Woods, Michael J.

Thursday, 15 November 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 544 No. 2

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Order of Business.

It will.More Button

There will be a Report Stage debate.More Button

Residential Institutions Redress Bill, 2001: Second Stage (Resumed).

Claimants to the redress board will be people who allege abuse while they were resident in an institution in respect of which State bodies had regulatory or supervisory functions. The institutions con...More Button

No, the Deputy misunderstands the situation.More Button

Given the questions he and others have asked, I wonder who is really calling the tune. It seems that Deputies are hopping up and down at the request of others.More Button

To delay the enactment of this Bill would unreasonably delay the setting up of the redress scheme and the commencement of the task of making awards to those who suffer the effects of abuse. I remind t...More Button

That is not true.More Button

That is not true. The Deputy should not confuse people, even if he is confused himself.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the reason his Department is refusing to reply in detail to specific and detailed parliamentary questions regarding school building projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the implications for the school building programme arising from the Estimates of expenditure for 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

One will appreciate that it is with great difficulty I stand here today while Ireland is into the last 20 minutes of the match. Nevertheless, the job must go on. I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and...More Button

I wish to make it clear that we have a major programme under way. That programme is continuing. Deputies are asking when that programme will be completed—More Button

This depends on the allocations in the budget and in the Estimates. The Deputies will be a little wiser today because they will realise that I have received a good allocation in the Estimates for cap...More Button

Questions Nos. 1 and 2 were taken together.More Button

The outturn for the end of this year will be above the Estimate that was included.More Button

We shall have to wait and see what the outturn is at the end of the year.More Button

We will not have the outturn until the end of the year. There will be a Supplementary. We have a 6% increase on capital spending in the Estimates for next year.More Button

There will be further developments. We have over 800 projects. Some of those are completed; many more are going through the process. They will continue—More Button

Today we signed a contract for five new schools under PPP; these are five separate schools apart from that 800 plus.More Button

Of course there is. The Minister for Finance in his statement today says that there is a 6% increase on a very large figure which is over four times what the previous Government was spending in that a...More Button

I am talking about schools.More Button

The Deputy asked for a reference and it is on the last page of the Minister for Finance's statement. As I said, today I signed contracts, worth £64 million over and above what was spent previously, fo...More Button

They are complete projects and will include PE halls and state-of-the-art facilities. They will include all the new items that have been discussed.More Button

In addition—More Button

When that side was in government in 1996, it spent £32 million on post-primary schools. This year the Government will spend £139 million. In relation to primary schools, in 1996, the then Government s...More Button

Most of the schools on the INTO list are in architectural planning and some of the works have been completed already. They will continue this year.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Institutes of Technology.

Was asked: if he will consider invoking his powers under the Regional Technical Colleges (Amendment) Act, 1994, at Limerick Institute of Technology in view of the failure of the governing body to act on the O'Ha...More Button

Under the terms of the Regional Technical Colleges Acts, matters relating to examinations are a statutory function of the management and governing bodies of the institutes of technology. In light of t...More Button

The matter is being actively pursued by the board and it is considering the report. I am satisfied it is approaching it in a satisfactory manner at this stage. I will not come into the picture until t...More Button

My Department is satisfied that this matter is being dealt with at this stage. In relation to the powers the Deputy mentioned, in accordance with section 7(1) of the 1944 Act, where the Minister is of...More Button

We have indicated that we wish the board to consider the matter and the report and that is being done.More Button

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

Was asked: if he has received the report of the UK based National Foundation for Education Research on State-funded models of educational supports available to children with autism; if so, if he will publish the...More Button

The National Foundation for Educational Research submitted its report to my Department at the end of last month. The foundation was commissioned by my Department in May of this year to carry out a det...More Button

The two reports have only recently reached the Department and it is preparing documentation on them for me. We want to publish the reports and as soon as I have them, I will ensure that happens.More Button

No.More Button

I would say it will be within a matter of weeks.More Button

Within a matter of weeks.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - School Transport.

Was asked: if he will make a decision regarding the provision of a school bus service to Seamount Convent secondary school, Kinvara, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have again had the request for the provision of a school transport service for girls from the Gort catchment area to Seamount secondary school, Kinvara, examined in my Department. Having considered ...More Button

This is undoubtedly a difficult situation. The Deputy is aware that catchment areas apply throughout the country.More Button

In an attempt to be helpful and resolve this dispute, the Minister of State introduced revised terms which meant that in the unusual circumstances where members of the same household are appropriate t...More Button

I will make a further request of the school management.More Button

Two of my replies were very short.More Button

Other Questions. - Disadvantaged Status.

