; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Student Assistance Fund

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that students attending third level institutions to complete fulltime level 6 access courses cannot receive funding from the student assistance fund as i...More Button

The objective of the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is to provide financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are experiencing financial difficulties whilst attending college. T...More Button

Application to the fund is open to full-time registered students on courses of not less than one year's duration leading to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. The Fund is not open t...More Button

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Was asked: if he will review the pupil-teacher criteria for small schools to allow for population fluctuations year-on-year in the interests of restoring certainty for the schools and communities involved (de...More Button

Was asked: if he will grant necessary school status with less punitive pupil threshold requirements for mainstream teacher allocations to very isolated rural schools where there are no other nearby schools; a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 and 391 together.More Button

The allocation of teaching posts to schools is done in a transparent manner using published criteria. Unlike most other areas of the public service teaching vacancies are being filled in accorda...More Button

As part of the Budget 2012 decisions, there is a phased increase in the number of pupils required to gain and retain a classroom teaching post in small primary schools with four teachers or less....More Button

An appeals process is available to small schools which have had their staff number reduced as a result of the budget measure. A school with four classroom teachers or less which is losing a teac...More Button

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final. Educational quality for the pupils has to be one of the main criteria in any consideration ...More Button

Our current configuration of small primary schools has been examined by my Department in a value for money review which I am considering in consultation with my Government colleagues. My intenti...More Button

Was asked: the pupil-teacher ratio in primary and post-primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Pupil Teacher Ratio is compiled by dividing the total number of pupils by the total number of allocated teaching posts. For 2012/2013 the PTR at primary level was 16.4 and at second level was ...More Button

Schools Data

Was asked: if a feasibility study has been carried out by his Department for a second-level Educate Together school on the north side of Dublin due to the increase in Educate Together primary schools in the n...More Button

In June of 2011, I announced that some 20 new post-primary schools would be established over the coming years to meet demographic needs. Following on from that announcement, prospective patron bod...More Button

My Department continues to analyse demographic data to identify where further new primary and post-primary schools may be required from 2016 onwards. It will be open to all patron bodies, includ...More Button

Was asked: the reason schools are outsourcing the correction of pre-papers for the junior certificate and leaving certificate; if this practice is at the discretion of the school; if any concessions are avail...More Button

Mock examinations are not part of the State examinations system. The decision to organise and/or charge for mock examinations is made at school level, and mock examinations are not a requirement o...More Button

Was asked: the number of students in schools and centres for education at both primary and post-primary level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The most recently available statistics relate to the 2012/2013 academic year. These show that there were 526,422 pupils in DES aided primary level schools and 362,847 pupils in DES aided post-prim...More Button

Was asked: the number of whole-time equivalent teachers in primary, special and post-primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Statistics in relation to teacher numbers and pupil enrolment are published annually by my Department on its website. The most recent published statistics relate to the 2012/2013 school year. Sta...More Button

Was asked: the number of one-teacher schools nationwide and per county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The data requested is available on my Department's website at the link below under the heading Class Size Information at Individual Primary School Level. The information includes the number of teac...More Button

School Equipment

Was asked: if a funding stream exists within his Department for the provision of gym equipment for a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The PE Hall at the school referred to by the Deputy was constructed in 2002. Funding in the amount of circa €50,000 was paid to Co Wicklow VEC towards the provision of PE equipment for this PE Hal...More Button

School Transport Administration

Was asked: the reasons for decisions as if responding to a section 18 of the Freedom of Information Act request as to the reason the regulations giving effect to Commission Directive 80/723/EEC of 25 June 198...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the amounts per annum that have been rebated to his Department by Bus Éireann each year for the use of any of the school bus fleet for non educational purposes, s...More Button

Was asked: the type of information deemed to be of a commercially sensitive nature; the reason information regarding overhead and indirect costs associated with the administration of the school transport sche...More Button

State Examinations

Was asked: if he will provide a refund in a case (details supplied) involving costs incurred due to errors in leaving certificate marking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinatio...More Button

Was asked: if he will intervene in the case of a pupil (details supplied) in County Kildare, if he will ensure that a reader is provided to this student for their leaving certificate examination; if his atten...More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. The State Examinations Commission operates a scheme of Reasonable Ac...More Button

Was asked: if he will ensure extra time is provided for the project maths exam this summer for students with dyslexia, as the new maths language-based format means dyslexic students have to decode the text-ba...More Button

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

  The State Examinations Commission operates a sc...More Button

Was asked: the reason an application to have a reader for the leaving certificate was denied in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford even though the person had been granted a reader for t...More Button

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

  The State Examinations Commission operates a sc...More Button

Was asked: if a reader and any other requested exemption for a student (details supplied) who is sitting their leaving certificate examination in 2014 will be provided for; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. The State Examinations Commission operates a scheme of Reasonable A...More Button

In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the level of funding allocated by his Department to each non-governmental organisation during each of the past four years, including the names of these organisati...More Button

Recipients of grant funding and other payments from my Department are not mainly indexed by whether the recipients have Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status. It is not, therefore, possible t...More Button

Was asked: if Rehab has been provided with any funding during each of the past seven years; the level of funding provided during each of these years; the purposes for which the funding was allocated; if any a...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is included in the following table.

