Header Item Written Answers Nos. 162-185
 Header Item Teacher Data
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staff Data
 Header Item Speech and Language Therapy Provision
 Header Item Schools Grievance Procedures
 Header Item Magdalen Laundries
 Header Item Schools Facilities
 Header Item Teachers' Professional Development
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item Lobbying Data
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Service Provision
 Header Item School Accommodation
 Header Item School Accommodation
 Header Item School Transport Applications Data
 Header Item DEIS Scheme
 Header Item DEIS Data
 Header Item DEIS Scheme
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Employment Rights
 Header Item Brexit Issues

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 1
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 162-185

Teacher Data

 162. 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 the predicted requirement in each of the next three years for new primary school teachers due only to demographic pressures. [42203/17]

 163. 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 the predicted requirement for new secondary school teachers in each of the next three years due only to demographic pressures. [42204/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 163 together.

  Teacher allocations to all schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. The criteria for the allocation of posts are communicated to schools annually and are available on the Department website.

  The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.

  The published staffing arrangements include the provision whereby schools experiencing rapid increases in enrolment can apply for additional mainstream posts on developing grounds, using projected enrolment for the following September.

  Budgets 2016 and 2017 provided c. 1500 posts to meet rising demographic needs at both primary and post primary level.    

  As the Deputy may be aware, my Department consistently monitors demographics to identify where additional teaching posts will be required.    

  Projections of teacher numbers for the next 3 years are currently being updated as part of the Budget process.

Special Educational Needs Staff Data

 164. 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 the predicted requirement in each of the next three years for new SNAs due only to demographic pressures. [42205/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES) published a Focused Policy Assessment (FPA) of Data on Special Needs Assistants in August 2016 which is available at: http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Value-For-Money-Reviews/. 

  This FPA forms part of my Department’s commitment to the Public Spending Code (PSC) and evidence informed policy making.

  One of the objectives of the FPA was to identify what is required to develop the forecasting capacity of the Department and the NCSE in order to anticipate the level of demand and cost of future SNA requirements and that the provision of this data would be aligned with the planning needs of my Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the NCSE with specific reference to the annual budgetary process.

  The report found that the primary drivers of the increase in demand for SNAs were:

  - The underlying change in the school-age population

  - The ratio of students to SNAs

  - Increased number of students with an ASD diagnosis

  The FPA report recommended that the NCSE provide an End of Year Statement of Demand and a forecast of future demand in mid-April each year, with an updated forecast by mid-June to take account of trends arising during the current year’s application process.

  In addition, the method of provision for the additional SNA posts this year has been similar to that for the past six years when decisions were made in late June or early July. This is not a satisfactory approach and in this year’s estimates and in future years, provision will be made for the anticipated extra need in the same way as for other elements of the education system. This will allow for SNA allocations to be notified to schools earlier than in recent years.

  Demand over the next 3 years cannot be accurately estimated until the NCSE provides its forecast of future demand for consideration in each of the next 3 years.  

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

 165. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if his Department collects data on the number of children turned down annually for speech and language classes in primary schools despite meeting the qualifying criteria; and if so, the data for each of the years 2010 to 2016 and to date in 2017.  [42207/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is an independent statutory agency, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for the provision of special educational needs supports to schools, including the provision of special classes in mainstream schools. 

  Applications to establish speech and language special classes are considered by the school's assigned Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) and those meeting the criteria for establishment are approved by the NCSE. The criteria for enrolment in a Special Class for pupils with Specific Speech and Language Disorder (SSLD) is set out in my Department's Circular 0038/2007.

  Students with SSLD have access to speech and language therapy services either through the speech and language therapy services provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE), in a special SSLD class setting or through the HSE primary care service. The provision of health supports, including Speech and Language Therapy services, is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive.

  A full-time teacher is assigned to each class, and classes operate with a reduced pupil-teacher ratio of 7:1. A minimum number of five eligible pupils is required for a school to retain a SSLD class. Eligible pupils may spend up to two years in such classes.