Was asked: the role of his Department in the RAPID programme; the person who will represent his Department in each of the area implementation teams; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I fully support the RAPID programme targeted at the 25 most concentrated areas of urban disadvantage in the country as there is undoubtedly a strong link between poor educational achievement and socio...More Button

I have agreed to allow seven senior people from my Department work as part of the drugs task force.More Button

That is part of the project.More Button

I have mentioned that I am reorganising the Department of Education and Science for that purpose as it is not currently organised on that basis.More Button

That is the Deputy's view; many good people work in the Department of Education and Science and they do an excellent job.More Button

The Deputy often talks about what a wonderful job they do, which would not be the case if they were not good people.More Button

I appreciate the point. I have received industrial relations agreement for seven senior officials to work with the drugs task force. It has been welcomed as a major development.More Button

The national monitoring committee will oversee the operation of the programme as a whole and will report regularly to Government. It will be composed of senior representatives of Departments, relevant...More Button

I have nominated an assistant secretary to work on the committee.More Button

Other Questions. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if he will approve a new primary school for Aghamore, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at Aghamore national school, County Mayo. Decisions relating to the rate of progress to construction of i...More Button

There has been a massive and unprecedented increase in the funds allocated by this Government to the building programme at all levels.More Button

The allocation in the current year is £370.5 million (470.4 million), which is almost four times the allocation made by the previous Government in 1997.More Button

This level of funding has enabled my Department to undertake a record number of building projects and it is my intention to continue this rate of progress in overcoming the deficit arising from past y...More Button

I appreciate the Deputy's points and I am aware that there has been a history of difficulty with this school. The board advised the Department in January that a suitable site was available across the ...More Button

The Deputy knows I have a great respect for older people, so I will keep his arguments in mind.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide funding for the approved site for Wicklow Gaelscoil; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this matter has been ongoing for more than two years; and if he will make a sta...More Button

My Department is currently acquiring a site for Gaelscoil Cill Mhantáin. The Deputy will appreciate that the process of acquiring a site is complex and involves a detailed assessment of suitability, v...More Button

The project is at the early stages of architectural planning. I hope Gaelscoil Cill Mhantáin will proceed with funds to be allocated during the coming year.More Button

I do not know, honestly.More Button

The Government is supporting quite a number of gaelscoileanna that are developing throughout the country, first by providing temporary facilities and then by finding suitable sites for longer term dev...More Button

No, there is only one allocation. As Deputy Jim Higgins mentioned, there is a special allocation for schools with high radon levels. A similar provision is made for schools with asbestos, but the rest...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on the proposed amalgamation of the three comprehensive schools in Ballymun, Dublin 9; the timescale proposed for the necessary refurbishment works; the cost invol...More Button

In 1999, a decision was taken to amalgamate the senior and two junior comprehensive schools in Ballymun as the three existing schools, which were designed to accommodate in excess of 2,000 students, h...More Button

They are the prepared estimates and considered adequate. They take into consideration the views of the local authority and building in the area. Time has been taken to work out what is expected. One i...More Button

That problem is getting increased attention. There are now funds available to do more work in that area.More Button

The timescale will depend on when they finally agree the outlines. There is an outline sketch scheme. A planning and briefing meeting was held in October 2000 at which a design team was asked to prepa...More Button

Other Questions. - Educational Disadvantage.

Was asked: if the composition of the educational disadvantage committee as required under the Education Act, 1998, has been finalised; the reasons for the delay in establishing this committee; and if he will mak...More Button

Following a detailed consultation process, arrangements are being finalised regarding the composition of the educational disadvantage committee to be established under the Education Act, 1998. The siz...More Button

There was a consultation process and the letter seeking nominations issued in April 2001.More Button

There is a problem because of the huge number of bodies to be represented. The only effective way to solve it is to have a committee and a wider forum and to allow those who cannot be represented on t...More Button

We should have it in the next two weeks or so. We are waiting on two groups for their nominees.More Button

Other Questions. - Physical Education.