More Button

Was asked: the funds that are available to a school (details supplied) in County Cork to remove trees which fell as a result of the recent storms and restore the school grounds to a safe environment for the c...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware all school buildings that are not covered by state indemnity are required to adequately insure their school premises including insurance for storm damage. Accordingly, an...More Button

If works are required to school buildings that is not covered by insurance it is open to the school authority to submit an application for funding under my Department's Emergency Works Scheme.More Button

Schools Building Projects Status

Was asked: if he will report on the school building or refurbishment works primary and post-primary that are to be initiated or progressed in Dublin 1, Dublin 3 and Dublin 7 in 2014; and in each case, if he w...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that details of all school capital works that have been funded by my Department may be viewed on my Department's website at www.education.ie and this is updated on a reg...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) in County Roscommon was removed from the five year school building programme; if his attention has been drawn to the fac...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the over-riding objective of Education capital expenditure is to meet the demographic challenge facing the education system whereby total pupil enrolment in both prima...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a new school development (details supplied) in County Kildare; if there are any outstanding issues in regard to the proposal that could hold up the project; if so, the mechan...More Button

The school building project referred to by the Deputy is on the 5 year construction programme announced in 2012. It is listed on the programme for construction in 2015/16. The appointment of the ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the building of a school premises (details supplied); if contracts have been signed in regard to the rebuild; if there any difficulties or hold-ups in regard to the rebuild; ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that following discussions between officials of my Department and representatives of the owners of the property to which he refers, my Department reached an agreement wh...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide funding for a new second level school in the Raheen-Dooradoyle area of Limerick; the stage this project is at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In June 2011 I announced that some 20 new post primary schools are to be established up to 2017 to cater for increasing demographics across a number of locations. That announcement did not include...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 80 and 124 of 4 March 2014, if he will clarify what he means by phase one of the process to meeting the long-term accommodation needs of a school in County M...More Button

An all-in-devolved grant has been approved for the school referred to by the Deputy to provide 3 permanent replacement en-suite mainstream classrooms with some additional ancillary accommodation. ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the expected completion date of the autism spectrum disorders, ASD, accommodation at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Major Building Project for the school referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2b - Detailed Design which includes applications for planning permission...More Button

The brief for the project includes provision for an 8 classroom school with an additional 3 classroom ASD Unit with associated withdrawal rooms, central activities space, office and ancillary acc...More Button

When the Stage 2b Submission for the project has been received and assessed, my Department will then be in touch with the school authority regarding the potential progression of the project to te...More Button

Due to competing demands on my Department's capital budget, imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing...More Button

However, as an interim measure, in order to meet the immediate accommodation needs at the school, my Department has approved a 100 sq m ASD temporary unit for September 2014.More Button

Schools Building Contractors

Was asked: the number of contracts for replacement schools, school extensions and alterations to existing schools that have not been completed on time or on budget since 2011; the number of these failures to ...More Button

Since 2011 there have been a total of fourteen major school building projects that encountered difficulties which led to the termination of the main contractor's obligation to complete the works. ...More Button

School Enrolments

Was asked: if he will provide full and complete details of the enrolment policy in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998. The selection process for school enrolment and th...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide details on the catchment area for a school (details supplied) County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998. In this regard a Board of Management may find it ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos.113 and 179 of 11 March 2014, in the context of the overall analysis of demographic data, where he says that his Department is addressing the short-term needs...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that on 12 March 2013, I announced that a new Educate Together primary school for the Malahide/Portmarnock area is expected to commence operation this coming September. The...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 153 and 154 of 11 March 2014, if his Department applies or ensures any fairness measurement to the clear procedures regarding the way places are allocated to...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, 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 Certifica...More Button

Was asked: the number of children he would like to see pre-enrolled to confirm parental demand in the proposed Steiner School in Knocknacarra, Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers is intended to be a single-stream school. Under the current pupil/teacher ratio of 28:1, a single stream school would be expected to cater for some 224 pupils...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) in County Clare regarding school provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The selection and enrolment of pupils in schools is the responsibility of the authorities of the individual school. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, bet...More Button

State Examinations Reviews

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

My Department is currently actively considering the concerns expressed by the teacher unions and the other partners in relation to the new Junior Cycle and has already responded to some of their id...More Button

A National Working Group for Junior Cycle has been set up as a forum to proactively address identified challenges as they arise over the phased implementation time schedule for the Junior Cycle. ...More Button

I expect to receive a detailed report on these issues from the National Working Group in May. School management bodies, Educate Together and parents have made written proposals to the Department...More Button

My officials are in dialogue through the National Working Group. We want the new Junior Cycle to work so that a quality education experience is the reality for all our students.More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: the deficiencies and the health and safety issues in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; if he will provide a learning support-resource classroom as a matter of priority; and if...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding a learning support-resource classroom; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 296 and 356 together.

