Hanafin, Mary

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 601 No. 2

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Priority Questions - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the financial support given by her Department to fee-paying schools for building and refurbishment works; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has invested in the largest school building programme in the history of the State. Between 1998 and the end of 2004, almost €2 billion was invested in school buildings and approximately...More Button

There has been no change in the policy of supporting fee paying schools. Since the foundation of the State all parties and all Governments have supported such schools, largely to protect choice and th...More Button

Basically, this will penalise the Church of Ireland ethos, the Presbyterian ethos and the Jewish ethos, as these are the only schools in the country who receive funds for capitation and day-to-day exp...More Button

There will be no change in the policy of paying teachers’ salaries in fee paying schools at second level. Those teachers would have to be paid, irrespective of which school those children attended.More Button

There is no change in policy in that regard. Only ten of the almost 1,200 school projects which are being funded for building this year are for fee paying schools. A number of them are for Protestant ...More Button

Each school and each board of management is responsible for its own enrolment policy, as the Deputy is well aware.More Button

Priority Questions - School Staffing.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the decreasing number of males entering the teacher profession at all levels; the steps she intends to take to ensure a better gender balance in the teaching profess...More Button

I am aware of the decreasing number of males entering the teaching profession and I know that the situation is particularly acute at primary level. The relatively low number of males in the teaching f...More Button

I am not sure if there is any connection between boys doing honours Irish for the leaving certificate and their subsequent entry into the training colleges. It is useful to look at the numbers across ...More Button

Deputy O’Sullivan is quite mistaken in thinking I am opposed to changing the curriculum. The curriculum needs to be constantly updated and to respond to societal changes. We need to examine the entry-...More Button

Priority Questions - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if she will clarify her position regarding the education of the deaf community in view of comments made during a debate on 30 June 2004 which suggested that there were mutually exclusive arguments wit...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the anger and frustration at her decision to disband the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing; the number of persons on the NCSE tasked with advising ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 395 together. The advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing was established in December 2001. The committee held 38 meetings over a three-year period ...More Button

After three years, it was evident the differences between the two groups on the committee were not only insurmountable but historical and deeply felt. At no stage was there any possibility of progress...More Button

Priority Questions - Irish Language.

Was asked: if a full assessment of the teaching of Irish in primary and secondary schools will take place; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The recent report of the Irish Language Commissioner highlighted the fact that despite appreciable time devoted to Irish in the school system, many students emerge from primary and post-primary educat...More Button

I have no plans to change the mandatory nature as it is important that people should learn their native language at all levels of the education system. On the matter of the overall environment, Instit...More Button

Priority Questions - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: if she will give a breakdown, county by county, of the new awards of higher education grants under socio-economic categories for the 2001-2002 and subsequent academic year; if she is satisfied the all...More Button

The most recent data on participation rates at third level is that published in the HEA review of higher education participation in 2003, which showed that participation in higher education among the ...More Button

I understand the number of people in receipt of third level grants and benefiting under the schemes is 56,000. The amount of money involved in this has increased substantially. The HEA and my Departme...More Button

When one looks at the profile, one finds the rate of participation among people in working class, or even middle class, Dublin in the grant schemes is not as great as that in rural areas. As I said be...More Button

The capital value of her home might be considerable but one cannot expect her to sell her house to send her child to college. These issues must be balanced against the farmer with a lot of land. It is...More Button

Other Questions - Task Force on the Physical Sciences.

Was asked: if she will establish an implementation group for the task force on the physical sciences; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Education and Science continues to progress the recommendations of the task force on the physical sciences as resources permit in collaboration and consultation with the Department o...More Button

The Deputy began by saying a number of different bodies were dealing with this issue and then went on to suggest there should be another body.More Button

I do not believe we need another implementation group when we already have the Cabinet sub-committee, a chief science adviser, a deputy chief science adviser and an interdepartmental committee for sci...More Button

New schools and major extensions get such funding. In addition, curricular change is included under the summer works scheme and schools can get laboratories under that. We spent €60 million on summer ...More Button

I accept what the Deputy said about the skills of our young people, particularly those who have participated in the Young Scientist of the Year exhibition, having been an exhibitor fadó, fadó.More Button

Their success in international competitions is certainly to their credit. Gaelscoil Colmcille decided to set up in a football club. If a school wants to establish itself in a football club, it must re...More Button

Other Questions - School Completion Programme.

Was asked: the number of schools participating in each of the school completion programmes and the Giving Children an Even Break initiative; the number of schools participating in each of these programmes which ...More Button

The school completion programme, which was launched in 2002, incorporates the learning, experience and best practice derived from previous early school leaving initiatives, namely, the eight to 15 ear...More Button

The Deputy’s last question would be more appropriately directed to the Department administering that programme. The money available under the programme is used to great advantage, as any of us who hav...More Button

Much can be done to promote healthy eating. It is promoted in the schools through the SPHE programme through encouraging students to learn about nutrition and food at primary and post-primary level. F...More Button

The document has gone to the printer and for translation as a policy document. Caithfidh sé bheith ar fáil i nGaelige freisin. As soon as it is available I will launch it.More Button

At the outset of my ministry I made it clear that each sector within the education system was important and it would be highly dangerous to ignore the third level sector in favour of any one of the ot...More Button

Other Questions - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the amount being spent on prefabricated buildings in the education sector each year; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the five years to the end of 2004, my Department has spent €73.5 million on the purchase of prefabricated buildings in the primary and post-primary sectors. This expenditure was for the supply and ...More Button

Expenditure on prefabricated buildings amounts to just 5% of the €1.6 billion spent in recent years. The measure is used to ensure a speedy response in growing areas in particular. Many of these build...More Button

Leaders’ Questions.

Not this week.More Button

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Bill 2004: Report Stage (Resumed).

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Private Members’ Business - Class Sizes: Motion.

