Bruton, Richard

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)

The heads of the Bill were approved earlier this year and published on 15 May. There was a meeting of the joint committee on 17 July when it was determined that the Bill did not require pre-legisl...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Administration

I certainly sympathise with the case outlined by Deputy Fitzpatrick. The difficulty I have is that SUSI is a national statutory-based scheme and its allocation of student grants is based on an ass...More Button

Although it is not in my area, it is my understanding there is an arrangement whereby a family means requirement is carried out before the personal insolvency agreement would be arranged. Within...More Button

The only scheme I can point to within my Department is where students in third level institutions experiencing financial need can apply for support under the student assistance fund. This helps ...More Button

Unfortunately, the system under SUSI is statutory-based and it takes into account gross income. I do not have the authority to waive those provisions for any individual case. There is the possi...More Button

Student Grant Scheme Administration (Continued)

As I have outlined, there is no provision for ministerial discretion in this scheme. This is a statute-based scheme. SUSI was appointed to carry out the assessments, and it does so under the prov...More Button

Teacher Recruitment

It is not correct to suggest that there is a massive crisis in primary teaching. As the Deputy knows, the Government has reduced the class size twice in the last three years, and last year we prov...More Button

In respect of resource teaching for children with special needs, even in those very difficult crisis years we continued to expand those numbers, and the number of teachers provided for resource t...More Button

On the issue of supply and demand, there is no doubt that we have successfully filled the full-time positions by recruiting at that level, with over 2,250 additional teachers hired in a very shor...More Button

Teacher Recruitment (Continued)

For a number of years there was an effort to restrict the use of retired teachers to fill those positions because there was a need to prioritise those who were coming out of college who did not hav...More Button

There is some pressure in this area but I took the opportunity to examine the recent trends. It might reassure the Deputy to know that there is an increase this year over last year in the paymen...More Button

However, there is no doubt that there is a particular problem in Dublin. I will monitor this issue carefully but according to the most recent data I have, and admittedly it is data from the end ...More Button

My Department and I are always in discussion with the various stakeholders. I will examine the survey. I note that it was conducted over an eight week period and suggested that there was a diffic...More Button

I can understand that there are difficulties with substitution. We will meet with those involved to see what initiatives might be taken beyond those we have already taken.More Button

School Management

Was asked: if additional moneys will be made available for restoration of posts of responsibility within schools by September 2018 in view of the fact the amount allocated in budget 2017 does not allow for th...More Button

Budget 2017 provided for a new package of support for school leadership, including middle management posts for primary and post primary schools.  More Button

My department recently issued circular 0063/2017 Leadership and Management in Primary schools which sets out a framework for posts in recognised primary schools.More Button

The commencement of restoration of middle management posts as part of an agreed distributed leadership model means that the rigidity of the longstanding moratorium on these posts has been lifted ...More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: if he received a report (details supplied); and if a meeting will be scheduled with his Department regarding same.More Button

I can confirm that my Department has received correspondence, including a report, from the group referred to by the Deputy and that a response has issued.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. The GIS uses data from a ra...More Button

Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on t...More Button

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schoolsMore Button

- Extending the capacity of a school or schoolsMore Button

- Provision of a new school or schools.More Button

As with other school planning areas nationwide, the demographic data for the South Kildare school planning areas is being kept under ongoing review by the Department to take account of updated da...More Button

With regard to demand for particular models of school provision, it should be noted that the patronage process for new schools is a separate process which has been in place since 2011. This proc...More Button

My Department is aware that representatives of Educate Together and the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board recently entered into discussions regarding a possible partnership to prov...More Button

Emergency Works Scheme Applications

Was asked: if an application by a school (details supplied) for emergency summer works will be granted.More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that the school in question applied for funding under the Summer Works Scheme, to provide a roof over each of the school's courtyards.

  The scheme i...More Button

School Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the status of an appeal by a school (details supplied); when a decision will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that an additional mainstream classroom has recently been approved for the school in question and the school authority have been informed.More Button

Was asked: his plans for the required extended temporary accommodation necessary to accommodate the intake of students in September 2018 in a school (details supplied); the site location; the timeframe for de...More Button

The school referred to by the Deputy is currently located in temporary accommodation across two sites. My Department is working in close co-operation with the patron body, Educate Together, and Co...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, a site acquisition process for the school is currently underway and a suitable permanent site for the school has been identified. Agreement in principle with the land...More Button

My Department is aware of the limitations of the current temporary accommodation and every effort is being made to progress additional temporary accommodation and the permanent accommodation for ...More Button

Schools Site Acquisitions

Was asked: the status of the search for a site for the proposed 1,000 pupil post-primary school (details supplied) in Dublin 24.More Button

Officials in my Department have been working closely with officials from South Dublin County Council towards the acquisition of a permanent site to meet the needs of the school to which the Deputy ...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that every effort is being made to secure a suitable site for the school as expeditiously as possible. More Button