  The school, to which the Deputy refers, has recently submitted an application for funding for additional accommodation. ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for additional permanent accommodation at a school (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers made an application to my Department in November 2013 for the provision of ancillary accommodation. Given the current financial constraints within which my De...More Button

Was asked: if he will recognise the efforts of a school (details supplied) in County Dublin which has agreed to take in a seventh junior infant class to go some way to dealing with the large number of childre...More Button

My Department is aware of the proposal submitted by the school referred to by the Deputy to enrol a 7th stream of junior infants from September 2014.More Button

Demographic projections for the area in question indicate a spike in Junior Infant demand this coming September which is expected to level off in 2015, 2016 and beyond. In that regard, my Departm...More Button

There are currently two schools in the area that have lost or are due to lose mainstream teaching posts. These schools have spare capacity within their buildings and have expressed a willingness ...More Button

In that regard, the Department has advised the school referred to that the 7th stream will not be sanctioned by my Department.More Button

It is important that school size is monitored and that a balance is preserved among all the schools in catchment areas to ensure one school is not expanding at the expense of the viability of ano...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the progress of establishing a second level school (details supplied) in County Galway on a permanent basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, a new co-educational multi-denominational post primary school was established and commenced operation in the area in question in September, 2013 to cater for demographi...More Button

My officials are working closely with officials from Galway County Council in relation to acquiring a suitable permanent site for the school referred to by the Deputy. Due to commercial sensitiv...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: the support funding available to assist a person (details supplied) pursuing dance-theatre opportunities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In relation to support available for students studying abroad, my Department's student maintenance grant scheme provide maintenance grants to undergraduate students pursuing approved third level co...More Button

Where a grant application is made in respect of a course being pursued in a third-level institution abroad, such as a Dance/ Theatre School, it is a matter for the central grant awarding authorit...More Button

In relation to tuition fees, there is provision for tax relief, at the standard rate in respect of approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including approved undergraduate and p...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount of money invested on student support services in County Donegal yearly since 2008.More Button

The following table details the amounts paid to Donegal grant awarding authorities in respect of student grants from the 2008/09 academic year to the 2012/13 academic year inclusive and are provide...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 298 and 299 together.

  The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the attached table, which gives details of policy reports which are in...More Button

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Was asked: the position regarding a school placement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department provides for a range of placement options for pupils with special educational needs in order to ensure that all pupils can receive a school placement....More Button

In addition, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) can assist parents to identify appropriate educational placements for children with speci...More Button

Finally, where a parent seeks to enrol their child in a school and that school refuses to enrol a pupil, the school is obliged to inform parents of their right under Section 29 of the Education A...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that based on his previous statement that it is a matter for schools to determine the approach or mix of approaches they will use when educating children with autism, if a school...More Button

As I previously advised the Deputy my Department's policy favours a child centred approach to the education of children with special educational needs. As each child with autism is unique, they sh...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that the only person involved in Irish Task Force on Autism report who had professional qualifications in ABA is a person (details supplied); if this is the person he was referri...More Button

As I previously advised in the PQ response to which the Deputy refers, my Department's child centred policy is based on advice received from NEPS, the Inspectorate and the report of the Irish Task...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 243 of 4 February 2014, in which he stated that his Department's inspectorate previously reviewed the education being provided by one of the private pre-school...More Button

As outlined in my previous reply to the Deputy, my Department's inspectorate reviewed the education being provided by one of the private pre-school providers in a number of locations which involved...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the allocation of special needs assistants to children in a pre-school environment; if the allocation of SNAs to children in pre-schools by the National Council for Special E...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the vast majority of supports for childcare, including pre-school education, is provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The principle vehicle for...More Button

Was asked: the extra resources, in terms of hours and facilities, he will allocate to deal with the upsurge in autism nationally, and in County Carlow in particular. More Button

Was asked: the extra resources, in terms of hours and facilities, he will allocate to deal with the upsurge in autism nationally, and in County Carlow in particular. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 354 and 357 together.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 applic...More Button