Was asked: his plans to increase funding for physical education programmes in primary and post-primary schools.More Button

I refer the Deputy to the primary schools sports initiative, which I launched earlier this year. While we are on the subject, if the Chair will allow, does anybody know the result of the game?More Button

That is great news. I am much relieved. Congratulations to the Irish team. I am sure this view is shared by everyone present because to come out with a result of one-nil with 120,000 people cheering a...More Button

We left it up to them. I refer the Deputy to the primary schools sports initiative, which I launched earlier this year. This initiative will help to promote physical education and healthy lifestyles i...More Button

The Deputy mentioned a survey which showed that 54% of schools do not have a general purposes room. I remind the Deputy that 50% of primary schools are two teacher schools. Many of these were one teac...More Button

It is not unimportant. When did that happen before? These halls cost approximately £1 million each.More Button

Of course we should but if we keep saying that we will not achieve anything.More Button

They are spread around the country. Next time I will try to assure that some are provided in Dublin. They are in Clare, Sligo, Monaghan and Cork city and county. We are doing some more work on Dublin ...More Button

I do not disagree with the Deputy that there is a great need for extra provision. That is why I set up this special group. It is working with a co-ordinator and two assistant co-ordinators on some new...More Button

Other Questions. - Bunú Comhlachta.

Was asked: an mó duine atá ceaptha ag an Roinn le dhá bhliain anuas chun dul i mbun sholáthar áiseanna teagaisc do scoileanna Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoileanna a mbeidh a gcuid oibre faoi chúram an choiste oideacha...More Button

Tá ceathrar oide ceaptha chun ábhair a bheidh oiriúnach do theagasc na Gaeilge i scoileanna Gaeltachta agus i scoileanna lán Ghaeilge a dhearadh. Cuirfidh na hábhair seo ar a gcumas d'oidí sna scoilea...More Button

As the Deputy will know, Mr. Breandán Mac Cormaic has been appointed chairman of the body. He is a former president of Gaelscoileanna. The body will consist of nominees of a wide range of other organi...More Button

The Deputy asked if the body would be appointed before the end of the year. I expect that it will.More Button

Déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall.More Button

Other Questions. - Teachers' Remuneration.

Was asked: the progress of negotiations with the teachers unions regarding their pay claim and allowance for supervision; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will enter into negotiations with the teaching unions with a view to resolving ongoing or impending difficulties which might impact negatively on students; if his atten tion has been drawn to th...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 64 together. A final formal offer of £27 per hour for supervision and substitution has been put to the three teacher unions. The Irish National Teachers Organis...More Button

A number of issues are being discussed in the context of the core requirements of the PPF, which the Deputy will understand must stand. I must say that to avoid any misunderstanding. The teacher's par...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate we are dealing with public servants who are governed by the rules of the public service, as are Deputies and others involved in the public service. We must, therefore, work ...More Button

Regarding the voluntary issue, the difficulty is that especially among ASTI teachers there is a sizeable number who do not want to participate in supervision. There are others who are prepared to do i...More Button

Other Questions. - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: the measures in place to ensure a school that has a secretary or caretaker under the community employment scheme will not lose under the new arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Was asked: the number of schools in each county which have had FÁS workers and staff prior to the withdrawal of the community employment scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many schools have...More Button

Was asked: the total number of community employment participants working in schools; the transitional arrangements for these workers pending the introduction of new funding arrangements for secretaries and caret...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14, 20 and 48 together. My Department provides funding to primary and second level schools on the basis of per capita grants with additional grants towards ancillary s...More Button

Adjournment Debate. - School Accommodation.

I am sure the Deputy will be interested to hear that I signed the contract this morning for Tubbercurry in Sligo.More Button

The Deputy is talking about Ardkeeran national school. The work on Tubbercurry, which is a major project, will begin right away.More Button

I am pleased the Deputy has given me the opportunity of outlining to the House my Department's current position regarding the provision of improved accommodation for Ardkeeran national school. At pres...More Button

Adjournment Debate. - School Absenteeism.

I am amazed at the Deputy's comments that I have no feel for the importance of education. I spent most of my life trying to support young people who are not within the system or getting support from t...More Button

The Act addresses the underlying causes of non-attendance at school by supporting and encouraging children to attend school on a regular basis and by identifying, at an early stage, children who may b...More Button

They will become part of the central board, which will deal with all areas of disadvantage as it sets its priorities. There are industrial issues to be resolved in relation to these matters.More Button

I understand that, but, instead of being with a local authority, they will be transferred to the central board. They will then become agents—More Button

We should deal with one question at a time. They will be transferred to the central board, which will choose its priorities and appoint the officers. I recognise the point made by Deputy Rabbitte with...More Button

Written Answers. - Career Guidance.