That was the information requested by the Deputy.More Button

I propose to share time with Deputy Carey. I move amendment No. 1: To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following: “—commends the Government on the significant additional resour...More Button

The two go hand in hand. Before Christmas I launched the numeracy and literacy report on disadvantaged schools which looked at many of the schools with class sizes of 15 or 20 and which found that the...More Button

A number of factors feed into literacy levels. We accept that class size can make a difference at junior level. The INTO has also accepted that changes in teaching styles need to go hand in hand with ...More Button

In achieving the Government target on smaller class sizes priority must, in the first instance, be given to children with special needs and those in disadvantaged areas. As I told the teacher conferen...More Button

In recent years we have placed a particular focus on reducing class size in schools in disadvantaged areas. The 32 schools in the Breaking the Cycle programme operate to a maximum class size of 15 for...More Button

The new action plan will build on the success of existing programmes, while addressing the issues that have diluted the overall effectiveness of some measures.More Button

I will publish the action plan. We have had enough reviews.More Button

Under the new plan, children from areas of socio-economic disadvantage will receive more support than ever before to help them reach their full potential. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach...More Button

Without doubt, we are playing catch-up. In any area of historical under-provision it takes time to improve services to an appropriate level. Significant advances have been made in this area in the pas...More Button

A sum of €50 million was carried over to this year. Therefore, it was not lost to the building programme.More Button

It will be spent this year.More Button

As I stated, funding for school building and renovation projects has increased fivefold since 1997. In 2005, €493 million will be spent on school building projects, compared to just €92 million in 199...More Button

A €3.4 billion capital investment in school buildings for the 2005-09 period was announced in the last budget.More Button

I look forward to being Minister for Education and Science during all of that five year period.More Button

The overall priorities over the next five year period are: to provide appropriate school facilities as quickly as possible in areas with expanding populations; to move as many projects as possible fro...More Button

The 14% increase in funding in 2005 is clear proof of my commitment to tackling and ensuring the completion of the school building programme and to ensuring the facilities teachers and children deserv...More Button

In line with Government policy and commitments, I will continue, through my Department, to provide for further reductions in the pupil-teacher ratio within available resources and subject to spending ...More Button

I did not condemn principals for not attempting to mix classes.More Button

Is Deputy English suggesting we close small schools?More Button

I did not say that.More Button

The Deputy is wasting his time. I said 24 October.More Button

It is progress.More Button

The Deputy voted in 1997 to get rid of teachers.More Button

Deputy O’Sullivan said that.More Button

The special education organiser——More Button

They are the facts.More Button

Proving we have reduced class sizes.More Button

I am sure the principals are capable people.More Button

Out of 750,000 there are 9,067 pupils in classes of more than 40?More Button

Written Answers - Education Welfare Service.

Was asked: the number of education welfare officers currently employed by the NEWB; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 established the National Educational Welfare Board as the single national body with responsibility for school attendance. The Act provides a comprehensive framework pr...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Education.

Was asked: the failure rates for first year science courses at universities and institutes of technology; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Information on national failure rates in specific programmes is not available. However, national research conducted by the HEA into the issue of student non-completion found that science had a higher ...More Button

Written Answers - Teacher Training.

Was asked: if the curriculum in primary education contains a module on the way in which dyslexia is recognised and the way in which to deal with it; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand the Deputy is referring to teacher training programmes in the colleges of education. The existing pre-service teacher training programmes provided by the colleges of education include spe...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the appeal mechanism for parents who wish to transfer their dyslexic child to a special school in a case in which family psychologists rate the pupil at eight and school psychologists rate the same pu...More Button

Based on the information provided by the Deputy, it is not possible to respond specifically on the case in question. However, my officials will arrange to have the matter examined further if the Deput...More Button

Was asked: the progress being made on the implementation of the recommendations of the task force on autism; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The recommendations of the task force on autism provide an invaluable basis for development of educational services and supports for persons with autism. In responding to the recommendations, my Depar...More Button

Written Answers - Literacy Levels.

Was asked: the percentage of young persons leaving secondary school with literacy difficulties; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is no facility within the education system to measure the percentage of young people leaving post-primary schools with literacy difficulties. However, the results of PISA, the programme of inter...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to further special needs requirements at both primary and second level schools throughout the country; if she intends to make provision for the appointment of the neces...More Button

Every effort is made to ensure that children with special educational needs receive an education appropriate to their needs and, in this regard, in recent years significant additional resources have b...More Button

Written Answers - Psychological Service.

Was asked: the number of psychologists employed by the NEPS; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Educational Psychological Service, NEPS, has delegated authority to develop and provide an educational psychological service to all students in primary and post-primary schools and in cer...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the recent survey undertaken by the ASTI, which showed that work related stress accounted for more than one in three teacher absences from school; the steps she inte...More Button

Opportunities for professional development and the availability of support on a personal level are important in every profession in enabling staff to work to the best of their abilities and to deal wi...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the timescale for the allocation of funding to commence construction of an extension of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 20; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have included the building project for the school in question in my recently announced list of school projects to be progressed through architectural planning in 2005. My Department will be in conta...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the number of children at primary level in classes of more than 35; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of children at primary level in classes of more than 25; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of children at primary level in classes of more than 20; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of primary school children in classes of more than 30; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69, 79, 93 and 133 together. The information requested is as follows and refers to ordinary classes only for the 2003-04 school year: more than 20 — 346,066; more than...More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: the position of discussions with the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Revenue Commissioners regarding the introduction of a new higher education grants scheme; the steps being taken to ...More Button

My Department funds three means tested maintenance grant schemes for third level students. The higher education grants scheme operates on a statutory basis, while the vocational education committees’ ...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: the number of school days taken by unqualified teachers in the latest year for which figures are available; if her attention has been drawn to the difficulties experienced by school principals in obta...More Button

The figures requested by the Deputy are not readily available in my Department. I am aware, however, that the primary sector has experienced a shortage of trained teachers in recent years mainly as a ...More Button

Written Answers - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

Was asked: the number of persons who have made compensation applications to the Residential Institutions Redress Board at the latest date for which figures are available; the way in which the number of applicati...More Button

The Residential Institutions Redress Board is an independent body established under statute in December 2002 to provide financial redress to persons who, as children, were abused while resident in ind...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the measures which will be put in place to ensure that the National Council for Special Education can handle the workload involving deaf education; her views on whether it would be better to reconstit...More Button

The advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing was established in December 2001. The committee held 38 meetings over a three year period as well as a number of other meetings at subcommittee ...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the timescale and the way in which she proposes to respond to the disturbing facts uncovered in the survey recently carried out by the Irish National Teachers Organisation which showed that there are ...More Button

The system for allocating teachers to primary schools is based on ensuring an overall maximum class of 29 in each school. Where some classes in a school have class sizes of greater than 29, it is gene...More Button

Written Answers - School Discipline.

