Header Item Written Answers Nos. 236 - 251
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Applications Data
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Third Level Funding
 Header Item Third Level Costs
 Header Item School Accommodation Provision
 Header Item School Accommodation Provision
 Header Item School Curriculum
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item School Transport Eligibility
 Header Item European Globalisation Fund
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 918 No. 3
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 117 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 236 - 251

Apprenticeship Programmes

 236. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton further to Parliamentary Question No. 103 of 6 July 2016, if he still considers that the 31,000 places target by 2020 on existing and new apprenticeships is achievable given the current projections for the 2016 to 2018 period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22000/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Annual registrations increased by 40% from 2013 to 2014 and the 2015 figure of 3,153 represented a further 17% increase. The increase in registrations is forecast to be sustained up to at least 2018. This will result in continuing growth in the apprenticeship population in the existing trades. I understand that SOLAS will review and extend its forecasts later this year. In addition, the apprenticeship population will be further significantly supplemented by registrations on new apprenticeships which are being developed under the auspices of the Apprenticeship Council.

SOLAS and the Council are developing a plan that will set out how the Programme for Government commitments will be delivered through the expansion of apprenticeship into a range of new areas and through registrations in the existing trades. This will include managing the pipeline of new apprenticeships already identified by the Apprenticeship Council, including those in categories 2 and 3 and looking at the timing and nature of new calls for proposals. I expect this plan to be finalised in early September.

The achievement of these ambitious targets will require commitment from a number of key stakeholders and is dependent on strong employer demand. However, I am confident that we will deliver on our targets and that learners, employers and our economy and society will benefit strongly as a result.

Apprenticeship Programmes

 237. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton further to Parliamentary Question No. 102 of 6 July 2016, when he will publish details of category 2 and 3 proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22004/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As set out in my reply on the 6 July 2016, consortia engaged with the call for proposals on the basis that details would only be published when proposals are approved for progression to a detailed planning stage. I expect to receive a plan from SOLAS and the Apprenticeship Council in later this year that sets out how the commitments in the Programme for Government in relation to apprenticeship will be delivered. This will address issues such as how category 2 and 3 proposals will be progressed and the potential timing of future calls for proposals.

Student Grant Scheme Applications Data

 238. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of student grant applicants which were successfully awarded, both in respect of the numbers of applicants who were awarded fees only and those awarded the maintenance grant, for each of the years from 2012 to 2016 to date by county and in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22011/16]

 239. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the numbers of students who have applied for, have been granted and have been refused student grants for each of the years from 2012 to 2016 to date in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22012/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 238 and 239 together.

  The data provided in the two tables attached is in respect of applications to SUSI, the centralised grant awarding authority. It does not encompass data relating to the 66 grant awarding authorities who have continued to process renewal applications on a transitional basis, since the establishment of SUSI, in 2012, as their data is not collated in the format requested by the Deputy.

  The first table provides a breakdown of number of awards by county for each of the academic years 2012/13 to 2015/16 by the categories requested by the Deputy.

  The second table provides a breakdown of student grant applications received by SUSI for each of the academic years 2012/13 to 2015/16 together with the numbers awarded or refused student grants.

  The data in the tables has been supplied to my Department by SUSI.

  Breakdown of SUSI Awards by county 2012/13 to 2015/16 - Maintenance and Fees only

CountyMaintenance  2012/13*Fees Only 2012/13Maintenance  2013/14*Fees Only 2013/14Maintenance 2014/15*Fees Only 2014/15Maintenance 2015/16*Fees Only 2015/16
Carlow445181661262872325964320
Cavan72111697317612622271417226
Clare900252127143316895391979528
Cork3227948477214736187174169231901
Donegal1409427208067427037863097790
Dublin5739184784383056106103661115773808
Galway2082706294111583652136041141321
Kerry1220365180155423326762604704
Kildare1224308178258423416862556761
Kilkenny66118397629811583501349358
Laois52512877122110232741167281
Leitrim31689450143562175657166
Limerick1292490194176024688382851959
Longford381101531174690175749167
Louth1013281144648319576052166630
Mayo1317331181953623416242583585
Meath1202242180044222885262567612
Monaghan60211786822211142271247237
Offaly59417885529511333231305332
Roscommon61815182924810912671199288
Sligo56919277633810094081082412
Tipperary1265358177053622986072579651
Waterford799336125058915756401779673
Westmeath788206111433214173871589403
Wexford1184275170543422684982539556
Wicklow946179133533116543661774420