Was asked: his plans to ensure all children at secondary school receive adequate counselling and career guidance.More Button

There are now more guidance counsellors employed by schools than at any previous time and, as a result, schools, whatever their size, are in a position to ensure that pupils have access to counselling...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if he will provide resources to ensure that where a professional assessment has taken place of a dyslexic person, the recommendation of such a report will be presented without delay.More Button

I would be most anxious that all assessment reports which identify the need for special educational interventions, including reports relating to children with dyslexia, would be acted upon as speedily...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Funding.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the changes in covenants introduced in the last Finance Act whereby a new threshold of £200 has been introduced; the consideration he has given to the implications o...More Button

While the amount of the minimum contribution that may be donated to a school to qualify for tax relief is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance, I am not aware of concerns at school leve...More Button

Written Answers. - School Equipment.

Was asked: if, further to circular 53/2000 issued by his Department in respect of the purchase of data logging equipment, he will explain the rationale for stipulating that graphic calculators must be purchased;...More Button

Until quite recently the majority of second level schools did not use information technology facilities in the teaching of the physical science subjects. In response to this and as part of the Governm...More Button

Written Answers. - Educational Needs Questionnaires.

Was asked: the number of educational needs questionnaires which were issued to parents whose children are in primary and second level education respectively in the past school year and to date in 2001; the reaso...More Button

My Department does not keep a record of the number of educational needs questionnaires it issues at second level. Such question naires are not issued at primary level. Educational needs questionnaires...More Button

Written Answers. - Autism Services.

Was asked: when his Department will publish the task force report on autism.More Button

The report of the task force on autism has been received in my Department in recent days. The report, which extends to more than 500 pages, deals with a wide range of complex issues and will now requi...More Button

Written Answers. - Commission on Education and Learning.

Was asked: when the promised commission on teaching will be established; the reasons for the delay in so doing; the terms of reference of this body; and when he expects to receive its first report.More Button

There is no significant delay in the establishment of the commission on education and learning, which I initially proposed earlier this year. Work is at an advanced stage within my Department on draft...More Button

Written Answers. - Early School Leavers.

Was asked: the proportion and number of students who left second level education without sitting the leaving certificate; his target for these numbers in 2006; and if he has no quantified target, the reason ther...More Button

The Economic and Social Research Institute-Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment 1998 early school leavers survey indicates that approximately 81% of students currently complete second level ...More Button

Written Answers. - Autism Services.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the widespread concern regarding the lack of services for autistic children in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At present, there are two special classes for children with autism in County Kerry. Each of these classes is capable of catering for up to six pupils and each has the support of a teacher and two spec...More Button

Written Answers. - Scoileanna Lán-Ghaeilge.

Was asked: an bhfuil sé sásta Meánscoil lán-Ghaeilge a bhunú i dTuaisceart Átha Cliath chun freastal ar cheantar Fhine Gall le húdarás na nGaelscoileanna atá ag lorg a leithéid.More Button

I gcoitinne, tagann sé le polaisí mo Roinne soláthar a dhéanamh d'oideachas trí Ghaeilge ag dara leibhéal nuair a bhíonn éileamh air agus nuair a bhíonn dóthain tacaíochta dó, go háirithe ó thaobh lío...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the estimated cost of school building projects submitted to his Department.More Button

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

Written Answers. - National Educational Welfare Board.

Was asked: the progress to date on the establishment of an education welfare service; and the timescale and cost implications for a fully functioning service.More Button

On 29 May 2001 I announced the establishment of the new National Educational Welfare Board. The board held its first meeting on 15 June 2001. I have established the board on an interim or designate ba...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the position that prevails for pupils with special needs and in special schools who wish to remain in school to complete their education after they reach 18 years of age; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

Special schools are designated as primary schools and are designed to cater for children with special needs from four years of age until the end of the school year in which they reach their 18th birth...More Button

Written Answers. - Institutes of Technology.

Was asked: his plans to have Waterford Institute of Technology upgraded to the status of university in the foreseeable future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no plans to change the status of Waterford Institute of Technology. In July 1996, the Government approved in principle the recommendations in the report of the steering committee on the futu...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Reform.

Was asked: the progress being made on the implementation of the Deloitte & Touche and Cromien reports on reform of the administration of the Department of Education.More Button

Arising from the reports referred to by the Deputy, my Department has embarked on a major programme of structural reform which has five core elements to it: a focused movement of certain functions fro...More Button

Written Answers. - Computer Literacy.

Was asked: his plans to evaluate students on computer literacy at primary and post-primary level.More Button

Government policy recognises the need to ensure that pupils in every school have the opportunity to become computer literate. To achieve this objective it is necessary to put in place the ICT infrastr...More Button

Written Answers. - Outdoor Education Centres.

Was asked: the number of recognised outdoor education centres here; if further recognition has been granted since the list was first established; and the procedures necessary for a centre to be recognised.More Button

Beginning in the 1970s a number of vocational education committees established outdoor education centres. There are currently nine VEC outdoor education centres recognised by my Department for the pur...More Button

Written Answers. - Scoileanna Lán-Ghaeilge.

