Written Answers - School Discipline.

Thursday, 19 February 1998

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 487 No. 5

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  151.  Ms Cooper-Flynn  Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if a person (details supplied) is to receive a full explanation of the action taken by his Department when a report was made by her to the Department regarding mistreatment of her son while he was a pupil in a national school in County Mayo. [4505/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  The board of management is the body charged with the direct governance of primary schools. My Department investigates specific complaints which involve an alleged breach of the Rules for National Schools only after every effort has been made to resolve the matter at local level.

In the case referred to by the Deputy, the complaint received by my Department alleged mistreatment of the complainant's daughter by a teacher. Upon concluding its investigation, my Department made the results of the investigation known to the board of management of the school. A letter issued to the complainant indicating that the Department's investigation had been concluded and that the board of management had been informed of the Department's findings.

I should add that discussions are ongoing with the education partners at present with a view to reviewing the procedure for dealing with complaints. The main focus of these discussions is to agree a procedure for the resolution of complaints at local school level, and to ensure that all parties to a complaint are kept fully informed of the manner in which the complaint is being dealt with.

  152.  Ms Cooper-Flynn  Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is entitled to receive a refund of moneys spent on school transport for a child in County Mayo who had to be transferred to a school further from his home for which there is no available school transport; and if transport arrangements can be put in place. [4506/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  The pupil to whom the Deputy refers lives 1.6 miles from the nearest school, and therefore does not qualify for free transport on distance grounds. Furthermore, the pupil is not attending the nearest school.

Under the school transport scheme, there is no provision for refunds of transport costs for pupils who are ineligible.

In the circumstances, I regret the family in question is not entitled to free transport, or a refund towards the cost of transport as requested.


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