Was asked: the way in which she intends to tackle growing discipline problems in schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the call from the TUI, arising from concerns regarding declining school discipline, for the introduction of new legislative measures to outline the rights and respon...More Button

Was asked: when she expects to receive the report of the task force on student behaviour in secondary schools; if her attention has been drawn to serious concern expressed at recent teacher union conferences reg...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75, 119 and 137 together. I recently established a task force to consider and report on the issue of student behaviour in second level schools. The task force is chair...More Button

Written Answers - Lisbon Agenda.

Was asked: the steps being taken by her Department to ensure that the targets set under the Lisbon strategy are achieved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The strategic goal set at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 is to make the European Union the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Education.

Was asked: the progress which has been made in implementing the recommendations of the OECD review of third level education here; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps she intends to take arising from the decision of the Government to endorse the recent OECD report on third level education; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the aspects of the OECD report into higher education which the Government will implement in the coming 12 months.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77, 95 and 99 together. Following consideration and approval by my Government colleagues of the broad thrust of the recommendations contained in the OECD review of hig...More Button

Written Answers - Educational Disadvantage.

Was asked: the number of children who have participated in the Early Start programme in each year since its inception; the cost of this project for each of those years; the success of this project in combating e...More Button

The Early Start pre-school project was established in 40 primary schools in designated areas of urban disadvantage in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Drogheda and Dundalk during 1994 and 19...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: the way in which she proposes to address the growing problem of adequate provision of school places for children in areas of expanding population; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school planning section of my Department is charged with planning the provision of suitable cost effective accommodation to underpin the delivery of first and second level education. Key tasks of ...More Button

Written Answers - Physical Education Facilities.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to ensure that all goalposts used in schools are safe, in view of a number of accidents in which temporary or portable goalposts have collapsed on children causing injury and i...More Button

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, individual school authorities are responsible, in the first instance, for ensuring the safety and welfare of children and others in ...More Button

Written Answers - Standardised Testing.

Was asked: if she has received a report from the NCCA recommending that all 450,000 primary school pupils should be tested for literacy and numeracy in first class and fifth class; if she intends to implement th...More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the introduction of standardised testing at primary level; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 129 together. Within the past week, I received the advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA, on standardised testing in compulsory sch...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if she will reconsider her decision to abolish the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing; her views on whether the National Council for Special Education is the appropriate forum to deal...More Button

Was asked: the reason there was no consultation between her Department and the deaf community regarding her decision to abolish the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing.More Button

Was asked: the reason the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing was not consulted before her decision to disband it; the assessment she received before her decision; the person who made the assessm...More Button

Was asked: if her attention had been drawn to the unbalanced representation on the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing before her decision to disband it.More Button

Was asked: if her attention had been drawn to the intransigent stance adopted by her officials to proposals and suggestions of the deaf community regarding deaf education issues on the advisory committee for the...More Button

Was asked: her views on receiving majority and minority reports from the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing based on its work up until disbandment.More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify her position regarding the education of the deaf community in view of comments made during a debate on 30 June 2004 which suggested that there were mutually exclusive arguments wit...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the anger and frustration at her decision to disband the advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing; and if there was any communication suggesting that the ...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons on the NCSE tasked with advising her Department on policy matters and who come from a deaf or hard of hearing background in view of her decision to disband the advisory committee...More Button

Was asked: the effort she made as a newly appointed Minister to ensure that the advisory committee finalised its report in view of her decision to disband the committee; if her attention has been drawn to the tw...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83, 432 to 437, inclusive, and 449 to 451, inclusive, together. The advisory committee for the deaf and hard of hearing was established in December 2001. The committee...More Button

Written Answers - School Text Books.

Was asked: if she will take action to prevent publishers of school books from reprinting text books with minor textual changes, forcing parents and schools to discard expensive books after a short period of time...More Button

Syllabus planners are conscious of the need to avoid over frequent changes, primarily to minimise increases in the cost burden for parents. Apart from a small number of prescribed texts at second leve...More Button

Written Answers - School Administration.

Was asked: if she has considered the recent survey carried out by the Irish Primary Principals Network which found that many principals are extremely overloaded and overworked; if she will address the administra...More Button

I am aware of the concerns expressed by a number of organisations, including the Irish Primary Principals Network in their survey, about the administrative burden placed on schools and the effect this...More Button

Written Answers - Computerisation Programme.

Was asked: if a new strategy for introducing information technology into schools will be announced; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The major focus for my Department at present is the roll out of broadband connectivity to all recognised schools. This project is being undertaken in partnership with industry, following the establish...More Button

Written Answers - School Management.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to reported proposals from a number of religious orders to establish collaborative trusts to run schools under their control; if there have been any discussions with he...More Button

Members of religious orders have kept in close touch with my Department about the evolution of trust boards in their sector. At the core of this approach is an intent and desire to secure the future o...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Education.

Was asked: the steps she intends to take to address the continuing low levels of attendance at third level institutions by young persons from areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, identified in recent figures pub...More Button

Ireland has witnessed significant growth in participation in higher education in recent decades. In 1980, only 20% of all school leavers went on to higher education, today that figure is 54%. In 1980,...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: her plans to bring about an early examination of the pupil teacher ratio at primary and second level schools throughout the country; if the necessary corrective measures will be taken to bring the rat...More Button

Significant improvements have been made in the pupil teacher ratio at both primary and post primary levels in recent years. At primary level, the ratio has fallen from 22.2:1 in the 1996-97 school yea...More Button

Written Answers - Public Private Partnerships.

Was asked: if her Department is planning further PPP schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My colleague, the Minister for Finance, provided a capital envelope of €555 million in respect of education PPPs for the period 2005 to 2009 and I am currently examining how this may be best utilised....More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: the extra supports her Department plans to introduce in view of the long waiting list for parents looking to send their children to an all-Irish primary school in the Tallaght west area.More Button

I approved the provision of temporary accommodation at the all-Irish primary school in Tallaght to meet its needs for September 2005. If a second all-Irish primary school is deemed necessary in the ar...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if the new system for the allocation of resources to children with special educational needs will be introduced as planned in September 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if she plans to introduce a system of weighted allocation for children with special educational needs from September 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when she expects the review of the proposed weighted system of allocation of resource teaching support to be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the changes she will be making to the weighted system for the allocation of resources for children with special educational needs, due to be introduced in September 2005; and if she will make a statem...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92, 143, 152 and 394 together. In light of the reality that pupils in the high incidence disability categories of mild and borderline mild general learning disability ...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the action she is taking to upgrade schools in County Roscommon; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Applications for capital funding for schools are assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria, which was revised following consultation with the education partners. I have now ann...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: the number of recommendations of the task force on the physical sciences which remain to be implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department continues to progress the recommendations of the task force on the physical sciences as resources permit in collaboration and consultation with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Em...More Button

Written Answers - Psychological Service.