  The NCSE continues to monitor and review the requirement for special class places in particular areas and has capacity to establish such new special classes where necessary, subject to the willingness of schools to open classes. The NCSE welcomes expressions of interest from schools in opening special classes to meet the demand for special class provision. In deciding on the location of a special class SENOs take into account both the present and the future potential need for special class provision and they must be satisfied that the special class is sustainable and appropriately located. SENOs liaise with relevant professionals in their area to arrive at an informed decision. The opening of a Speech and Language class is, however, contingent on the HSE being in a position to provide Speech and Language therapy to the students in the class.

  The enrolment of pupils in an SSLD special class is managed locally by an Admissions & Discharges Committee, comprising the Speech and Language Therapy Manager, Speech and Language Therapist, Class Teacher and Principal.   

  It should be noted that pupils who are not enrolled in a special class for SSLD and who meet the criteria for Specific Speech and Language Disorder, as outlined in Circular 0038/2007, may qualify for additional teaching support under the School's Special Education Teaching Support provision, where he/she is enrolled in a mainstream school. 

  A new model for allocating support to pupils with special educational needs has been implemented from September 2017. Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools which was published on 7th March 2017 sets out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.   The revised allocation model replaces the generalised allocation process at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) allocation process which provided additional resource teaching supports to schools, to support pupils assessed as having Low Incidence disabilities. Guidelines for schools on the organisation, deployment and use of their special education teachers have also been published;

http://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Special-Education/Guidelines-for-Primary-Schools-Supporting-Pupils-with-Special-Educational-Needs-in-Mainstream-Schools.pdf.

  One of the benefits of this new approach is that schools will have greater flexibility as to how they will deploy their resources.

  Pupils with Specific Speech and Language Disorder (SSLD) may, therefore, attend a special class for pupils with SSLD with speech and language therapy services provided in class by the HSE or attend a mainstream school with additional teaching supports and speech & language therapy through the primary care service. 

  The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to establish a new model of In-School Speech and Language Therapy and to examine the adequacy of the present policies and provision, and their scope for improvement, particularly in relation to speech and language difficulties and early intervention.

  A joint working group, made up of the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills, the Health Service Executive and the National Council for Special Education, has been established to develop the proposed model.   When finalised, the proposed model will represent a significant change in the way in which services are delivered.

  The information requested by the Deputy is not available, as the NCSE retains data on the number of special classes and the number of students attending only.

Schools Grievance Procedures

 166. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his views on the fact that in certain cases school boards of management are taking judicial review proceedings to challenge the findings of section 29 appeals against refusals to enrol children in speech and language classes; and his further views on whether this is an appropriate use of public funds. [42208/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Following every section 29 appeal hearing the determination is issued together with a cover letter to both parties to the section 29 appeal, on behalf of the Secretary General of this Department. This determination outlines the outcome of the appeal, that is: upheld, not upheld or upheld in part.

Following from this, it is open to either party to the appeal to seek leave to take a Judicial review. Judicial review is the process by which any aggrieved party, including an individual or a legal person, can test in the High Court the legality of administrative decisions, once the applicant has been sufficiently affected and the dispute comes within the public law domain.

Magdalen Laundries

 167. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if additional persons have been added to the list since Caranua was established over and above those identified in the Quirke report; if so, the number; the criteria used; the years in which this occurred; if new persons were included; if resources were provided to cover this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42230/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I think the Deputy may be referring to the Magdalen Laundries Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme which was set up by the Department of Justice and Equality following the publication of the report in February, 2013 of an Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of the State's involvement with the Magdalen Laundries. It was chaired by then Senator Martin McAleese and it is commonly referred to as the McAleese report. The material in the Report relates to 10 different institutions which were run by 4 different Orders of nuns over a period of 70 years. Although there was no finding in the McAleese Report which indicated that the State had any liability in the matter, following the report’s publication the Taoiseach issued a State apology to the women. 