Was asked: cén dul chun cinn atá déanta sa phróiseas chun aitheantas a thabhairt do Ghaelscoil BhórAimhe i Sord Cholm Chille, Fine Gall, Contae Átha Cliath mar bunaíodh í i 1998 agus tá 66 dhalta ag freastal ar ...More Button

Bronnadh aitheantas sealadach ar Ghaelscoil Bhrian Bóroimhe i Sord Cholm Chille, Contae Átha Cliath, i Mí Meán Fómhair, 1999. De gnáth, bíonn mo Roinn sásta aitheantas buan a bhronnadh ar scoil nuair ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of staff in the primary buildings section and the post-primary buildings section of his Department; and his views on the adequacy of this level of staffing to deal with the workload.More Button

Fifty six members of staff in administrative grades are serving in the primary and post primary building sections of my Department's planning and building unit; 31 are in the primary section and 25 in...More Button

Written Answers. - Drugs Awareness Programmes.

Was asked: the percentage of primary schools and secondary schools which are providing drugs awareness programmes; the percentage of schools at each level where staff have undergone specific training in this reg...More Button

Drugs awareness programmes have been introduced into 94% of primary and 67% of post-primary schools through the Walk Tall and On my Own Two Feet programmes. Up to 3,000 schools at primary level have r...More Button

Written Answers. - School Services Staff.

Was asked: the reason school secretaries and caretakers do not receive pension cover from his Department; the total number of school secretaries and caretakers in the primary and post-primary school sectors; and...More Button

The funding provided by my Department to schools for secretarial and caretaking services is structured mainly on the basis of capitation grants. This provides schools with considerable flexibility in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 215 of 2 May 2001 he will state if the report was delivered to him on schedule; and if the contents will be made public and debated.More Button

In my earlier response to the Deputy I indicated that the task force had completed its detailed deliberations and was engaged in finalising the drafting of its report. The report of the task force on ...More Button

Written Answers. - ASTI Dispute.

Was asked: the action he has taken on foot of the Data Protection Commissioner's report and criticism of the use of the teachers' payroll database to withhold pay from teachers engaged in industrial action; and ...More Button

The authorities of secondary schools are required to notify my Department on specially designed “absence returns” forms of teacher absences and the reasons therefor. In the light of the decision of t...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing and increasing needs at both primary and second level schools regarding the provision of psychologists, resource and remedial teachers or other special n...More Button

I am fully aware of the ongoing need to continue the development of our special education services. The present Government has been responsible for an unprecedented level of development in the special...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the total number of applications for major capital works for both primary and secondary schools pending in his Department.More Button

My Department is currently handling just over 800 major capital projects involving primary and post-primary schools.More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the problems identified by the teachers unions on the issue of pensionability of the supervision and substitution payments; the estimated costs of these proposals; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

There are general rules about pensionability which were best summarised in the recent report of the commission on public service pensions. The report states that: The general rule under public service...More Button

Written Answers. - Local Education Task Forces.

Was asked: the number of requests he has received for the establishment of local education task forces in local communities; the communities involved; and his response to these requests.More Button

According to my Department's records, one specific proposal has been received from the Inner City Organisations Network, ICON, to develop a strategic plan for Dublin north-east inner city. ICON is one...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: his proposals to allocate time on the schedules of resource teachers to gifted children; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The educational needs of gifted children are already being catered for in a number of ways. Under the terms of the Education Act, it is a function of the board of management of each school to publish ...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: his plans to make reparation to those people who were the victims of abuse while pupils of day schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The needs of people who, as children, suffered abuse whether in ordinary schools, institutional care or other circumstances are many and complex. The same can be said of the measures which can provide...More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Non-Completion Rates.

Was asked: the drop out rates of third level colleges; the comparative reasons between the universities and institutes of technology; and his proposals to remedy this matter.More Button

A number of reports have recently been completed which outline the attrition levels at third level. A study of non-completion in undergraduate university courses was undertaken by the Educational Rese...More Button

Written Answers. - Physical Sciences.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to tackle the problem of the crisis in science education at post-primary level.More Button

The uptake of science in the junior cycle has remained constant at just under 90% for a number of years. At leaving certificate level the uptake of biology was reasonably constant for many years but m...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychological Service.

Was asked: the number of children assessed as dyslexic in County Galway; the timescale which is involved once a child is presented with suspected dyslexia; and the subsequent professional assessment by the Weste...More Button

In past years, psychological assessment of national school children, including those suspected of having dyslexia, has been the responsibility of psychologists employed by the health boards and by vol...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Buildings Projects.

