O'Keeffe, Batt

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 670 No. 4

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Order of Business.

Question put, “That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 11 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Motor Vehicles (Duties and Licences) (No. 2) Bill 2008: Report and Final Stages.

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the estimated annual cost of extending the free fees scheme to part-time courses in third level institutions. More Button

There are currently some 21,000 part-time undergraduate students enrolled in the university and institute of technology sectors. It is not known how many of these students would qualify under any ex...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the nature of the building work occurring at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 6; the status of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A major extension/refurbishment project is currently under way at the school referred to by the Deputy it is envisaged that the works will be completed in May 2009.More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 29 of 4 December 2008, the State agency which will be assigned the role of regulator for international education provision; the person who will be responsible fo...More Button

It is my intention that the qualifications body which will arise from the amalgamation of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council and the F...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 491 of 1 July 2007, the position regarding the provision of a special needs assistant for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a st...More Button

My officials have been in contact with the NCSE and have been advised that an application for Special Needs Assistant support was received on 13 October 2008. The application was incomplete and furt...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the number of staff in terms of whole-time equivalents who have been assigned by him to give effect to the commitment to assess, measure and then reduce by 25% administrative burdens imposed by his D...More Button

I am aware that the Deputy raised this issues in October last and I wish to inform him that my Department recently completed the process of examining issues relating to the administrative burden on ...More Button

Written Answers - Inquiry into Child Abuse.

Was asked: if it is within the scope of the Commission on Child Abuse to consider court committal cases in which children were sent into institutional care; if not, the reason this element of the abuse was excl...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was established under statute: To afford victims of abuse in childhood an opportunity to tell of the abuse they suffered to...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the band rating of the building plan of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 3; the number and value of primary school projects in this band rating and in bands with a higher rating than this school...More Button

Was asked: the funding that can be made available to match funding being raised by parents to replace prefabs which are substandard at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and when same funding will be form...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 479 and 480 together. The proposed building project for the school to which the Deputy refers has a Band 2.4 rating under the published prioritisation criteria for la...More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: the minimum duration in respect of being in receipt of a scheme (details supplied) that is required to be approved for the higher education grant; the special rate of maintenance grant in respect of ...More Button

Students who qualify for a maintenance grant for their attendance on a recognised full-time approved course in a third-level institution may also qualify for the higher, Special Rate of Maintenance ...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the way an application for a secondary school building is given a band rating by his Department; the band ratings and the level of priority each band rating indicates; if applications for secondary s...More Button

School building projects are selected for inclusion in the School Building and Modernisation Programme on the basis of priority of need. My Department achieves this by assessing all applications for ...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if he intends to curtail in anyway the appointment of special needs assistants during 2009; if decisions to withdraw SNA’s can be appealed to his Department and to the special needs council; and if h...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers, for allocating resource teachers and...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the reason the building programme at a school (details supplied) in County Wexford has never commenced, even though the school has been approved and had a design team in place since July 2007; if the...More Button

The Board of Management is the client for the project to which the Deputy refers. An issue has arisen in relation to the appointment of certain Design Team members by the Board. This issue must be...More Button

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

Officials from my Department are currently reviewing the Stage 2A submission, i.e. Developed Sketch Scheme. On completion of this review my officials will be in further contact with the school auth...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a school (details supplied) in County Offaly; if the school is ready to progress to the next stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Schedules of accommodation have been accepted by County Offaly VEC for the proposed building project at the school to which the Deputy refers. The progression of all large scale building projects, in...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the facilities that exist at a second level school (details supplied) in County Mayo; if he has received a report from consulting engineers regarding the health and...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy submitted an application to my Department for funding under the Summer Works Scheme 2008. Neither the report referred to by the Deputy nor the issue to which it ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Statistics.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 573 of 25 November 2008, when he expects the completion of the aggregate list of national schools owned by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

I am advised that officials in the planning and building unit are in the process of finalising the composition of the list of schools referred to by the Deputy and I understand that the list will be...More Button

Written Answers - School Transport.

Was asked: when and the reason the school transport scheme was introduced originally; the amount it cost the Exchequer in 2005, 2006 and 2007; his views, in view of the fact that car usage has increased since t...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that funding available to a school (details supplied) in Dublin 12 is not sufficient to allow for the employment of a caretaker; and if he will make additi...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that due to funding constraints a school (denials supplied) in Dublin 12 has only a part-time secretary; and if he will make additional funding available. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 490 and 491 together. In general the arrangements for supporting secretarial and caretaking services in schools mirror those for providing support funding to the scho...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the implications of the loss of substitution cover for a school (details supplied) in Dublin 12 which due to the small size of the school and classrooms will mean t...More Button

Substitution cover will continue to be provided for all other categories of absences currently available such as certified sick leave and maternity leave. In primary schools there will be substitute ...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the schools in north Dublin which received funding for capital works since 1 September 2004; the facilities that were provided with this funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have arranged for the information sought by the Deputy to be assembled and forwarded to him as soon as possible.More Button

Written Answers - Regulatory Impact Analyses.