  Mr. Justice Quirke was subsequently asked by the Government to make recommendations on an appropriate redress scheme for those who were in the 10 Magdalen laundries that were the subject of the McAleese Report. The Government also included in the scheme the laundry that was attached to Stanhope Street Training School and later also decided to include a 12th institution, the Training School in Summerhill. 

  The Scheme provides for lump sum payments varying from €11,500 to €100,000 depending on the length of stay in the institution concerned. Further, each woman is entitled to a top-up payment to bring her weekly income from the Irish State up to the equivalent of the Irish Contributory Pension. The Scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Equality.

  Caranua was established under the 2012 Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act to manage €110 million pledged by religious congregations to enhance the lives of survivors who had suffered abuse as children in Institutions listed in schedules to the 2002 Residential Institutions Redress Act where the State was acting in loco parentis. To be eligible to apply to Caranua, a person must have received an award through settlement, Court or the Residential Institutions Redress Board in relation to time spent in one of these institutions. The Magdalen laundries are not included.

Schools Facilities

 168. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will allocate funding for parking facilities at a school (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42232/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has no record of receiving correspondence from the school to which he refers relating to the facilities in question.

Teachers' Professional Development

 169. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to reintroduce financial support for student primary teachers in respect of attendance at a mandatory course (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42246/17]

 170. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will reintroduce financial support for students of primary teaching for the mandatory Gaeltacht course (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42255/17]

 171. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to reinstate support for student primary teachers towards the cost of mandatory Gaeltacht courses (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42256/17]

 173. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to reinstate the support subsidies for primary school teachers who undertake residential Gaeltacht courses as part of their teacher training that were cut in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42272/17]

 174. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to restore subsidies for student teachers attendance at mandatory Gaeltacht courses which would help to alleviate the burden of these expenses on students. [42274/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 169, 170, 171, 173 and 174 together.

The decision to stop the Gaeltacht placement grants was taken during the economic crisis when, unfortunately, very difficult decisions had to be made to stabilise the nation's finances. Priority was given to protecting resources for front line education services as far as possible, which remains particularly challenging with rising numbers of school-going children. My Department does not have the funding available to restore this support.

It should be noted that, to assist with the costs of the Gaeltacht placement, students who are in receipt of a student grant which includes a 100% fee grant, or who would have qualified for a full fee grant but for the Free Fees Schemes, can apply for funding towards travel and accommodation costs under the field trip element of a fee grant, subject to the normal terms and conditions of the student grant scheme.

Apart from this, in circumstances of particular need, students may apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. Information in relation to this fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 172. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the status of support hours for pupils at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42260/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I wish to advise the Deputy that under the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools, schools have been provided with a total allocation for special education needs support which includes a baseline allocation for the school and an allocation based on the school’s profile.

Details of the manner in which the allocations have been provided to schools are set out in my Departments Circulars 0013 and 0014 2017 

The provision of a profiled allocation is designed to give a fairer allocation for each school which recognises that all schools need an allocation for special needs support, but which provides a graduated allocation which takes into account the actual level of need in each school.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school referred to in his question received an allocation of 46.03 hours special education teaching support, based on its school profile and an enrolment of 69 pupils at the time that the school profile developed. This is a substantial allocation of hours for a school of this size. 

Whereas the profiled allocation had indicated a need of 45 hours for this school, based on its school profile and size, and relative to the profiled needs of all other schools, the school was allocated 46.03 hours, which was equivalent to the allocation the school received in 2016/17. There has therefore been no reduction to the allocation for this school.

It is acknowledged and accepted that schools will have some additional pupils with special educational needs enrolling to their school subsequent to the profiles having been developed.

However, for the most part these will be balanced by the fact that some students who had additional teaching needs in the previous year will have left the school. The baseline is also designed to ensure that schools have some capacity to provide additional support to pupils. This school also has some additional capacity in the retained element of its allocation which is above that indicated by the school profile. 