Was asked: the number of national schools currently covered by the NEPS; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current situation is that 1,772 national schools have psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service, NEPS, directly assigned to them and, therefore, have access to the full NEP...More Button

Written Answers - Multi-Denominational Schools.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the call from Educate Together for the State to take action to provide real support for the planned development of a national network of multi-denominational schools...More Button

I am aware of Educate Together’s call for more state support for multidenominational schools. Significant Government funding, €14.1 million, has been provided for capital projects in Educate Together ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: if any research is currently funded by her Department into biofuels; the plans in place for the next five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department, through its agencies, is currently funding a number of projects in this area. The agencies and projects are the following. The Higher Education Authority, under the programme for resear...More Button

Written Answers - School Transport.

Was asked: when she expects to publish the review of the school transport scheme; if the review recommends that parents of primary pupils will have to pay charges of up to €150 per year; if she intends to accept...More Button

The review of the school transport scheme within my Department is at an advanced stage. I have no plans to introduce new charges for pupils attending primary schools.More Button

Written Answers - Register of Offenders.

Was asked: when the legislation to establish a register of persons considered unsafe to work with children will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A cross governmental working group was established to put forward proposals for reform of vetting by the central vetting unit run by the Garda Síochána. Among its recommendations was the proposal that...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Education.

Was asked: if she intends to increase the number of places available for persons applying for a higher diploma in education course; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is responsible for teacher education and development, with particular regard to initial teacher education covering the colleges of education and the education departments in the universi...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: the circumstances surrounding the recent appointment of the former Secretary General at the Department of Health and Children to the Higher Education Authority; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: if she has received any communication from any current or former member of the HEA with regard to the recent appointment of the former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children to the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 125 together. On 9 March 2005, the Government made a decision to appoint the then Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children to the position of...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: if she has received the further report from the NCCA on changes to the structure and content of the leaving certificate examination; if she has given consideration to any of the proposals contained th...More Button

The second advice from the NCCA on proposals to reform of senior cycle education was sent to me on 19 April 2005. Clearly, we are all concerned that our education system should be positioned so that i...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the measures which exist to provide additional funding for schools that are not located in RAPID areas but which cater for a sizeable proportion of pupils who live in RAPID areas; if her attention has...More Button

The school in question has an application with my Department for a major capital project, which has been assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria for large scale building proj...More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: the reason her Department is still not able to supply figures for the academic year 2002-03 of the socioeconomic breakdown of new recipients of third level grants; when she expects to be able to make ...More Button

The most recent data on participation rates at third level is that published in the HEA review of higher education participation in 2003, which showed that participation in higher education among the ...More Button

Written Answers - Teacher Training.

Was asked: the ratio of male to female primary school teachers at entry level to the teaching profession; the way in which she will tackle the growing gender gap in teaching at primary level; and if she will mak...More Button

According to my Department’s records, in the current school year 144 male teachers have been appointed for the first time as permanent or temporary qualified teachers at primary level. The equivalent ...More Button

Written Answers - Early Childhood Education.

Was asked: if the Early Start programme will be extended; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Early Start pre-school project was established in 40 primary schools in designated areas of urban disadvantage in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Drogheda and Dundalk during 1994 and 19...More Button

Written Answers - Third Level Education.

Was asked: if she has given assurances to the third level sector that funds raised independently will not be taken into account when making Exchequer funding available to universities and ITs; and if she will ma...More Button

I have recently indicated that I accept as a matter of principle that income generated by higher education institutions from external sources should not be subject to off setting in the allocation of ...More Button

Written Answers - Suicide Prevention.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself that there is a sufficient educational and awareness programme in schools on depression and suicide; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of the serious problem of youth suicide and of the vital role schools can play in prevention. Prevention needs to be addressed at whole school level through provision of relevant curricula ...More Button

Written Answers - Educational Disadvantage.

Was asked: the main points of the proposals to combat educational disadvantage which she outlined to the INTO conference; when recruitment will commence for the new posts; when the new posts will be in place; an...More Button

I will shortly publish a new framework for tackling disadvantage in education. The new action plan will build on the success of existing programmes, while addressing the issues that have diluted the o...More Button

Written Answers - Early School Leavers.

Was asked: the number of children who leave school before sitting the junior certificate examination for the most recent year for which statistics are available; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The most recent published analysis by my Department of school retention in Ireland was released in August 2004. The report indicates that of those who commenced the junior cycle programme in September...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the situation regarding funding at a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As part of a review of all projects for the 2005 capital programme, the application for capital funding from the school in question was assessed against the published prioritisation criteria for large...More Button

Written Answers - Children Act.

Was asked: the sections of the Children Act 2001 for which her Department has responsibility and which have been brought into operation; the sections that have yet to be brought into operation; if a timetable ha...More Button

Part 10 of the Children Act 2001 relates to the governance and operation of children detention schools. Section 159(1) of the Act has been commenced for the purpose of allowing three representatives o...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the recent closure of a national school (details supplied) in Limerick which had to close as a result of rodent activity; her views on whether it is acceptable that ...More Button

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, individual school authorities are responsible, in the first instance, for ensuring the safety and welfare of children and others in their...More Button

Written Answers - Early School Leavers.

Was asked: the number of children who fail to make the transition from primary to secondary school annually; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The specific information requested by the Deputy is not available at present. My Department operates a number of programmes at both primary and post-primary level to tackle the problem of early school...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to two schools in the Tallaght area in which 54 nationalities are represented, which are not designated disadvantaged but are on the other periphery of a RAPID area, to...More Button

One of the schools to which the Deputy refers is currently included in the Giving Children an Even Break, GCEB, programme and is in receipt of financial support under this scheme. Both schools are inc...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: the number of schools offering the full relationships and sexuality module at secondary level; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Social, personal and health education, SPHE, is a mandatory part of the curriculum in junior cycle in all post-primary schools with effect from September 2003. The curriculum is designed to promote pe...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: if her Department sees a school (details supplied) in Dublin 1 playing any education role in future; and if funding will be made available for the refurbishment that is needed.More Button

My Department is examining the overall provision of all-Irish post-primary education in the general north Dublin city area. The outcome of this examination will determine the long-term accommodation o...More Button

Written Answers - Literacy Levels.