  SUSI Grant Applications 2012/13 - 2015/16
YearNo. ApplicationsAwarded*RefusedCancelled
2012/1369,67440,10512,83516,734
2013/1492,28559,72825,2817,276
2014/15103,75275,23019,2049,318
2015/16108,20383,75518,8425,606


  Note: Final figures in respect of the 2016/17 academic year will not be available until the end of the academic year.

  * Includes Awards to students studying outside the State

Departmental Funding

 240. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the State funding provided by his Department and agencies under its remit to non-profit or non-governmental organisations, including schools and colleges, for each year from 2008 to 2015. [22048/16]

 241. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the State funding provided by his Department and agencies under its remit to faith-based non-profit or non-governmental organisations, including schools and colleges, for each year from 2008 to 2015. [22049/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 240 and 241 together.

  Recipients of grant funding and other payments from my Department are not categorised by Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status or by ethos. It is not, therefore, possible to provide a fully definitive list without a detailed examination of each payment, which would require a significant level of time and resources.

  However, the table, which was produced following a summary examination of payments made from the Department's financial management system, provides details of bodies regarded as NGOs, or as having status analogous to NGOs, that were paid directly from the financial management system in the last five years. It also includes a summary of funding to schools and higher education institutions. This list does not include other institutions that may have received funding through a body under the aegis of my Department.

  If the Deputy wishes to obtain further information regarding any of the bodies listed, I will arrange for this information to be provided. The bodies are listed at the following link:

Grant Funding

Third Level Funding

 242. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he favours the introduction of a third level loan scheme; his views on the impact the introduction of similar scheme has had on access to third level education in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22050/16]

 250. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if the European Investment Bank has offered the Government funds to start a student loans scheme; if the Government has accepted, rejected or done nothing in response to such an offer; if the offer is still open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22202/16]

 296. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will release the detailed studies of the operation of student loan schemes to fund third level education in other countries referenced in the Cassells report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22422/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 242, 250 and 296 together.

The Report of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education, published recently, is comprehensive and clearly outlines the funding challenges in the sector and offers a number of approaches and recommendations for consideration including the option of introducing a deferred payment system for student fees which would be facilitated by way of an income contingent loan system.

While the report sets out a range of cost estimates and example scenarios as to how such a scheme might operate, the Group recommends that if Government decide to move to this funding model, an implementation team should be established to design the system and would have to take account of several different factors. It would also analyse in detail such systems used in other countries. I am not aware of any offer from the European Investment Bank to start a student loan scheme.

As committed to in the Programme for Government, I am referring the report to the Education Committee as part of the process for formulating a plan for the future of the sector. This will ensure that all of the options put forward by the Group are fully examined.

We will require political and societal consensus to enable us to move forward with a realistic and achievable strategy for funding the system into the future. I do not want to in any way influence the Education Committee's work which must analyse all of the options put forward by the Expert Group and allow the voice of all stakeholders and all sides of the debate to be heard.

Third Level Costs

 243. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will undertake to provide some form of subsidy to Irish students attending UK universities and other third level institutions in the event of Brexit resulting in a substantial increase in their fees to enable them to complete their studies at a cost not greater than they would have incurred in a third-level institution here; the number of Irish students currently attending UK colleges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22085/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Government has a contingency framework in place which maps the key issues that will be most important to Ireland in the coming weeks and months. The Government has published a summary of the key actions that will be taken to address the contingencies arising from the UK's decision to leave the EU.