Under the new allocation model schools are frontloaded with resources, based on each school’s profile, to provide supports immediately to those pupils who need it without delay. This will reduce the administrative burden on schools as schools will no longer have to complete an application process annually and apply for newly enrolled pupils who require resource hours. Children who need support can have that support provided immediately rather than having to wait for a diagnosis.

Schools will therefore no longer have to make applications, for newly enrolled pupils for whom resource teaching hours may have been provided under the old model, or for pupils who have received a new diagnosis, as schools will now receive a single allocation for all of their special education teaching needs, based on their school size and profile. 

The new allocations to schools include provision to support all pupils in the schools, including where a child receives a diagnosis after the allocation is received by a school, or where there are newly enrolling pupils to the school.

It should be noted that this is a brand new model of allocation and is not comparable to the previous model which had been in place.

By using a broad range of attainment and socio-economic criteria, it is expected that generally, a school’s profile will remain relatively constant from year to year. Each year, some students with additional teaching needs will leave and others will enrol, broadly balancing the school profile. Resources allocated under this model will not normally be adjusted between allocations.

A process has also been put in place to address circumstances where the school profile significantly changed following the allocation process due to the fact that the school had rapidly developing status where the net enrolment numbers significantly increased.

The criteria for qualification for mainstream school developing school posts are set out in DES Circular 17/2017 (Primary School Staffing Schedule) and DES 10,11,12/2017 (Post Primary School Staffing Schedule).

Schools who have qualified of additional mainstream developing school posts on the basis of developing growth in accordance with these criteria will also qualify for additional Special Education Teaching Allocations to take account of this developing status.

My Department has issued guidelines for schools to support them in the management of their resources. These guidelines are available on my Departments website.

Schools are encouraged to take guidelines on board in the planning process for the 2017/18 school year. In order to determine the levels of need within each school, it will be important for schools to have properly identified students with additional learning needs and have developed plans for each student indicating how the supports available will be used.

In this context, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) will be available to support schools where these plans have been developed and implemented but the school considers that further support may be required. This support may involve Continuing Professional Development or further training for school staff, advice in relation to the support plan that is in place, and possibly a review process once schools can clearly demonstrate that exceptional circumstances have arisen in the school.

The NCSE will shortly be advising how schools can seek a review of the utilisation of their allocations in circumstances where a school considers that very exceptional circumstances have arisen subsequent to the development of the profile.  

Questions Nos. 173 and 174 answered with Question No. 169.

Lobbying Data

 175. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of occasions on which he has been lobbied in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill since March 2016; the persons he has met; the dates of these meetings; the details of the basis of the lobbying; his views on the issues raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42289/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, all lobbyists are required to register with www.lobbying.ie and details of all lobbying activity are publicly available on that site.

  I have had no meetings with any lobbyists in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) bill since March 2016. 

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

 176. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of early years playschools in County Kildare for children with developmental difficulties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42322/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I understand that the Deputy has clarified that she is referring to the number of early intervention classes for children with autism in County Kildare.

  The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is the body responsible for organising and planning provision for children with Special Educational Needs, including establishing ASD early intervention classes and special classes in mainstream primary and post primary schools.

  There are currently 130 Early Intervention classes for children with ASD in recognised primary and special schools, 6 of which are in County Kildare. Early Intervention classes are supported with a pupil–teacher ratio of 6:1 and also have Special Needs Assistant support normally amounting to 2 SNAs for a class of 6 children.

  From the age of three children with autism (who will not reach the age of 6 during the current school year) can enrol in these early intervention settings. Where such a placement is not available home tuition can be provided.

  The enrolment of a child to a school is a matter, in the first instance, for the parents/guardians of the child and the Board of Management of a school.

  However, parents/guardians who may need advice or are experiencing difficulties in locating a school placement should contact their local Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) who can assist in identifying an appropriate educational placement for their child. Contact details are available on www.ncse.ie. 