Was asked: if it is intended to publish the report, Literacy and Numeracy in Disadvantaged Schools; if the report found that in some schools up to 50% of pupils have literacy problems; the steps she intends to t...More Button

The report of the inspectorate of my Department of a thematic evaluation of literacy and numeracy in disadvantaged schools will be published shortly and details on its findings will be given at that p...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: if she has considered the inaugural report by the Irish Language Commissioner; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the call made by the Irish Language Commissioner, Mr. Seán Ó Cuireán, for a review of Irish language education in primary and secondary schools; her views on this ca...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 142 together. The recent report of the Irish Language Commissioner highlighted the fact that despite appreciable time devoted to Irish in the school system, ma...More Button

Written Answers - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

Was asked: her views on the findings of the report of the Committee of Public Accounts into the redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse; the action she intends to take arising from the report; if she i...More Button

I welcome the publication of report of the Committee of Public Accounts and I have asked my Department to give due consideration to its findings and recommendations, particularly in terms of their rel...More Button

Written Answers - Psychological Service.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself with the roll out of the NEPS particularly outside the greater Dublin area; the areas of difficulty and the steps her Department is taking to fill the gaps in the system i...More Button

The complement of psychologists in NEPS has increased from 43 psychologists, 30 in permanent full-time posts and 13 on secondment, on the date of establishment in September 1999 to 128 in January 2005...More Button

Written Answers - State Examinations.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the call made by the National Parents Council for the abolition of the €90 fee to sit the junior certificate exam, which it described as grossly unfair; if she inten...More Button

I am aware of the call for the abolition of the examination fee. However, examination entry fees are in existence to defray in part the costs of running the certificate examinations. Examination entry...More Button

Written Answers - School Enrolments.

Was asked: the provisions she is putting in place to cater for the projected increase in the student population in the years ahead; if she will publish the report prepared by her officials on this subject; and i...More Button

My Department is considering the results of recent revisions to projections of future enrolment in the light of demographic and social changes as well as the publication by the CSO of new population p...More Button

Written Answers - Interculturalism in Schools.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to assist schools in catering for the increasingly diverse cultural and ethnic nature of the pupil base, particularly at primary level; if her attention has been drawn to conce...More Button

My Department has been active for a number of years in promoting interculturalism in schools. A range of actions are in place to support the participation of minority groups and Travellers in educatio...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: if she has discussed with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law the reported entry of gardaí into classrooms to seize children for deportation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the serious concern expressed by teachers at a number of incidents in which gardaí are reported to have entered school premises in search of pupils who were the subj...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 151 together. I have indicated my concern to the Minister, Deputy McDowell, that in applying the immigration laws the Garda authorities should have regard to t...More Button

Written Answers - Institutes of Technology.

Was asked: if she intends to transfer funding responsibility for the institutes of technology sector away from her Department to an independent funding authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government recently approved the early drafting of legislation to transfer responsibility for the daily management of the institutes of technology sector from the Department of Education and Scien...More Button

Written Answers - Teacher Training.

Was asked: if she intends to bring the Irish language entry requirements for primary teaching courses into line with those for English and mathematics; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department specifies the minimum academic requirements for entry to primary teacher training courses provided in the colleges of education. As part of these requirements, all candidates, including ...More Button

Written Answers - Educational Welfare Service.

Was asked: the average number of cases allocated to each educational welfare officer; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 established the National Educational Welfare Board as the single national body with responsibility for school attendance. The Act provides a comprehensive framework pr...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a new building at a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The project at the school to which the Deputy refers has been assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria, which was revised following consultation with the education partners. T...More Button

Written Answers - Health and Safety Inspections.

Was asked: the number of schools at primary level and secondary level inspected by the Health and Safety Authority in each of the past five years; the number of cases in which adverse findings were made by the i...More Button

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, it is the responsibility of school management authorities to have a safety statement in place in their schools. Schools are obliged ...More Button

Written Answers - Academic Accreditation.

Was asked: the position with regard to academic accreditation for long-term volunteers in social and paramedical work being advanced; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of the recent Oireachtas joint committee report on volunteers and volunteering in Ireland which recommends that academic accreditation for long-term volunteers in social and paramedical wor...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: if she will set out a timetable for meeting the commitment on class sizes given in An Agreed Programme for Government within the lifetime of this Administration and put in place the steps needed to en...More Button

The system for allocating teachers to primary schools is based on ensuring an overall maximum class of 29 in each school. Where some classes in a school have class sizes of greater than 29, it is gene...More Button

Written Answers - Literacy Levels.

Was asked: the percentage of children who leave primary school with literacy difficulties; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department does not collect data on the literacy levels achieved by children leaving the primary system. The nearest points of reference available are the results of a survey of primary school chi...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the serious concern expressed at the recent INTO conference at existing class sizes; if she will take steps to reduce maximum class sizes to 25:1 in mainstream class...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that average primary class size here is now the second largest in the EU; the steps she intends to take to deal with this situation; and if she will make a ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 147 together. The system for allocating teachers to primary schools is based on ensuring an overall maximum class of 29 in each school. Where some classes in a...More Button

Written Answers - Teaching Qualifications.

Was asked: her views on whether the time allocated to physical education on teacher training courses should be increased; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Physical education is included in the programme of pre-service education for all students in each college of education. A number of students also take additional elective courses in various aspects of...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: her views on whether a complete and thorough examination of the teaching of Irish at primary and secondary school should take place; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The recent report of the Irish Language Commissioner highlighted the fact that despite appreciable time devoted to Irish in the school system, many students emerge from primary and post-primary educat...More Button

Written Answers - Bullying in Schools.

Was asked: the initiatives that she is taking to tackle bullying at primary and secondary schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am acutely aware of the issue of bullying in schools and my Department has in place a multifaceted strategy to tackle the issue. The education of students in both primary and post-primary schools on...More Button

Written Answers - Physical Education Facilities.

