Written Answers. - Dún Laoghaire College of Art.

Tuesday, 7 November 1978

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 309 No. 2

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Dr. Browne: Information on Noel C. Browne  Zoom on Noel C. Browne  asked the Minister for Education if he approves the action of Dún Laoghaire Borough Vocational Education Committee in cutting back services in Dún Laoghaire School of Art; and if he will intervene to provide the school with permanent status, thereby [176] ensuring its future, and allowing the NCEA to validate courses and award diplomas.


Mr. E. Collins: Information on Edward Collins  Zoom on Edward Collins  asked the Minister for Education the reasons for the cut back in teaching hours at the Dún Laoghaire College of Art; and the reason for not allocating extra moneys to that college in the current financial year.


Mr. L. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam Cosgrave  asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of the inadequate conditions under which the Dún Laoghaire School of Art is operating; that there is insufficient staff, including the absence of clerical and administrative assistance, as a result of which the school has been unable to conform to the directives of his Department regarding pupil/teacher ratio; that, as a result of the non-adherence to the correct pupil/teacher ratio, the hours of part-time teacher instruction have been reduced; if so, if he will take immediate action to remedy the situation to ensure the maintenance of realistic educational standards for students attending the school of art; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mr. Wilson): Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 345, 522 and 523 together.

I understand that the Borough of Dún Laoghaire Vocational Education Committee at their meeting of 26 October 1978 made certain proposals in relation to the matters raised in the Questions. These proposals were received in my Department this morning and will be considered urgently.

As regards clerical and administrative assistance, I have recently sanctioned the following additional staffing for Dún Laoghaire Vocational Education Committee: one Senior Clerk, one Clerical Officer, three Clerk typists. It is a matter for the committee to deploy its staffing resources to best advantage.

With regard to the permanent status of the Art Department, I would refer Deputies to the reply which I made to a Parliamentary Question, No. 173, on this issue on 20 June 1978.

[177] I may add that on 11 May last, I received a deputation of parents and students of the Dún Laoghaire School of Art for a discussion of certain problems affecting the operation of the school. I desire to state that since the date of that meeting, the following action has been taken: (a) the NCEA have agreed to the continuance of ad hoc validation facilities for the courses for a further three years; (b) a sum of £60,739, which is, in fact, more than that originally sought by the committee, has been sanctioned for expenditure on art materials in 1978; (c) a supernumerary grade A post of responsibility has been allocated to the art department.

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