Was asked: the occasions on which he did not carry out any form of regulatory impact analysis on statutory instruments, Bills and EU directives for 2008 since June 2008; the reason in each case for that decisio...More Button

Since June 2008 there have been 7 statutory instruments promulgated which relate to the education sector. Four of these are orders of Government; two relate to the delegation of certain Ministerial ...More Button

Was asked: the occasions on which his Department carried out a screening regulatory impact analysis on statutory instruments, Bills and EU directives since June 2008; if, in each instance, the decision was take...More Button

There have been no occasions since June 2008 on which it has been necessary for my Department to conduct a screening RIA on a statutory instrument or Bill. Consequently the matter of a full regulato...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: if there are plans for extensions to schools (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is my intention to make an announcement in the first quarter of 2009 on major primary and post-primary school projects to proceed to construction. The progression of further projects at the schoo...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a second secondary school for Gorey, County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the secondary school in Gorey is one of seven schools which I have approved for inclusion in the 3rd Bundle of schools to be procured via Public Private Partne...More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: the situation regarding the provision of the road at the new schools at Killahue, Gorey, County Wexford which was a condition of planning permission that it be constructed to link up the new Gorey in...More Button

The construction of the proposed link road was not a condition of Planning. Rather the Planning Permission required that my Department provide plans to show the future link to the lands to the rear ...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the reason his Department has decided to cease the practice of allowing parents with autistic children from availing of the services of one of the five Joinx pre-schools which were funded through the...More Button

My Department has not taken the decision suggested by the Deputy in respect of the home tuition scheme. I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work with the service provider ...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: his views on the situation facing pupils and staff of a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow due to ongoing structural problems; the status of the school in relation to the school building pro...More Button

The proposed building project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The progression of all large scale building projects, including this project...More Button

Was asked: if he will investigate the circumstances under which works at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 24 have not been completed in accordance with the agreed formula worked out between the school mana...More Button

An extensive project for the school referred to by the Deputy is nearing completion. As is normal, the school’s consultant architect provided certification relating to satisfactory progress at vario...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: his views on the way the contents of correspondence (details supplied) can be addressed to the satisfaction of those who supplied the submission in relation to class sizes, transition year, leaving c...More Button

Was asked: if he can justify a cut of €1.05 million to a college (details supplied) in County Galway and expect the delivery of education services at the same high standard developed there over the years. More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the impact the cutbacks in education spending will have on a school (details supplied) in County Westmeath, and in particular the impact of the loss of teachers in ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 502, 507 and 524 together. The 2009 Budget required difficult choices to be made across all areas of public expenditure. These decisions were made to control public e...More Button

Written Answers - Physical Education Facilities.

Was asked: the position regarding an application by a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary for the provision of a sports hall at the school. More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers has applied to my Department for capital funding for a General Purposes Room. Projects of this nature attract a Band 3 rating under the published prioritisatio...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: the school year which will be used in determining teacher numbers in a school (details supplied) in County Sligo from September 2009; if the decision will be based on September 2007 enrolment figures...More Button

The mainstream staffing of a primary school is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30th September of the previous school year. The staffing allocation for the academic year 200...More Button

Written Answers -

Was asked: if the examination of alternative arrangements for a service (details supplied) in County Mayo has been completed; when the service will be restored in full; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

My Department has advertised a full-time Visiting Teacher post to be based in County Mayo. It is hoped to fill the post as early as possible in 2009. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the consequences of the education cuts to a college (details supplied) in County Galway resulting in a loss of €27,500 to their delivery of adult education in the country; and...More Button

Was asked: if he will re-examine the situation at a college (details supplied) in County Galway following the cutbacks announced in budget 2009 as 16.68 teachers will be lost to the scheme which will have serio...More Button

I have consistently said that the 2009 Budget required difficult choices to be made across all areas of public expenditure. These decisions were made to control public expenditure and to ensure sust...More Button

Was asked: if he will re-examine the effects of the education cuts in budget 2009 on a college (details supplied) in County Galway which will result in a loss of €55,000 in book grants to the scheme which will ...More Button

Notwithstanding the increase of €302 million in the Education budget for 2009, which is a real achievement in the current economic climate, a number of tough and difficult decisions had to be taken....More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: if he will reconsider the decision to refuse the higher education grant to a person (details supplied) in County Louth for the academic year 2008-09; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The condition in the 2008 maintenance grant schemes relating to residency requires, in the case of an ‘Independent Mature Candidate’ the candidate himself/herself shall have been ordinarily resident...More Button

Written Answers - Whole School Evaluations.

Was asked: the number of whole school evaluations carried out in each of the past five years in secondary schools; the name of each school where such whole school evaluation has been carried out; the cost in ea...More Button

Whole-school evaluation (WSE) is a model of external evaluation for primary and post-primary schools that was formally introduced during the school year 2003/2004. WSE provides an external view to a...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Language.

