Tuesday, 18 October 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
744. Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason, in view of the enormous workload of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 who is employed as part-time secretary cannot be approved and funded by her Department to work in a full-time capacity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29276/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): 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 secretaries and caretakers in primary schools, under which my Department meets the full cost of salary. This scheme is being phased out as posts become vacant and no new posts are being created. The scheme has been superseded by a more extensive grant scheme now referred to as the ancillary services grant.
The ancillary services grant provides additional funding for primary schools towards the cost of secretarial and caretaking services. The scheme is flexible in nature, giving boards of management discretion as to the manner in which secretarial and caretaking services are provided. The school referred to by the Deputy receives secretarial grant assistance under this scheme. The standard rate of grant per pupil under the scheme, which was increased from €102 in 2002 to €127 in 2004, is being further increased to €133 this year.
The amount of grant paid to an individual school is determined by the enrolment in the school subject to a minimum grant of €7,980 in the case of a school with 60 pupils or less and a maximum grant of €66,500 in the case of a school with 500 or more pupils, provided the school in question does not already have either caretaking or secretarial services under an existing Department scheme. Where a school already has either caretaking or secretarial services under an existing Department scheme, the rate of grant payable is €66.50 per pupil and the minimum and maximum grants payable are €3,990 and €33,250 respectively.
The school to which the Deputy refers has the services of a full-time caretaker under the 1978-79 scheme. Accordingly, the rate of grant payable in the case of this school this year under the ancillary services scheme is €66.50 per pupil.
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