Was asked: the status of the acquisition of a permanent school site for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department has identified a suitable permanent site for the school to which the Deputy refers and agreement in principle in respect of this proposed acquisition, subject to satisfactory conveya...More Button

The site in question is currently not accessible and aspects of the design and delivery of the access road to the site needed to be discussed with the landowner. Work has been ongoing in the int...More Button

It is important to note that the ongoing site acquisition process is not hindering the delivery of the permanent accommodation for the school as preliminary design work has commenced in respect o...More Button

The Department is aware of the limitations of the school's current temporary accommodation and every effort is being made to progress the permanent accommodation for the school as expeditiously a...More Button

Schools Facilities

Was asked: his views on the fact that the playing fields land at a college (details supplied) have been sold; if he has seen the contracts for such a sale; if his attention has been drawn to the legal case th...More Button

Was asked: if the board of a college (details supplied) will be supported in its endeavours including the legal proceedings to stop the sale of playing pitches in view of the fact that this school is funded b...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 87 together.More Button

I would like to clarify for the Deputy that the fields at the school in question are owned by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The decision by the Congregation of Christian Brothers to di...More Button

My Department understands that the Board of Management or members of the Board of Management may be taking legal proceedings against the Congregation of Christian Brothers relating to the sale of...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts

Was asked: if special needs assistants (details supplied) employed at the start of a school year do not have hours reduced in the course of the school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The number of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) employed in a school depends on the allocation given to the school by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), based on its assessment of the...More Button

Was asked: the procedure to be followed to return to their former position as a special needs assistant teacher in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

When an employer has an SNA vacancy to fill, they must undertake the recruitment process in accordance with the provisions outlined in Circular 0042/2017 “Recruitment of Special Needs Assistants (S...More Button

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Was asked: his plans to put a defibrillator in each school in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the decision to install a defibrillator is made at local school level and is a matter for the board of management of each individual school.

  T...More Button

Teacher Exchange Scheme

Was asked: the progress made to date in discussions with the INTO regarding a permanent exchange scheme for primary school teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provisions of the teacher exchange scheme are set out in Circular letter 0017/2015 the contents of which were agreed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council. More Button

In 2016 the scheme was reviewed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council and to facilitate this review the maximum period for which an exchange may occur was extended to allow appl...More Button

The Teachers Conciliation Council is part of the scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration for Teachers and was set up to deal with claims and proposals relating to the terms and conditions of emplo...More Button

Education Centre Network

Was asked: the reason the new regulations which state that a director of education can hold the role for five years were not debated before they were introduced; the consultation process undertaken in advance...More Button

Section 37 of the Education Act 1998 provides the statutory basis for Education Support Centres and outlines the policy framework underpinning their recognition and functions, funding, staffing and...More Button

The regulations I recently promulgated under Section 37(6) of the Education Act underpins my Department's policy for the secondment of teachers to Education Support Centres. These regulations co...More Button

Officials of my Department communicated the introduction and the rationale for the regulations to the Education Centres, ATECI as the representative body for Education Centres and the teacher uni...More Button

By way of background, my Department arranges for the secondment of teachers from their teaching posts for the purpose of developing and providing CPD for teachers and for the appointment as Direc...More Button

In 2010, a new policy of secondment was introduced which included a new limit on secondment numbers and established an upper limit of 5 years on the length of a secondment, following which the Di...More Button

There are many benefits from the revised policy for teachers, their boards of management and the system as a whole.  Because an upper limit of 5 years now applies to secondments, there is:More Button

- confidence that the teachers involved in the delivery of CPD have recent experience of the curriculum and of the school environmentMore Button

- certainty about secondment parameters which assist individual teachers and their boards of management in planningMore Button

There are more opportunities for teachers to take on career enhancing roles in the support services and the Centres. Teachers returning to their school after a period of secondment have the pote...More Button

Regular turnover of seconded teachers is now an established practice with teachers returning to enrich their schools so the investment in their skills is not lost.  Since 2010, 10 Education Centr...More Button

Apprenticeship Programmes

Was asked: the position regarding the review SOLAS was to commission on pathways to participation in apprenticeship, including participation of persons with a disability; and his plans for developing apprenti...More Button

Apprenticeship Data

Was asked: the targeted apprentice registrations forecasted for all craft-based apprenticeships and registrations planned under new consortia led apprenticeship programmes; the apprenticeship population forec...More Button

Springboard Programme

Was asked: the budget allocation for expenditure on Springboard in each of the years 2011 to 2017; the allocation made for 2018; the number of persons enrolled in such courses in each such year; and the proje...More Button

Springboard+ which incorporates the ICT skills conversion programme, is a specific initiative which provides free part-time and full-time courses aimed at addressing the current skills needs of emp...More Button

National Training Fund

Was asked: the budget allocation for expenditure on Skillnets in each of the years 2011 to 2017; the allocation made for 2018; the number of persons enrolled in such courses in each such year; and the project...More Button