Was asked: her plans to ensure that children have access to play and physical education facilities in inclement weather conditions; if there is a timeframe in which her Department will ensure that all schools ha...More Button

Many primary schools have a general purposes room for play and PE facilities during inclement weather. In addition, practically all schools have play areas which are utilised for teaching different as...More Button

Written Answers - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

Was asked: when she intends to finalise the institutions to be added to the list under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 4 of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 enables additional institutions, in which children were placed and resident and in respect of which a public body had a regulatory or inspect...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that St. Michael’s House and Fingal County Council have been informed by her Department that a site is not required in Skerries, County Dublin to provide fo...More Button

Officials in the school planning section of my Department are aware of the need to provide a long-term solution to the accommodation needs of St. Michael’s House special school, Skerries. It is the un...More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: further to her reply to Parliamentary Question No. 149 of 14 April 2005, the terms of reference for the review mentioned in same.More Button

As I indicated in my reply of 14 April 2005 to Question No. 149, I have asked my Department to review the status of this course for maintenance grant purposes. Issues have been raised with my Departme...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: if she will report on the background to her decision to sanction a new school and provide for the expansion of another school (details supplied) from an eight class school to a 16 class school, follow...More Button

The decision to expand the existing school referred to by the Deputy from an eight classroom to a 16 classroom school was taken by officials in the planning and building unit of my Department in the l...More Button

Written Answers - School Access.

Was asked: if a school can refuse a parent the right to enter the school grounds in the absence of a court order; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The question raised by the Deputy primarily relates to the legal rights of occupiers of land and is one on which legal advice should be sought. However, schools are, for the most part, privately owned...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding the building of a new school for a school (details supplied) County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As part of a review of all projects for the 2005 capital programme, the application for capital funding from the gaelscoil in Wicklow town was assessed against the published prioritisation criteria fo...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: if she will reduce the pupil-teacher ratio in Kildare schools in line with the national average.More Button

The system for allocating teachers to primary schools is based on ensuring an overall maximum class size of 29 in each school. Where some classes in a school have class sizes of greater than 29, it is...More Button

Written Answers - School Placement.

Was asked: the number of pupils seeking school places in Kildare North who have failed to gain places in the school of choice; and the way in which she intends to deal with the second level needs of such pupils.More Button

My Department does not have details of the number of pupils who have failed to gain places in the school of choice except where the parents or guardians of a child appealed a schools decision to the S...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the arrangements in place at post-primary level for September 2005, specifically for primary pupils with special learning needs who have been educated in special classes in national schools in Kildare...More Button

The National Council for Special Education, NCSE, has been established as an independent statutory body with responsibilities as set out in the National Council for Special Education (Establishment) O...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: further to her statement to this Deputy in Dáil Éireann that a school (details supplied) in County Mayo would be provided with a site when available, the reason for the delay by the OPW in finalising ...More Button

The property management section of the office of public works, which acts on behalf of my Department in relation to site acquisitions generally, is continuing to explore the possibility of acquiring a...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the amount set aside in 2004 for the development of an all-Irish education centre in Ballyvourney, County Cork.More Button

It is the policy of my Department not to release details of funding provision for individual projects in advance of contracts being signed, as this information is commercially sensitive.More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the position regarding the establishment of a second level class specifically for students with Asperger’s syndrome; when it is likely to be established; and if she will make a statement on the matter...More Button

My Department has been actively engaged in pursuing the development of a second level unit for children with Asperger’s syndrome at the school referred to by the Deputy. The management authority of th...More Button

Written Answers - School Curriculum.

Was asked: when physical education will be made a leaving certificate examination subject; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Physical education is part of the prescribed curriculum for primary schools. Second level schools should offer a physical education programme based on an approved syllabus with teaching hours register...More Button

Written Answers - Educational Disadvantage.

Was asked: if she will approve funding to a vocational college (details supplied) in County Wexford under the stay in school retention initiative for the 2005-06 year; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) in County Wexford no longer has funding under the stay in school retention initiative once the scheme ends; if her attentio...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 408 and 409 together. The new policy framework that I will publish shortly will put in place a new integrated programme of supports that will bring together, and build...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if she will renew the allocation to a school (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers is included in a devolved initiative under the 2005 capital programme for the provision of a new three classroom school on a greenfield site. The school authority...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: if further progress has been made on the application for an extension and refurbishment to a school (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application for major capital funding from the school authority to which the Deputy refers was assessed against the published prioritisation criteria for large-scale building projects, which were ...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: the situation regarding an additional teacher for a school (details supplied) in County Donegal from September 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by applying the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous school year to a staffing schedule, agreed between my Department and t...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the reason an application for home tuition for a person (details supplied) in County Laois has not yet been sanctioned; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that this person is autistic, has a ...More Button

The home tuition scheme is primarily intended to provide compensatory instruction for pupils who have a medical ailment that is likely to cause major disruption of their attendance at school. My Depar...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the position regarding progress at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9 following her reply to a previous parliamentary question.More Button

The school referred to has recently received approval for funding for improvement works to windows under the 2005 Summer Works Scheme.More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: when she will sanction funding for a school (details supplied) in County Mayo now that a site has been identified by the OPW for same; the number of students now attending this school; and the number ...More Button

The property management section of the Office of Public Works, which acts on behalf of my Department with regard to site acquisitions generally, is continuing to explore the possibility of acquiring a...More Button

Written Answers - School Enrolments.

Was asked: the minimum number of pupils required on 30 September in any given year for a school to remain open.More Button

Under the rules for national schools, grant aid is not continued to a primary school at which the average daily enrolment falls below eight units for two consecutive school years. Under the rules and ...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: when she expects to be in a position to meet in full the accommodation and other requirements at a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; if she expects to finalise matters in this regard in the...More Button

The application for capital funding from the school in question is being considered as part of a review of all projects which did not proceed to construction as part of the 2004 school building progra...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if correspondence (details supplied) has been brought to her attention.More Button

It would appear that the original copy of the correspondence referred to by the Deputy was not received in my office. The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by applying the enrolmen...More Button

Was asked: if she will consider reducing the pupil numbers needed for teacher retention in all primary and post-primary schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The enrolment figures required for the appointment and retention of teachers at both primary and post-primary levels have been reduced in recent years. Significant improvements have been made in the p...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if she will consider including post-primary schools (details supplied) in any remaining building project allocations for 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The project at the schools to which the Deputy refers have been assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria, which was revised following consultation with the education partners....More Button

Written Answers - Institutes of Technology.

Was asked: her plans to develop the Thurles Campus of Tipperary Institute; the steps she intends to take to ensure that the Thurles campus will develop and expand into the future; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

In November 2004 I announced the end of the freeze on third level capital funding when I gave immediate approval for key projects in the third level sector. The projects selected have been identified ...More Button

Written Answers - School Enrolments.

