Tuesday, 22 March 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
598. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason none of the recommendations in the McIver report, published in April 2003, has to date been implemented; the timescale for their implementation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9143/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): The McIver report on the post-leaving certificate review was commissioned by my Department to examine the sector and make recommendations regarding the organisational, support, development, technical and administrative structures and resources required in schools and colleges with large-scale post-leaving certificate, PLC, provision, having regard to good practice in related areas across the system and in other countries. The final report was completed in April 2003.
The report contains 21 over-arching recommendations, incorporating more than 90 sub-recommendations. The principal recommendations are a reduction in the number of timetabled class teaching hours and appropriate increases in staff to compensate; enhancement of senior and middle management structures to allow more time for assessment, student support and interaction, team development and cross curricular planning, industry liaison and quality assurance processes; an increase in technical and administrative support staff; and improvements in student library, IT and social facilities and capital infrastructure. My Department is engaged in discussions with the Irish Vocational Education Association regarding the structural changes envisaged in the report, their implications and costs.
599. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Education and Science if it is her intention to lift the cap on numbers in PLC colleges as requested by the TUI and the IVEA; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9144/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): In the 2004-05 academic year, 28,500 PLC places were approved in schools and colleges throughout the country. The approval process for PLC places for the academic year 2005-06 will take account of enrolment trends, applications from VECs, schools and colleges for course approval and the totality of demands for courses and teaching resources across the system.
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