Was asked: the reason the demand for schooling through the medium of Irish is not one of the criteria listed to be taken account of by the forward planning section in its process of identifying areas in which a...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the existing Gaelscoileanna servicing the demand for Irish-medium education in Dublin 12, including schools (details supplied) are full to capacity an...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether his statement that new schools will not be established for reasons unrelated to demographic growth in areas in which there is already or in which increases can be catered for by ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 to 514, inclusive, together. As the Deputy will be aware I have recently established a Technical Working Group under the Commission on School Accommodation to und...More Button

Written Answers - Site Acquisitions.

Was asked: the position regarding the acquisition of a site in respect of a proposed new primary school (details supplied) in County Cork. More Button

The Office of Public Works, which acts on behalf of my Department in relation to site acquisitions generally, has been requested to source a site for the school referred to by the Deputy. The furthe...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: the reason tuition grant fees cannot be used to fund educational assistance for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare and the other 47 families who have children attending this facility; if t...More Button

My Department has taken no decision in relation to this matter. My Department is continuing to work with the service provider in question in the context of a proposal which they submitted in relation...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: the status of the application from a school (details supplied) under the summer works scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is my intention to have a Summer Works Scheme in 2009. The details of the operation of the scheme in 2009 and the level of funding to be made available are currently being considered and this wor...More Button

Written Answers - Higher Education Grants.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow has had their application for a higher education grant from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council turned down; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The decision on eligibility for student maintenance grants is a matter for the relevant assessing authority, either the local authority or VEC, as appropriate. These bodies do not refer individual a...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if a private college (details supplied) in County Kildare has applied for approval by him for the purposes of tax relief in respect of tuition fees paid by an individual in respect of third level edu...More Button

Section 473A, Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, provides tax relief, at the standard rate of tax, for tuition fees paid in respect of approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: if he will initiate a new schools insulation programme to bring all schools up to a minimum standard and to reduce heating costs for schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is at the fore front of design with respect to energy efficiency in school buildings. Its Technical Guidance Documents, which set the benchmark for low energy design in schools are cl...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: when payment due in respect of works carried out to a school (details supplied) in County Waterford will issue. More Button

An extension and refurbishment project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an early stage of architectural planning. The Department received a stage 1/2 submission from the Design Team, h...More Button

Written Answers - School Staffing.

Was asked: if his recent proposals for education in 2009 have any impact on the staffing levels or funding going to special schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the recent budgetary announcements do not affect the criteria used for the allocation of additional teaching and care resources in Special Schools. Capitation...More Button

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the initiative within Trinity College, Dublin to develop a third level option for students with a mild intellectual disability; if he plans to undertake an assessme...More Button

I understand that the initiative referred to by the Deputy is the Certificate in Contemporary Living which is delivered by the National Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (NIID) in Trinity Coll...More Button

Written Answers - School Transport.

Was asked: if, further to correspondence (details supplied), he will approve school transport in view of the fact that the nearest school can not physically cater for the pupil concerned; and if he will make a ...More Button

Written Answers - Site Acquisitions.

Was asked: the progress that has been made to date in finding permanent accommodation for a school (details supplied) in Dublin 7; if he will facilitate a round table meeting between his Department, Dublin City...More Button

As the Deputy was informed in response to a Dáil Adjournment on the 11th December, 2008, the Office of Public Works, OPW, which acts on behalf of the Department in site acquisitions generally was re...More Button

Written Answers - School Enrolments.

Was asked: if he will examine the concerns expressed in correspondence from the school principal of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 6w; if he will respond to their concerns; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I am aware of the concerns raised by the school referred to by the Deputy. The Government’s commitment to education is clear both from its track record over the past decade in providing substantial ...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Refurbishment.

Was asked: when approval for refurbishment works which have been promised for a school (details supplied) in County Longford will be allowed to proceed in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The progression of all large scale building projects, including this project, from initial de...More Button

Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Was asked: the planning and construction status of a school (details supplied) in County Westmeath; if his attention has been drawn to the fine and varied curriculum on offer in this school and its regard for p...More Button

The proposed building project to which the Deputy refers was announced to commence architectural planning on the 8th November 2006. The schedule of overall accommodation for the school in question w...More Button

Was asked: the planning and construction status of a school (details supplied) in County Longford; if his attention has been drawn to the fine and varied curriculum being offered in this school and the particul...More Button

The project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The progression of all large scale building projects, including this project, from initial de...More Button

Written Answers - School Enrolments.

Was asked: if he will examine the concerns expressed in correspondence from the school principal of a school (details supplied) in Dublin 12; if he will respond to their concerns; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I am aware of the concerns raised by the school referred to by the Deputy. The Government’s commitment to education is clear both from its track record over the past decade in providing substantial ...More Button


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