Was asked: if he will approve funding for Tawninagh national school, Charlestown, County Mayo.More Button

I understand that the Deputy is referring to Tavneena national school, Charlestown, County Mayo. My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at Tavne...More Button

Written Answers. - Training Places.

Was asked: the extra training places created for 2001 offered by third level institutions in each of the areas of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy; the action his Department pr...More Button

The Department of Health and Children commissioned a report from Dr. Peter Bacon and Associates on current and future supply and demand conditions in the labour market for physiotherapists, occupation...More Button

Written Answers. - Early Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the number of teachers at primary and secondary level who have taken early retirement in each of the past four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The figures sought by the Deputy are set out in the following tabular statement. The early retirement scheme for teachers is voluntary. It is open to teachers to apply for early retirement under three...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the state of planning for the provision of a new gaelscoil in Ballinasloe, County Galway; the reason for the delay in indicating to the board of management and parents his plans; if planning is at an ...More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at Gaelscoil Uí Cheithearnaigh, Ballinasloe, County Galway. The Deputy will appreciate that there has bee...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that approval for an extension to Milltown national school, Belturbet, County Cavan, has not been received; if he will grant approval; and if his attention ...More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at Milltown national school. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and unprecedented i...More Button

Written Answers. - Multi-Denominational Schools.

Was asked: his Department's policy regarding the purchase of new school sites; the reasons multi-denominational schools are required to pay for temporary accommodation before being recognised; and if he will mak...More Button

The purchase of new school sites is underpinned by a thorough assessment of the need for new educational facilities at primary or post primary level in any given area. The process takes account of all...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: the progress to date in resolving the dispute over legal expenses for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 20 of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, 2000, provides that the Minister for Education and Science may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance and following consultation wi...More Button

Written Answers. - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: notwithstanding the pupil-teacher ratio at primary level, his views on whether it is acceptable to have infant classes in primary schools with over 30 pupils; the number of pupils in these classes; an...More Button

The pupil-teacher ratio for primary schools has been reduced from 22.2:1 in the 1996-97 school year to 19.6 in the 2000-01 school year. The retention of posts arising from the demographic dividend in ...More Button

Written Answers. - New Schools Programme.

Was asked: the assistance which has been afforded to the 25% of schools who did not return the questionnaires before the launch of the new programme, Giving Children an Even Break; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Deputy is referring to the comprehensive survey of all primary schools, which was carried out by the Educational Research Centre in 2000 at the request of my Department. The purpose of the survey ...More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Education.

Was asked: the action he has taken to date on foot of the report of the action group on access to third level education; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has provided £95 million under the national development plan for a third level access fund to tackle disadvantage at third level. Last July I launched the report on access to third leve...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if he will provide additional remedial teachers for the Grange-Con/Stratford-on-Slaney schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of the situation to which the Deputy refers. The needs of the schools in question will be fully considered in the event of additional learning support teacher posts becoming available for a...More Button

Written Answers. - Sport and Physical Education.

Was asked: the finances being invested to promote sport and physical education in schools in County Galway; the amount involved; the total amount nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to the primary schools sports initiative which I launched earlier this year. This initiative will help to promote physical education and healthy lifestyles in primary schools. A pil...More Button

Written Answers. - Autism Services.

Was asked: the number of cases in 2001 to date involving children with autism which have been settled or adjourned generally on the basis that appropriate provision has been put in place for the individuals conc...More Button

In the year 2001 to date, 13 cases involving children with autism have been settled or adjourned generally on the basis that appropriate provision has been put in place for the children concerned. The...More Button

Written Answers. - Adult Education.

Was asked: the timescale for the implementation of the principles contained in the White Paper on Adult Education; if he is satisfied that its proposals will be implemented in full; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The principles which underpin the strategy set out in the White Paper on Adult Education, Learning for Life, are, first, lifelong learning as a systemic approach – a holistic learner-centred flexible ...More Button

Written Answers. - Blackstock Report.

Was asked: if he is committed to the full implementation of the Blackstock Report.More Button

The Blackstock report on the funding of second level schools represents a comprehensive review of the funding arrangements of post-primary schools. I wish to assure the Deputy that it is my intention ...More Button

Written Answers. - Adult Education.