The NCSE operates within my Department's established criteria for the allocation of Special Education supports and the staffing resources available to my Department.More Button

The NCSE has invited schools to make applications for resource teaching support for children with assessments of low incidence special educational needs, as defined by my Departments Circular 02/...More Button

The Deputy will be interested to note that NCSE has advised that, to their knowledge, there are no prevalence rates for autism which are specific to the Carlow area. However, Irish research at D...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 159 to 164, inclusive, of 11 March 2014, the date on which his Department's Model A document became outdated as indicated in his response; the date on which ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 159 to 164, inclusive, of 11 March 2014, in which he stated his Department's position is that as each child with autism is unique they should all have access...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 159 to 164, inclusive, of 11 March 2014, his views on whether the resources allocated of one full-time Special Education Support Service, SESS, member, who h...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 159 to 164, inclusive, of 11 March 2014, in view of the fact that specific pieces of research have been brought to his personal attention which were original...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 159 to 164, inclusive, of 11 March 2014, the reason that since being established in December 2003 the National Council for Special Education has failed to pr...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 358 to 362, inclusive, together.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the establishment of a network of autism-specific special classes in schools across the country has been a key educational priority in recent years and supports my D...More Button

Details on the numbers of early intervention classes for children with autism who use ABA are not available as this information, while available in individual schools, has not been collated by my...More Button

Support is also provided to teachers, through the Special Education Support Service (SESS), who provide continuing professional development in a range of autism specific interventions, including ...More Button

As outlined in my previous response, SESS has a number of teams involved in the provision of CPD and support to teachers of students with challenging behaviour; the Challenging Behaviour Team, th...More Button

My Department is conscious of the need to adapt existing policies and to develop new policies as new research or learning becomes available. Further to encouragement from the Ombudsman for Child...More Button

The NCSE has advised that the policy advice will be delivered in the spring of 2015 and will draw upon findings gathered from an extensive consultation process which has already commenced. In thi...More Button

Was asked: his view on whether the constitutional right to an appropriate and adequate education of a child in the State is, at present, upheld by the policies and practices in respect of children with specia...More Button

I wish to firstly advise the Deputy that, in accordance with the duty of the State to provide for education as set out in the Constitution, all pupils with special educational needs have access to ...More Button

I wish to explain also that my Department's policy is to secure the maximum possible level of inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream primary and post-primary schools, ...More Button

Some children may be supported in a special class attached to a mainstream school. These students have the option, where appropriate, of full/partial integration and interaction with other pupils.More Button

Other children may have such complex needs that they require specialist supports in a special school.More Button

Students with special educational needs have access to a range of support services including additional teaching and/or care supports. In special schools and special classes, students are support...More Button

My Department therefore provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools which have enrolled pupils with special educational needs.More Button

This Government is committed to the protection of front-line services for pupils with special educational needs. The level of resources devoted to supporting children with Special Educational Nee...More Button

Approximately 15% of the entire budget of my Department – some €1.3 billion – was spent in support of children with Special Educational Needs in 2012/13. The provision for the 2013/14 school year...More Button

Inter alia, this provides for additional learning and resource teaching support, Special Needs Assistant support, special transport arrangements, building adaptations, enhanced capitation and fun...More Button

The overall level of investment being provided will ensure that provision can continue to be made for the educational requirements of children with special educational needs in both mainstream an...More Button

Was asked: the timeframe for the implementation in full of Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A significant number of sections of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act have been commenced, principally those establishing the National Council for Special Educati...More Button

In light of the very difficult economic situation and the significant costs involved, the previous Government deferred the full implementation of EPSEN.More Button

In 2012, my Department requested the NCSE to provide policy advice on how the education system can best support children with special educational needs. The NCSE Report on Supporting Children wit...More Button

While the report recommends that the EPSEN Act be fully implemented as soon as possible, the report also states that the NCSE recognises that the current economic climate makes it unlikely that t...More Button

It also recommends that under a proposed new allocation model, all children should be allocated additional resources in line with their level of need, rather than by disability category.More Button

The Chairperson of the Working Group established to develop this proposal, submitted its report to me on 5th March and I will now consider the report's recommendations.More Button

Was asked: the supports that are being put in place to assist children who due to the changes in the July provision will not be able to secure a teacher this year due to the shortage of qualified teachers in ...More Button

July Provision is available to all special schools and mainstream primary schools with special classes catering for children with autism that choose to extend their education services through the m...More Button

As the home based provision takes place outside the usual school structure it is important that home tutors are qualified to provide an educational programme. It is appropriate therefore that the...More Button

The qualification requirements for tutors providing tuition under the Home Based July Provision have not changed. It remains the case that home tutors should be fully qualified teachers. When it ...More Button