  The SENO can also advise parents in relation to supports which may be available to support children with special educational needs, including special transport arrangements which may be made available. Details of all special classes for children with special educational needs are also available on www.ncse.ie.

  The Deputy may be aware that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs provides supports for childcare, including pre-school education.

  The principal vehicle for the delivery of pre-school education is the free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme which was introduced in January 2010 and provides for early learning in a formal setting to children in the year before they commence primary school. 

  Children with disabilities have access to pre-school services under a new Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) programme of supports, which was announced in June 2016, by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

  AIM is a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, depending on the needs of the child and the pre-school.

  Details of the supports which are available under AIM can be found at www.preschoolaccess.ie which contains comprehensive information on the access and inclusion model and on how to apply for the new schemes and supports. For children attending a private pre-school through the ECCE programme, questions relating to the AIM supports should be addressed to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

School Accommodation

 177. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the status of the allocation for the provision of a multi purpose room which is needed for the pupils and staff of a school (details supplied); if approval will be given; the timeframe involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42324/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I can confirm that my Department received an application from the school referred to by the Deputy for a General Purpose room.

Due to the competing demands on the Department's capital budget imposed by the need to prioritise available funding towards the provision of essential school classroom accommodation, it is not possible at this point to provide an indicative timeframe for the provision of funding for the GP room in question. The school concerned has been advised of this position.

School Accommodation

 178. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when a school (details supplied) will receive approval for funding for new facilities. [42326/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I can confirm that my Department received a major capital application from the school to which the Deputy refers for the development of a new school building.

A project for the school has not been included in my Department's 6 Year Construction Programme and it is, therefore, not possible to provide an indicative timeframe for the delivery of a major project for the school at this time.

However, my Department has recently granted approval in principle to the school for the provision of additional rented accommodation to facilitate the appointment of a developing teaching post. The school has submitted costs in respect of the accommodation which are currently being considered by my Department.  

School Transport Applications Data

 179. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of pupils who have applied for concessionary school transport for the current school year, by county; the number who were granted and refused respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42341/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

  During the 2016/17 school year almost 116,000 children, including some 12,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 4,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

  The information requested is as follows.

  Concessionary school transport for 2017/18 School Year

CountyNo. of ApplicationsNo. of Tickets issuedNo Seats Available
Carlow77262412
Cavan102575012
Clare7205900
Cork37903073104
Donegal2238191611
Dublin4412863
Galway2479198132
Kerry1515132611
Kildare1775127431
Kilkenny1383119149
Laois41132316
Leitrim7036201
Limerick1211103210
Longford8226964
Louth7565200
Mayo138710639
Meath1856138072
Monaghan90162615
Offaly10678845
Roscommon5824760
Sligo6725901
Tipperary1709141015
Waterford65052519
Westmeath89170617
Wexford2032164034
Wicklow105478421
Grand Total3284226286504
   

DEIS Scheme

 180. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the reason the threshold for the appointment of an administrative principal for rural DEIS schools is higher than other DEIS schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42343/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As outlined in the Report on the Review of DEIS published by my Department in February ongoing research has shown that there is a clear distinction between urban and rural disadvantage. While socio-economic disadvantage exists in rural areas, these studies have shown it does not have the same impact on educational outcomes as it does in urban areas.

  Consideration of the rural/urban context and the innate differences of the two in terms of educational outcomes as evidenced in research, together with the particular educational needs of certain vulnerable groups is relevant in terms of the nature and the type of resources required to meet particular needs. The Report on the Review of DEIS is available on my Department's website at the following link : https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Review-Report.pdf

  I wish to advise the Deputy that the current School Support Programme provides for the appointment of an Administrative Principal on an enrolment of 116 pupils in DEIS Urban Band 1 schools and 144 pupils in a DEIS Urban Band 2 school as opposed to an enrolment of 177 pupils in rural DEIS and non-DEIS schools.