Was asked: if he will review his Department's targets on adult literacy campaigns; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The target set out in the national development plan and the White Paper on Adult Education “Learning for Life” is that over the period 2000-2006, investment in adult literacy should increase to £73.6 ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: if he, or his officials, have had discussion with the Eastern Regional Health Authority, Dublin Institute of Technology or other bodies concerning plans for the Eastern Regional Health Authority site ...More Button

Officials of my Department form part of an interdepartmental working group which is examining how best to ensure that the strategic location and potential of the Eastern Regional Health Authority site...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if a document will be released at an early date in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have made arrangements to forward the payment due to the school in question.More Button

Was asked: the number of applications for major capital works for primary schools and secondary schools which are pending in his Department; the level of capital funding which will be available to him to meet th...More Button

Over 800 major school building projects are currently in architectural planning. Decisions relating to the rate of progress to construction of projects in 2002 will be taken in the light of allocation...More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Drop-Out Rates.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to tackle the drop-out rate at third level colleges.More Button

The Educational Research Centre has completed two comprehensive studies on the extent of non-completion in both the universities and the institutes of technology. These quantitative studies provide an...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if he will approve the assigning of a design team for Tavneena national school, Charlestown, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at Tavneena national school. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and unprecedented i...More Button

Was asked: when construction work will begin at Coláiste Eoin and Coláiste Íosagáin, Bóthar Stigh Lorgan, Baile Átha Cliath; if he will expedite the starting date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Stage 6, tender action and report, was submitted to my Department's building unit in October. At present the documentation is being examined by my Department's staff. Should this submission be deemed ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the flooding problems at a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; if so, his plans to rectify the problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at the school in question. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and unprecedented inc...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with progress in the school building programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and unprecedented increase in the funds allocated by this Government to the building programme at all levels. The allocation in the current yea...More Button

Written Answers. - School Insurance Costs.

Was asked: his understanding of the insurance costs and insurance companies demands on primary and secondary schools in the Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of concerns expressed by school authorities in relation to increased insurance costs and related conditions, referred to by the Deputy. At primary level, schools running costs have been tra...More Button

Written Answers. - School Security Measures.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that there are sufficient precautions and security measures in place in primary and secondary schools to deter terror attacks on any school; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: if he will take special precautions in respect of schools and colleges arising from international safety concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 145 and 158 together. In general, security matters and allied issues are properly addressed by individual school management authorities, as they are best placed to a...More Button

Written Answers. - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

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

The actual pupil-teacher ratio for second level schools in the Dublin area in the last school year was of the order of 14.3:1. The data in relation to the pupil-teacher ratio for primary schools in th...More Button

Written Answers. - Benchmarking Process.

Was asked: his views on whether the benchmarking body will report by June 2002 and whether the first payment will be backdated only to December 2001; and the additional once-off offer which can be made to restor...More Button

The public service benchmarking body was established under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, PPF. One of the essential features of the benchmarking process is that it will look a...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the position in relation to a school building (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant aid towards the cost of a building project at the school in question. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and unprecedented inc...More Button

Written Answers. - Teacher Training.

Was asked: if he will introduce a primary teacher training course available on a part-time basis for persons who are temporarily filling full-time teaching posts in primary schools as teachers without a primary ...More Button

At present, the courses run in the State that allow for appointment to a permanent post in a primary school are the Bachelor of Education degree and the full-time 18-month postgraduate diploma in prim...More Button

Written Answers. - School Books Provision.

Was asked: if there has been a recent review of the methods of planning in the provision of school books for pupils; the measures he has put in place to ensure reasonable continuity of books used in class in suc...More Button

Apart from a small number of prescribed texts at second level, mainly in the case of language subjects, school textbooks are not approved or prescribed by my Department at first or second level. Decis...More Button

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application for a classroom assistant by a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has recently increased the level of special needs assistant support available to the school in question through the allocation of a full-time speci...More Button

Written Answers. - School Equipment.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application by a person (details supplied) in County Donegal for the provision of a lap-top computer; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has recently received a report from the inspectorate regarding the special equipment needs of the pupil in question. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that based on this report a grant f...More Button

Written Answers. - School Services Staff.

Was asked: if he will investigate the circumstances of a school secretary and a caretaker in a disadvantaged school (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department provides funding towards ancillary services in schools in the form of assistance to schools towards the cost of secretarial and caretaking services. In line with a PPF commitment to main...More Button

Written Answers. - Student Support Schemes.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the student top-up grant.More Button

The report of the action group on access to third level education makes detailed recommendations concerning the introduction of special rates of maintenance grants for disadvantaged students. The acti...More Button

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Was asked: the number of additional special duties teacher, B posts, which were created in Glenties Comprehensive School, County Donegal as a result of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work agreement.More Button

Was asked: the number of additional principal A Posts which were created in Glenties comprehensive school, County Donegal as a result of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work agreement.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 and 156 together. As a result of the PCW agreement on the pay and conditions of teachers, three additional assistant principal posts and one additional special dut...More Button

Written Answers. - School Curriculum.