However, since September 2013 for the Home Tuition Scheme and from this year for Home Based July Provision, my Department has also required that, in addition to being qualified teachers, tutors m...More Button

Accordingly, those whose qualifications were acceptable in the past remain eligible, provided they have applied for registration with the Teaching Council. In the light of this I see no basis for...More Button

Schools Refurbishment

Was asked: the position regarding proposals to refurbish a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The project referred to by the Deputy is currently at an early Stage of Architectural Planning - Stage 2(A). The project brief is to provide for a Principal plus 24 mainstream teachers and special...More Button

School Services Staff

Was asked: the reason special needs assistants working in secondary schools are being asked to work during the month of June; the tasks they will be required to carry out during June; and if he will make a st...More Button

I wish to set out the clear position of the Department and the employers regarding June working for Special Needs Assistants employed in the post-primary sector. The contract for Special Needs Ass...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the current expenditure on education at primary and second level in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Estimated 2014 current expenditure on education as requested by the Deputy is as follows: First-Level (including Early Schools Education) €3.232 billion. Second-Level & Further Education €2.97...More Button

Special Educational Needs Expenditure

Was asked: the amount his Department is spending on the provision of supports for students with special educational needs in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that this Government is committed to the protection of frontline services for pupils with special educational needs. The level of resources devoted to supporting children ...More Button

School Evaluations

Was asked: regarding the recently published chief inspector's report for 2010 to 2012, which found significant shortcomings in assessment practices in almost one quarter of English lessons, in 29% of mathemat...More Button

Was asked: regarding the recently published chief inspector's report for 2010 to 2012, which found that evidence available from subject inspections at post-primary level showed that assessment practices were ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 311 and 312 together.More Button

Firstly I would like to acknowledge that the majority of schools have assessment practices that are of good quality. However for the significant minority of schools, it is important to note that...More Button

At primary level, schools are advised to use a variety of assessment methods to support assessment of pupils' progress and achievement, and to extend and enrich their learning. Guidelines on ass...More Button

Primary schools are required to administer standardised tests in English reading and Mathematics, and in the case of Irish medium schools standardised tests in Irish, to their pupils at three poi...More Button

As part of the roll out of the new Junior Cycle, teachers of each subject will receive a minimum of four days continuing professional development which will include a significant focus on the use...More Button

Was asked: regarding the recently published chief inspector's report for 2010 to 2012, which found that there are weaknesses in the teaching and learning of Irish in a significant proportion of schools; the m...More Button

The Chief Inspector's report highlights the fact that primary inspectors judged that the teaching of Irish was satisfactory or better in 80% of lessons observed during incidental inspections and th...More Button

Was asked: regarding the recently published chief inspector's report for 2010 to 2012, which found that there are weaknesses in the teaching and learning of mathematics in a significant proportion of schools,...More Button

The Chief Inspector's Report (2010-2012) highlights satisfactory or better teaching approaches of Mathematics in 83% of lessons observed during unannounced inspections at primary level. Primary in...More Button

At second level, inspectors judged the quality of teaching in Maths to be satisfactory or better in 77% of Maths lessons and they judged the quality of learning to be satisfactory or better in 74...More Button

At primary level, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is to commence the development of a revised mathematics curriculum for primary schools that will link with the structure of th...More Button

The introduction of Project Maths was supported by the introduction of a Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching to upskill 'out-of-field' teachers of Mathematics which was launched in S...More Button

There have been concerns that students are not confident enough to study for higher level mathematics in the Leaving Certificate. To encourage more students to study and to then present for cert...More Button

Was asked: regarding the recently published chief inspector's report for 2010 to 2012, which highlighted that definite shortcomings in approaches to planning and preparation for students learning exist in bot...More Button

It is important to point out to the Deputy that the Chief Inspector's Report 2010-2012 states that inspectors found that school planning processes were satisfactory or better in 74% of the primary ...More Button

Public Sector Pensions

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the position of teachers who are seeking to retire but are facing difficulties as a result of strike days during their careers; if his attention has been drawn to...More Button

Public servants (including teachers) make a superannuation contribution for each day of paid employment. A teacher who has reached the age of 55 and has 35 years of reckonable service may retire v...More Button

Languages Programme

Was asked: the foreign languages that will be prioritised as part of the languages education strategy, as per action 37 of the Action Plan for Jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are a range of languages, including foreign languages, available for the Leaving Certificate in our schools. In addition to English and Irish; French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japa...More Button

There is a Chinese module available as an option for the transition year programme. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is currently finalising a short course specification in Chi...More Button

Further Education and Training Programmes Provision

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation of the further education and training plan, as per Action 170 of the Action Plan for Jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand that the Further Education and Training Services Plan, the first such combined plan for the FET sector, is in the final stages of preparation by SOLAS.