  The full list of supports and resources available to DEIS schools is available on my Department’s website at the following link:https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Supporting-Information/Supports-to-DEIS-Schools.html.

DEIS Data

 181. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the differences in the funding or other supports available under each of the different categories of DEIS school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42345/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton DEIS is my Departments main policy initiative aimed at tackling educational disadvantage and provides funding and supports for schools identified as having the highest concentrations of pupils at greatest risk of educational disadvantage. 

  DEIS is provided in both Primary and Post Primary schools with DEIS Primary Schools broken down into three different categories:

  - Urban Band 1

  - Urban Band 2

  - Rural.

  Supports available for each category are listed on page 56 and 57 of the DEIS Plan 2017 under Appendices - Appendix 1 – Supports Provided under the DEIS School Support Programme 2017, available at the following link

  https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/DEIS-Plan-2017.pdf.

   The supports are also listed on my Departments website.

https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Supporting-Information/Supports-to-DEIS-Schools.html.

DEIS Scheme

 182. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of schools that currently have rural DEIS status, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42346/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The list of schools that have DEIS status including those requested by the Deputy is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

  https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/deis_school_list.xls.

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

 183. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the reason inconsistent overtime payments are taken into consideration by SUSI when determining applications in view of the fact that these overtime payments are usually achieved by parents of students preparing to send children to third level. [42369/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Student grant applications are means tested on gross income from all sources earned inside and outside the State within a specified reference period. The means test arrangements of the Student Grant Scheme are applied nationally. The assessment of income from the same starting point is deemed to be fair and reasonable because this approach eliminates any distortion which might arise from different spending decisions in different households. All earnings including overtime must be assessed for the calculation of reckonable income. 

  The Student Grant Scheme provides for higher income thresholds for larger families. In addition to this, further increases in the income thresholds are provided for where additional family members are attending further and/or higher education at the same time.

  Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. This fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.

  Also, tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners at www.revenue.ie

Employment Rights

 184. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the steps he has taken in relation to investigating bogus self employment contracts in the English language teaching sector here (details supplied). [42375/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The majority of English language schools in Ireland are privately run. The relationship between teachers and private providers of education is based on a private contract. Issues relating to employment contracts and working conditions are a matter between the two parties and do not come under the remit of my Department. 

There is an extensive range of legislation in Ireland which protects the employment rights of workers, including English language teachers, in relation to employment contracts, payment of wages and related matters. It is the responsibility of the employer in the first instance to ensure that their employees receive their employment rights. Where an employee considers that their employment rights have been breached they may bring a claim under the appropriate legislation to the Workplace Relations Commission. The Workplace Relations Commission has a range of services available including adjudication, inspection and advisory.

Brexit Issues

 185. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will report on the third plenary session of the All Island Civic Dialogue; and the actions that will be taken after same. [42990/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The third plenary session of the All Island Civic Dialogue took place on Thursday 28 September in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and brought together almost 300 representatives across industry and civil society to discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by the decision of the UK to leave the European Union. This event focused on the impact of Brexit on enterprise and society on the island and the steps taken by organisations to become 'Brexit-ready'. There was also a discussion on the future of Europe. This session followed two successful plenary sessions held last November and February. There have also been 19 sectoral dialogues in locations across the country to discuss the impact of Brexit on specific areas including Agri-Food, Transport, Energy, Tourism and Hospitality, and Education. The most recent sectoral dialogue on cross-border health co-operation took place in Dundalk on September 8. The All-Island Civic Dialogue is ongoing and forms a key part of our stakeholder engagement on Brexit and will continue through the negotiation process. The outcomes of the recent plenary session will again feed into the Government’s approach.

As with previous dialogues, a full report of the third plenary session will be published online. It is anticipated that further sectoral dialogues will be held over the coming months. I also hope to convene a further plenary session in the near future.


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