My Department participated fully in and contributed to the preparation of this framework for the education sector and have identified student flows as a priority area. Negotiations on the future EU UK relationship will now be required and officials from my Department will engage fully in these discussions with the EU and the UK to protect our special relationship with Northern Ireland and the UK.

  My Department is conscious of the resulting pressures that may fall on the Irish higher education system following the UK's decision to leave the EU. My Department will be liaising with all relevant parties, including the relevant education departments in the UK in relation to these pressures including issues with regard to the movement of students between this State and the UK, fees and student grant arrangements.

  I understand from the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland that in the academic year 2014/15 there were 2,345 full-time and part-time Republic of Ireland domiciled enrolments in higher education institutions in Northern Ireland. Data is not yet available on the number of students from the Republic of Ireland studying in Britain.

School Accommodation Provision

 244. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide emergency classroom space for a school (details supplied) which has submitted an application under the additional school accommodation for post-primary schools scheme. [22099/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Deputy will be aware that a building project for the school in question is included on the 6 Year Construction Programme announced last November. It is envisaged that the project will proceed to tender / construction in 2018 as outlined in the programme.

In order to progress the project, my Department requires certain information from the school including architectural drawings, site map etc. which was requested from the school earlier this year and again last month. I understand that the school is assembling the information. When this is received and considered, the matter can be progressed further.

School Accommodation Provision

 245. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if the proposed date for construction at a school (details supplied) has been moved forward due to the deterioration of the prefabricated building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22107/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy is aware, the project for the school referred to, is included in the 6 Year Construction Programme that was announced on 17th November last.

My Department has been in contact with the school authorities recently regarding the next steps to be taken to progress the school project into the architectural planning process. I wish to assure the Deputy that my Department is committed to progressing the project as expeditiously as possible.

School Curriculum

 246. Deputy Maria Bailey Information on Maria Bailey Zoom on Maria Bailey asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if Mandarin Chinese will be included on the curriculum for the leaving certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22179/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a range of new subjects and this is something I will work on over the coming years. I intend to develop plans for new subjects beyond what is included in the Programme for Government.

As part of the new Framework for Junior Cycle, schools can decide to include a short course in Chinese language and Culture, prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, in their junior cycle programme.

There is also currently a Transition Year module on Chinese, which was taken by 4,825 students in 2015.

My Department is currently considering the findings from a consultation process based on a policy document on Languages in Education published last year. Amongst the topics being considered in this context is the possibility of offering additional languages for the Leaving Certificate. It is expected that a languages strategy will be finalised in the second half of this year.

Apprenticeship Programmes

 247. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the expenditure on apprenticeship training and the number of apprentices in training, by employment sector, in each of the years 2006 to 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22180/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The information requested by the Deputy was supplied by SOLAS and is set out in the following table.

 Apprentice Population 2006 - 2010  

 
Apprentice Population
TRADE20062007200820092010
Construction     
Brick & Stonelaying1,8651,6351,062534202
Cabinetmaking668671495275150
Carpentry & Joinery6,9676,8155,0362,9251,745
Floor & Wall Tiling114125914121
Painting & Decorating481440345202101
Plastering948874633340175
Plumbing4,7304,8423,6792,2371,396
Wood Machining605030175
Wood Manufacturing----13
Sub Total15,83315,45211,3716,5713,808
Electrical     
Aircraft Mechanics143178186108137
Electrical7,4577,8806,6104,5043,059
Electrical Instrumentation140179162145112
Electrical Security Systems-12505348
Instrumentation 4656483719
Refrigeration 315343344251190
Sub Total8,1018,6487,4005,0983,565
Engineering     
Mechanical & Automation  Maintenance Fitting629639624510421
Farriery--202223
Industrial Insulation-87910
Metal Fabrication662667659471370
Sheet Metalworking19216817112371
Toolmaking11387766269
Sub Total1,5961,5691,5571,197964
Motor     
Agricultural Mechanics147175171145132
Construction Plant Fitting327330280202163
Heavy Vehicle Mechanics446473464419383
Motor Mechanics14101,4711,4331,057914
Vehicle Body Repairs337315330252188
Sub Total2,6672,7642,6782,0751,780
Printing     
Bookbinding52411
Origination5----
Carton Making3----
Printing4013922
Print Media-52738051
Sub Total5367868354
Grand Total28,25028,50023,09215,02410,171
      