It is due to be consi...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the reason the legitimate costs of running a business, that is, capital allowances on expenditure for business equipment, equipment leasing, bank interest on loans, depreciation and rental losses, ...More Button

Article 23 of the Student Grant Scheme 2013 deals with the determination of reckonable income. In calculating reckonable income no account is taken of capital assets. Therefore no deduction is gi...More Button

Was asked: in respect of the Student Universal Support Ireland application for a person (details supplied) in County Cork, the reason the person has been assessed as being eligible for only 50% grant support ...More Button

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter in the first instance for the awarding authority.

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ire...More Button

State Examinations Statistics

Was asked: the percentage of grade As awarded in the subject of art in the Leaving Certificate in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The percentage of students awarded a grade A at Higher Level in Leaving Certificate Art in 2013 was 4.8%. It was 5.1% in 2012 and 5% in 2011. I am aware that the percentage of candidates achieving...More Button

Student Grants Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No.124 of 11 March 2014, of the remaining 118 students refused the Student Universal Support Ireland grants during 2012-2013 the number of same who were Irish citi...More Button

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) has confirmed that the number of Irish citizen applicants who did not meet the habitual residence condition in the 2012/13 academic year and had their appli...More Button

Education Expenditure

Was asked: if he will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount of money invested in education services in County Donegal yearly since 2008.More Button

Data relating to expenditure by my Department are not maintained on a county by county basis and it would require significant resources of staff and time to collate the information in the format so...More Button

Third Level Staff Data

Was asked: the number of administrative staff that are currently employed by University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of lecturers that are currently employed by University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the average number of lecture contact hours first year arts students receive in University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the average number of lecture contact hours first year business students receive in University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the average number of lecture contact hours first year engineering students receive in University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the average number of lecture contact hours first year pre-med students receive in University College Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 326 to 331, inclusive, together.

Data on staffing numbers in higher education institutions is collated by the Higher Education Authority at the end of eve...More Button

Multidenominational Schools

Was asked: his plans to locate a multidenominational or Educate Together school in the De la Salle campus in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department understands that the Patron of the school in question is in ongoing discussions with the relevant stakeholders in the Ballyfermot area as part of its assessment of future school accom...More Button

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the number of staff in his Department earning over €100,000; and if he will provide details of the roles under which these staff members are employed.More Button

There are currently thirteen staff earning salaries of over €100,000 in my Department. The following table sets out the roles of those staff as requested.

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Departmental Meetings

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if ...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is being collated at present within my Department and will be made available to the Deputy as soon as it is available. More Button

Education Policy

Was asked: his views on correspondence regarding the raising of and giving an innovative approach to student engagement (details supplied). More Button

I met with the RAG CEO and Co-Founder Daithí De Buitléir on 4th July last. At this meeting I received a briefing on RAG's approach to student engagement. This is a very worthwhile initiative and ...More Button

Home Tuition Scheme Administration

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 197 of 4 February 2014, if he will clarify his statement that officials at his Department have been in correspondence with the directors of the facility referr...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the statement by the centre in question on the level of correspondence between their directors and my officials is not correct. The position is that my officials c...More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: the details of any schools where the property ceased to be used as a school; if he has received a request to release his interest under the charging lease in the building from the relevant school p...More Button

Information in relation to requests to release the Minister's interest under charging leases in respect of properties which cease to be used as schools is held on individual school files. Therefor...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Appeals

Was asked: if the special rate of maintenance grant will be awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the student referred to by the Deputy was awarded 100% non-adjacent rate of grant for the 2012/13 and 20...More Button

Clár Tógála Scoileanna

Is féidir liom a dheimhniú go bhfuair an Roinn iarratas mór caipitil ón scoil dá dtagraíonn an Teachta.More Button

Mar is eol gan dabht don Teachta tugtar cuntas sa Phlean Tógála Chúig Bliana, a d'fhógair mé ar 9 Márta 2012, na tionscadail mhóra tógála a ndéanfar tosú ar iad a thógáil i gcaitheamh an phlean c...More Button

Le deireanaí, áfach, chuir údaráis na scoile togra athbhreithnithe malartach faoi bhráid i dtaca le síneadh ar an scoil chun freastal ar na riachtanais fhadtéarmacha cóiríochta a bheidh aici. Tá...More Button

Tá an Roinn gafa le pléanna mionsonraithe leis an scoil i dtaca leis an togra seo agus sa chomhthéacs sin tá mo Roinnse tar éis bheith i dteagmháil le déanaí le húdaráis na scoile faoin ngnó. A ...More Button

Schools Building Projects Applications

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 121 of 21 March 2012, if he will review the decision not to progress this project to tender and construction in view of the fact that the community served by t...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the overriding objective of Education capital expenditure is to meet the demographic challenge facing the education system whereby total pupil enrolment in both primar...More Button

