Written Answers - Schools Amalgamation.

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 616 No. 3

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  208.  Mr. Carey  Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the role the school development planning unit of her Department can play to assist a second level school (details supplied) in Dublin 9, where three schools have been amalgamated into one co-educational comprehensive school; if the issues arising out of the amalgamation will be addressed for example the need to assist the school in staff development and team building, the need to develop a five year plan for the school, the need to provide a favourable staff allocation both mainstream and resource, the need to provide additional guidance and counselling services, in view of the fact that the area in which the school is located experiences lower than the national levels of transfer from primary to second level and has a high drop out rate in the early years of second level and has a poor retention rate to leaving certificate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9877/06]

Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  The school development planning initiative, SDPI, is a support service established by my Department to assist schools in furthering the process of whole school planning.

The initiative has a team of ten regional co-ordinators, who provide advisory services to schools at no charge. SDPI regional co-ordinators have co-operated with the commission on school [1070]accommodation and with amalgamation facilitators in supporting amalgamating schools in a number of locations in relation to whole school planning.

I understand that in this particular instance the support service has provided facilitation services for the amalgamation project in the school and the regional co-ordinator for the area has visited the school in this regard. Further assistance will be provided if required.

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