Was asked: if the new national school for Naas, County Kildare, will open in September 2005; if parents of pupils in existing primary schools in Naas will be advised in good time of the option to transfer to the...More Button

Construction work is well advanced on the new 16 classroom primary school in Naas. The school building also includes provision for two special classrooms for children with autism. Approximately half o...More Button

Written Answers - School Funding.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 871 of 12 April 2005, if the increase in funding for the school (details supplied) in County Westmeath will be provided; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

Additional information has been received from the school in question for an increase in funding. This information is being given further consideration by officials in my Department. The board of manag...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Clare was not granted a career break; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Details of the career break scheme for primary teachers are set out in Department circular 10/03 which issued to all schools in March 2003. In order to be eligible for a career break, a primary teache...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the source of funding for the management and maintenance of joint school community sports halls as provided for under the schools building programme; the funding designated for the joint school and co...More Button

The project referred to by the Deputy is one of a number of dual use halls being funded as part of a joint programme to develop community sports facilities in drugs task force areas. Preliminary discu...More Button

Was asked: if correspondence (details supplied) has been brought to her attention; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have included the building project for the school in question in my recently announced list of school projects to proceed through architectural planning in 2005. I have also approved the school for ...More Button

Written Answers - School Completion Programme.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that Ballinode college is a second level vocation school with 121 students enrolled at PLC and is part of the school completion programme; if she will resci...More Button

In the 2004 to 2005 academic year, some 28,500 PLC places were approved in schools and colleges throughout the country. The approval process for PLC places for the academic year 2005 to 2006 will take...More Button

Written Answers - School Transport.

Was asked: the number of children from the west Waterford area being transported to schools (details supplied); the cost involved in transportation; if there are plans to provide these facilities in Dungarvan, C...More Button

My Department has been informed by Bus Éireann that 28 children from the west Waterford area are being transported to the schools referred to in the details supplied. My Department is not in a positio...More Button

Was asked: the proposals to increase the charge to parents of transporting primary and post-primary children to school; the increased proposed; when it will come into effect; the proportion of the increase which...More Button

I have no plans to introduce new charges for pupils attending primary schools or to increase charges for pupils attending post-primary schools.More Button

Written Answers - Investigation of Incident.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the situation of a person (details supplied); if she will initiate an immediate investigation into this case; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information provided by the Deputy indicates that an investigation of the incident was undertaken by the relevant health authorities and the matter is known to the Director of Public Prosecutions....More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) in County Louth will be allocated an extra class teacher from September 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by applying the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous school year to a staffing schedule, agreed between my Department and t...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if assistance will be given to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 to obtain a place soon in the CABAS school, Kilbarrack, Dublin 17.More Button

I am most anxious that all children, including children with autistic spectrum disorders receive education appropriate to their needs. CABAS Kilbarrack is one of eight stand-alone applied behavioural ...More Button

Written Answers - Private Schools.

Was asked: the funding she will be making available to fee paying schools in this year’s budget.More Button

Was asked: the funding from the school building fund she will be allocating to private fee paying schools in the next 12 months.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the concern among many educationalists and others regarding her Department’s continued funding of private paying schools; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the funding she proposes to make available to private fee paying schools in her constituency; and if her Department has made a decision in regard to the building fund of private schools as outlined in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 439, 440, 442 and 443 together. My Department has invested over €935 million in capital funding for post-primary schools as part of the schools’ building and modernisa...More Button

Was asked: the funding from her overall budget which goes to wages of staff of private fee paying schools.More Button

The payment of teacher salaries is part of a complex scheme of funding for fee charging schools, which has traditionally sought to balance considerations of equity, pragmatism and State support for mi...More Button

Written Answers - Psychological Service.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the serious shortage of child-school psychologists in County Donegal; the plans for increasing the number of child psychologists in the county; and if she will make ...More Button

The development plan drawn up by the national educational psychological service, NEPS, envisages that there should ultimately be up to seven educational psychologists serving County Donegal. I am awar...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: if she has carried out an evaluation of the pupil-teacher ratio at primary and second level schools throughout the country; if any trends have been observed in schools with the highest pupil-teacher r...More Button

Was asked: if she intends to address the issue of high pupil-teacher ratios in the short term; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the views expressed by INTO in respect of high pupil-teacher ratios; her proposals to identify the school or schools most affected in this way; if she has planned an...More Button

Was asked: the research that has been undertaken with a view to ascertaining the impact of high pupil ratios; her proposed action on foot of this; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 445 and 485 to 487, inclusive, together. I accept in principle that reduction in class size will benefit younger pupils particularly for minority-disadvantaged groups....More Button

Written Answers - Task Force on the Physical Sciences.

Was asked: the action she has taken or intends to take arising from the report and recommendations made by the task force on the physical sciences; the number of the recommendations acted on to date; the cost of...More Button

There are some 39 recommendations in the report, with costed proposals totalling €244 million extra, of which €66.3 million would be a recurring annual cost. Funds are not available at present to prog...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) in County Limerick is in unsuitable temporary accommodation; the steps she intends taking to assist it in finding a greenfi...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy was granted provisional recognition effective from September 2004. The school authorities were advised at that time the question of permanent recognition would be ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application by a school (details supplied) in Dublin 10 for security fencing on the summer works scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the funding is being provided under the summer works scheme 2005 for the provision of security fencing and a CCTV system for the school in question.More Button

Written Answers -

Was asked: if she will meet a delegation of teachers and parents from a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9 to discuss their urgent need for a new premises.More Button

Was asked: if there is a timeframe on the review dealing with the situation at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 9; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 452 and 453 together. Officials in the school planning section of my Department are considering two options as possible solutions to the long term accommodation needs ...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: when a school (details supplied) in County Cavan will receive the services of a part-time teacher for the remainder of the year 2004-05 as indicated verbally by the inspector; and if she will make a s...More Button

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the level of learning support teaching available to the school in question. My Department’s records show that the school currently has the services of a sh...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: the progress regarding the application for an extension to a school (details supplied) in County Louth; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application for an extension at the school to which the Deputy refers has been examined in the school planning section of my Department and agreement has been reached with the school authority wit...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 437 of 19 April 2005, the outcome of the talks which took place between her officials and the South Eastern Health Board regarding the much needed school for the ...More Button

A member of my Department’s inspectorate recently made contact with a representative of the Health Service Executive, HSE — south-eastern area — regarding the matter raised by the Deputy. The represen...More Button

Written Answers - School Services Staff.