 €'000€'000€'000€'000€'000
Direct Costs113.0129.0126.893.968.4

School Transport Eligibility

 248. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the position for the next academic year with respect to the school transport arrangements for persons (details supplied); if he will consider extending the current arrangement until all children are finished in their national school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22189/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan Under the terms of my Department's Primary School Transport Scheme a minimum number of 10 eligible children residing in a distinct locality, as determined by Bus Éireann, are required before consideration may be given to the retention of school transport services, provided this can be done within reasonable cost limits.

  Bus Éireann, which operates the School Transport Scheme, has advised there is sufficient number of eligible children availing of the service at present, and does not envisage this service to fall below the minimum numbers for the 2016/17 school year.

  School Transport services are reviewed annually and the continued retention of a service is dependent on the number of children who are eligible for school transport.

  The terms of the scheme are applied equitably on a national basis.

European Globalisation Fund

 249. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the steps he will take to seek funding under the terms of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to provide training grants and upskilling to 87 employees of a company (details supplied); if same can be applied for now without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22196/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan The EGF Managing Authority in the Department has considered the known facts of this case including the collective redundancy notification issued by the company to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. On the basis of this information, these redundancies do not meet a number of intrinsic requirements, including the scope and intervention criteria, of Regulation (EU) No. 1309/2013 which governs the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). Rather than the redundancies occurring as a result of adverse globalisation impacts, the reason being cited by the company for these redundancies is a direct consequence of the bringing into force of EU legislation, namely the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU. The European Commission has been consulted by the Department and has confirmed that this rationale does not constitute eligible grounds for the making of an EGF application.

While EGF co-financing was granted in 2013 in support of several hundred workers made redundant in the tobacco industry in another EU Member State, the circumstances of that case were materially different and are not comparable to the Irish case in question.

In this context, the Department considers that a feasible application for EGF co-financing support cannot be made in this case.

  Question No. 250 answered with Question No. 242.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 251. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the reason a person (details supplied) is not entitled to the provision of a special needs assistant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22211/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) is responsible for processing applications from schools for special needs assistants (SNAs). The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in making recommendations for support, which is set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014.

  As outlined in this circular, SNAs are provided specifically to assist schools to cater for pupils with disabilities, who have additional and significant care needs, in an educational context and where the nature of these care needs have been outlined in medical and other professional reports as being so significant that a pupil will require additional adult assistance in order to be able to attend school and to participate in education.

  All schools were asked to apply for SNA support for the 2016/17 school year by 29 February 2016. The NCSE also continue to accept applications after that date in recognition that enrolments may not have been completed or where assessments were not completed.

  The NCSE advised all schools of their allocations for SNA support for the coming 2016/17 school year on 14 June, 2016.

  Details of the allocations which have been made to schools have now been published on www.ncse.ie.

  I announced on the 14th June, 2016 that 860 additional Special Needs Assistants will be available for allocation to schools from September 2016, which is a 7% increase on the existing availability.

  This will bring the total number of Special Needs Assistants to 12,900. This increase reflects the growing participation of children with Special Needs in education and will support their full participation and progression within the educational system.

  It should also be noted that SNA allocations are not made to individual children, but are made to schools to support the care needs of children with assessed special educational needs in the school.

  Where a school wishes to appeal the SNA allocation which has been made to them, they may do so through the NCSE appeal process, details of which are set out at www.ncse.ie. All schools have the contact details of their local SENO, while Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available the NCSE website.

  As the Deputy's question relates to the allocation of SNA support by the NCSE to a school for an individual child, I have referred this question to the NCSE for their consideration and direct reply to the Deputy.


Last Updated: 22/07/2016 16:30:35 First Page Previous Page Page of 117 Next Page Last Page