Third Level Admissions Entry Requirements

Was asked: his views on the fact a person (details supplied) who was unable to sit the MSAP exam on 8 March 2014 due to a certified medical reason has been advised he will have to wait until next year to resi...More Button

The MSAP (Mature Students Admission Pathway) is designed to assess a range of competencies considered important for success in tertiary study. I understand that mature students applying for specif...More Button

Universities are autonomous institutions within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997 and the management of their academic affairs, including admissions criteria, are matters for the individua...More Button

I understand that the website Qualifax.ie is a very useful resource for those considering entering higher education and full details of MSAP and other requirements of higher education institution...More Button

  Question No. 356 answered with Question No. 296.More Button

  Question No. 357 answered with Question No. 354.More Button

School Staffing Appeals Mechanism

Was asked: if he will urgently examine an appeal by a school (details supplied) in County Kerry regarding the reinstatement of its third teacher; if he will take into consideration the grave health and safety...More Button

The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to schools is published annually on the Department's website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual ...More Button

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board meets three times per year. The first meeting was held in February, 2014. The school referred to by the Deputy did not submit an appeal to the February meeting ...More Button

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

Home Tuition Scheme Funding

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 70 of 12 March 2014, if it is incumbent on his Department to ensure moneys provided by his Department to a parent or legal guardian to provide home tuition is ...More Button

Parents in receipt of the Home Tuition Grant aid engage tutors directly and the grant is paid to the parent either on a monthly basis in arrears or where possible in advance to assist parents cover...More Button

Parents/legal guardians approved for the Home Tuition engage tutors for the duration of the approved home tuition scheme on a self-employment basis and are paid directly by the Department into th...More Button

In order for the parent to receive payment of the grant aid in arrears, a claim form must be completed by both the parent and the tutor to confirm that the tuition was provided in accordance with...More Button

Where the parent chooses to avail of and qualifies for an advance payment, both the parent and the tutor sign a declaration confirming that they are both aware of the terms and conditions of the ...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that in the small number of cases where parents are overpaid or where the parent fails to use the home tuition grant aid for the purposes it was intended, the Departme...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

There are currently 2 civil servants working in my Constituency Office. The grades of these officers are as follows:

- 1 Higher Executive Officer

- 1 Staff Officer

 ...More Button

Teacher Recruitment

Was asked: the progress that has been made on improving job prospects for newly qualified teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This Government remains committed to protecting and enhancing the educational experience of children. Despite the difficult economic climate, my Department has been able to protect front-line educa...More Button

In the coming years, we are facing massive increases in the number of school going children. Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is projected to grow by over 60,000 between n...More Button

However, I am aware there are newly qualified teachers not yet holding teaching positions in schools. Measures have been taken to alleviate difficulties for new teachers, including the introducti...More Button

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Was asked: when funding will be made available under the summer works scheme in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 20th March last I announced that 386 schools have been approved funding under the Summer Works scheme to undertake school improvements. This first round of funding ...More Button

A second round of the scheme is expected to be announced in coming weeks. This round will cover other types of improvement works, with applications including that from the school in question, st...More Button

Was asked: when funding will be made available under the summer works scheme in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 20th March last I announced that 386 schools have been approved funding under the Summer Works scheme to undertake school improvements. This first round of funding ...More Button

A second round of the scheme is expected to be announced in coming weeks. This round will cover other types of improvement works, with applications including that from the school in question, st...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for the summer works scheme in respect of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 19th March last I announced that 386 schools across every county in Ireland will be able to undertake school improvements this summer. This first round of funding w...More Button

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the application from the school referred to has been successful. Schools can access further details and instructions on how to proceed on-line using the Esi...More Button

Third Level Fees

Was asked: the position regarding paying third level fees in respect of a person (details supplied).More Button

Under the terms of my Department's Free Fee Schemes the Exchequer meets the cost of tuition fees in respect of eligible students who are pursuing their first undergraduate full-time course of study...More Button

Where students do not qualify for free fees they must pay the appropriate fee as determined by their third level institution. The institutions are autonomous and the level of fee payable by stud...More Button

In light of my recent announcement the student referred to by the Deputy should contact the relevant higher education institution to confirm her position.More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the provisions of the new fee rates to be charged to non-resident EU nationals; if revisions will apply to Irish resident non-EU nationals where their parents are naturalised Iri...More Button

Under the terms of my Department's Free Fee Schemes the Exchequer meets the cost of tuition fees in respect of eligible students who are pursuing their first undergraduate full-time course of study...More Button