Was asked: the funding made available to a school (details supplied) in Dublin 3 to cover the costs of providing a caretaker.More Button

Funding arrangements for voluntary secondary schools is structured mainly on the basis of capitation grants with additional grants for support services such as caretaking. This provides schools with c...More Button

Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Was asked: the reason temporary accommodation has not been provided for a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; if her Department will review the situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for temporary accommodation was received from the authorities of the school referred to by the Deputy. All applications for temporary accommodation were considered by the school plannin...More Button

Was asked: if she has received an application from a school (details supplied) in County Dublin for accommodation improvement; if so, the status of this application; and if she will make a statement on the matte...More Button

My Department has received an application for additional accommodation from the school authorities of St. Brendan’s college, Woodbrook, Bray. The project is currently being assessed in accordance with...More Button

Written Answers - School Services Staff.

Was asked: if the post of full-time caretaker for a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary will be approved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department provides funding towards the cost of secretarial and caretaking services in primary schools under two separate schemes. One scheme is the 1978-79 scheme for the employment of full-time s...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the action she will take following receipt of a letter from a group (details supplied) in County Wexford; when she will announce the go-ahead for the school extension and refurbishment programme; and ...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the school to which he refers is included among the 124 schools which I recently approved to progress through the architectural planning process under the 2005 s...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the contractual arrangements which have been put in place to deliver broadband to national schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In conjunction with my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, I announced the results of the competitive tender process which had been initiated in August 2004 for t...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if she will fund the provision of a water filter for the main water supply to a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy refers does not have an application with my Department’s planning section for funding for the provision of a water filter for the main water supply to the school. ...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the extent to which broadband is available to primary and second level schools throughout the country; if a recent sat lynx dispute in this regard has been resolved; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

The NCTE is undertaking a new ICT school census next month as the only statistical information is three years old. In any event, the position regarding broadband is that my Department, together with t...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if she has plans to speed up the payment of higher education of VEC grants; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department funds four maintenance grant schemes for third level and further education students. These are the higher education grants scheme, the vocational education committees’ scholarships schem...More Button

Written Answers - Bullying in Schools.

Was asked: the number of incidents of school bullying reported at primary or second level in each of the past five years; the steps being taken to address the issue; and if she will make a statement on the matte...More Button

Individual school management authorities are not required to report to my Department on incidences of bullying and the information requested by the Deputy is not available in my Department. However, I...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the extent to which the objectives set in the school building programme in respect of primary and second level schools in County Kildare are likely to be met in the current year; and if she will make ...More Button

I have now announced the first phases of the 2005 schools building and modernisation programme. The details are 122 major school building projects countrywide, including 89 primary school projects, wh...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the second level school in County Kildare which holds the highest pupil-teacher ratio; her plans to address this issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Significant improvements have been made in the pupil-teacher ratio at post-primary level in recent years. At post-primary level, the pupil-teacher ratio has been reduced from 16:1 in the 1996-97 schoo...More Button

Written Answers - Health and Safety Regulations.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the potential breach of health and safety regulations due to overcrowding at various schools throughout County Kildare at either primary or secondary level; her plan...More Button

Was asked: if all primary and second level schools throughout the country are in keeping with health and safety requirements in view of the extent of overcrowding due to failure to provide extra classroom accomm...More Button

Was asked: the number of schools throughout the country deemed to be overcrowded by way of lack of needed extra space; her plans to address this issue in the near future; and if she will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 469, 481 and 482 together. In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, it is the responsibility of school management authorities to have a safe...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the primary school in County Kildare which holds the highest pupil-teacher ratio; her plans to address this issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the school or schools at primary and second level which hold the dubious record of the highest pupil-teacher ratio; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 470 and 479 together. The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in my Department. If the Deputy would like information on a particular school, I...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: her plans to build new second level schools in keeping with the requirements as set out by the school authorities throughout County Kildare; when she expects to move this programme forward; the school...More Button

Applications for capital funding from schools in County Kildare are being considered as part of a review of all projects that did not proceed to construction as part of the 2004 school building progra...More Button

Was asked: her plans to build new primary schools in keeping with the requirements as set out by the school authorities throughout County Kildare; when she expects to move this programme forward; the schools mos...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a number of large-scale building projects for schools in County Kildare have been approved to progress under the school building programme for 2005. Specifically...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: when she expects to be in a position to meet in full the special needs or other teaching requirements as set out by the various second level school authorities throughout County Kildare; and if she wi...More Button

Was asked: when she expects to be in a position to meet the outstanding requirements in respect of special needs or support teaching requirements at second level schools throughout County Kildare; the number of ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 473 and 475 together. Teacher allocations to second levels schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupi...More Button

Was asked: when she expects to be in a position to meet in full the special needs or other teaching requirements as set out by the various primary school authorities throughout County Kildare; and if she will ma...More Button

Was asked: when she expects to be in a position to meet the outstanding requirements in respect of special needs or support teaching requirements at primary level schools throughout County Kildare; the number of...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the need for extra special needs or support teachers in various schools throughout the country; if she expects to be in a position to address this issue in the short...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 474, 476 and 484 together. The mainstream staffing of a primary school, including primary schools in County Kildare, is determined by applying the enrolment of the sch...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the number and location of primary schools in County Kildare which are awaiting approval in respect of refurbishment, extension or replacement; when she expects to be in a position to meet the require...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available in the format requested. However, if the Deputy has a query about any specific school, I would be happy to provide the information for him...More Button

Was asked: the number and location of second level schools in County Kildare which are awaiting approval in respect of refurbishment, extension or replacement; when she expects to be in a position to meet the re...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available in the format requested. However, if the Deputy has a query about any specific school, I would be happy to provide the information for him...More Button

Written Answers - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Was asked: the number of extra primary and second level teachers required to bring the pupil-teacher ratio into line with the commitments given in the programme for Government; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

Significant improvements have been made in the pupil-teacher ratio at both primary and post-primary levels in recent years. At primary level, the ratio has fallen from 22.2:1 in the 1996-97 school yea...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if special needs teaching and support in this country compares with best practice in other European jurisdictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The position is that the teaching and supports provided for schools for pupils with special educational needs in this country compare favourably with the practices in other jurisdictions, including Eu...More Button


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