Was asked: if he will take action to encourage students to pursue the science and maths subjects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The importance of science, mathematics as the educational foundation to the development of a high-skill, knowledge-based economy is recognised by this Government. Increasing participation rates at sec...More Button

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the need for the appointment of further resource teachers in the various schools in north Kildare; the numbers and the requirement; when he expects to make an increa...More Button

Resource teacher posts are allocated to support children with special needs who are attending school on a fully integrated basis. The level of support provided in any individual case is based on the p...More Button

Was asked: if he has received requests for the appointment of further remedial teachers in north Kildare; the number required; when he expects to make an increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Since 1999 the learning support – remedial – teacher service has been extended to all first and second level schools in the country with a pupil teacher ratio of 10:1 or more, including schools in Cou...More Button

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of extra facilities at Rathmore national school, Naas, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant-aid towards the cost of a building project at Rathmore national school, Naas, County Kildare. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massi...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the pro vision of the extra facilities required at Sallins national school, Sallins, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant-aid towards the cost of a building project at Sallins national school, Sallins, County Kildare. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a mas...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of extra facilities required at Scoil An Linbh Íosa, Prosperous, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant-aid towards the cost of a building project at Scoil An Linbh Íosa, Prosperous, County Kildare. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a mass...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of extra facilities required at Maynooth post primary school, Maynooth, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The stage 3 – developed sketch scheme – submission was recently received in my Department's post primary building unit and is currently being considered.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of the extra facilities required at Scoil Dara, Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The stage 6 – tender action and report – in respect of the proposed extra facilities at Scoil Dara, Kilcock, County Kildare has been examined within the Department. My Department's post primary buildi...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date regarding the provision of permanent facilities at Scoil Uí Riada, Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant-aid towards the cost of a building project at Scoil Uí Riada, Kilcock, County Kildare. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive and ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of permanent facilities at Scoil Uí Fhiach, Maynooth, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for grant-aid towards the cost of a building project at Scoil Uí Fhiach, Maynooth, County Kildare. The Deputy will appreciate that there has been a massive a...More Button

Was asked: the progress regarding plans for the provision of primary and second level school facilities at Kill, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At primary level, the position is that, in Kill, the need for a 16 classroom school has been identified. However, the current school site does not have the capacity to cater for 16 classrooms and appr...More Button

Was asked: if permanent facilities will be provided at Coláiste Cois Life, County Dublin; when work is likely to start on the project; if this work is likely to be undertaken under a public private partnership; ...More Button

I wish to inform the deputy that the design team is currently working on a stage three submission – developed sketch scheme – for the provision of a new school for Coláiste Cois Life. It is not inten...More Button

Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare qualifies for a higher education grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department funds three means tested maintenance grant schemes for third level education students in respect of attendance on approved courses in approved third level institutions, (a) the higher ed...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Relations.

Was asked: the position regarding ongoing discussions with teachers unions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A final formal offer on payment for supervision and substitution was put to the three teacher unions last month. The Irish National Teachers Organisation recommended acceptance and its members are bei...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychological Service.

Was asked: the optimum requirements in terms of the number of psychologists employed in the various schools in north Kildare; the way in which and when he proposes to increase numbers in accordance with ongoing ...More Button

My Department established the national educational psychological service in September 1999. The number of psychologists to be assigned by NEPS to each area is based on recommendations contained in the...More Button

Was asked: the schools in north Kildare in respect of which he has received requests for the appointment of further school psychologists; his proposals in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The management of the national educational psychological service, NEPS, informs me that the 26 primary schools which are included in the OAK partnership area in north-west Kildare have made a joint ap...More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Management.

Was asked: if the report regarding traffic management and safety measures at St. Wolstan's community school, Ballymakealy, Celbridge, County Kildare, has been brought to his attention; if his attention has been ...More Button

The traffic management report has been completed and brought to the attention of my Department. The report raised a number of issues that require to be addressed by Kildare County Council. A copy of t...More Button

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

Was asked: if he will appoint a classroom assistant on a full-time basis at a primary school (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

I understand that my Department has no record of an application from the school in question for classroom assistant support for the child mentioned by the Deputy. The pupil in question is currently in...More Button

Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: if he will have a higher education grant paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

My Department funds three means tested maintenance grant schemes for third level education students in respect of attendance on approved courses in approved third level institutions – the higher educa...More Button


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