With effect from the current academic year a 'Change of Nationality' clause is included in the scheme which provides that, subject to meeting the criteria of the scheme, students who acquire EEA ...More Button

Where students do not qualify for free fees they must pay the appropriate fee as determined by their third level institution. The institutions are autonomous and the level of fee payable by stude...More Button

Youthreach Programme Staff

Was asked: if he will provide the detail of changes to the positions and job titles of Youthreach co-ordinators; the reason for these changes; if he will provide the detail of any changes to the terms and con...More Button

Weight of Schoolbags

Was asked: if he has explored the possibility of reducing the weight of schoolbags.More Button

My Department issued circulars to all primary and post-primary schools in 2005 to highlight the potential health hazard of overweight schoolbags and to outline a range of local measures that could ...More Button

The circulars referred to the recommendations of the previously published report of the Working Group on the Weight of School Bags. This report acknowledged that many of the solutions to this iss...More Button

It is a matter for each individual school to determine which particular measures are most suited to its individual circumstances and to how the school concerned organises teaching and learning.More Button

The circulars (PC 13/05 and M35/05) and the report of the Working Group on the Weight of School Bags are available on my Department's website at www.education.ie.More Button

Third Level Institutions

Was asked: the amount of money University College Dublin has spent on court proceedings (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the Universities Act 1997 University College Dublin is an autonomous statutory institution and its management authorities are responsible for the operational affairs of the University.
More Button

School Funding

Was asked: if a grant is available for a school event (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department provides specific teaching resources and additional grant aid to schools that offer the transition year programme.

  Schools in the Free Education Scheme qualify f...More Button

Recognition of Further Education and Training Programmes

Was asked: the way and where a person (details supplied) can receive a decision regarding accreditation of prior learning; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is maintained by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) in accordance with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 20...More Button

However, it may be possible for the individual concerned to have that learning recognised in a manner which could lead to a Framework-recognised award. The usual process would be for the person c...More Button

Quality and Qualifications Ireland Administration

Was asked: if he will consider ensuring the community education sector is supported by a waiver of fees by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the level of funding that would be required for his Department to subsidise the cost of Quality and Qualifications Ireland fees for community education providers.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 384 and 387 together.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, QQI has, in accordance with Section 80 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012, determined a number of fees which will apply to...More Button

There is a significant amount of work involved in assessing applications from providers seeking access to QQI's awards, so that QQI can be assured that they meet their rigorous quality standards....More Button

It is not possible to estimate the total cost of these fees to the community and voluntary sector as that is entirely dependent on the number of providers from that sector which apply to QQI for ...More Button

At the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection on 19 February, representatives from QQI committed to continue to consult with stakeholders from the community ...More Button

Value for Money Reviews

Was asked: the reason his Department initiated a value for money review of two-teacher schools and not on larger schools; his views that a review carried out in such isolation could not provide a comprehensiv...More Button

The selection of small primary school provision for a value for money review needs to be considered in the context of our overall primary school provision. Ireland has over 3,000 primary schools. T...More Button

  Question No. 391 answered with Question No. 282.More Button

School Textbooks Rental Scheme

Was asked: the reason a school (details supplied) in County Monaghan has not been able to avail of a grant to set up a book rental scheme; if this decision will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: if it will be possible to introduce a funding scheme to assist those schools which voluntarily introduced book rental schemes, schemes which have proven to be very successful; and if he will make a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 393 and 399 together.More Button

The Department will continue to provide a book grant as usual to all primary schools. This grant, can be utilised for the purposes of updating or expanding a school's existing book rental scheme....More Button

At my request, the National Parents' Council surveyed the views of their members in relation to currently operating book rental schemes. Parents have reported that where book rental schemes oper...More Button

I understand that it feels unfair to those schools who have invested time and money to establish such schemes, that they now cannot benefit from the additional funding which was secured as part o...More Button

The Department has contacted primary schools that do not currently operate a book rental scheme to advise them of the application process. Schools that indicated in the Primary School Census 201...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

The timeline for delivery of the Programme for Government commitments is over the lifetime of this Government. To date, the Government has published three annual progress reports, the most recent ...More Button

School Textbooks

Was asked: if consideration may be given to introducing bilingual school text books particularly for those based in Gaeltacht areas which are currently using English-language text books; if there is scope for...More Button

The Department of Education and Skills is currently carrying out a review of Gaeltacht Education with a view to identifying options for Irish medium education in Gaeltacht areas and to clarifying t...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: if the teaching of certain subject areas in non-exam years through the medium of Irish could be introduced on a pilot basis in a number of schools to investigate the way such a measure may be exten...More Button

As part of its work on the development of a new language curriculum at primary level, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has been asked to provide advice on provision for partial i...More Button

  Question No. 399 answered with Question No. 393.More Button


 

 

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