I have recently received a request from the inner-city teachers' group to meet me to discuss the survey. The letter was dated 26 June and I received it within the last two weeks. I have indicated in reply that I will be happy to meet them and have asked my office to make arrangements for the meeting.
The Government's programme of special schemes for national schools serving disadvantaged areas has enabled assistance to be given to many schools in the Dublin inner city. These measures include the appointment of additional teachers and the provision of financial assistance for the purchase of books and equipment, the promotion of homeschool liaison, special in-service training for teachers, the relief of school debts, the printing and issuing of materials, purchase of computers for certain schools and the provision of finance for equipment for pre-school facilities for travellers' children.
This year the fund available for the scheme of financial assistance for disadvantaged schools in general has been trebled to £1.5 million. I will shortly be in a position to announce a comprehensive package of initiatives for schools serving disadvantaged areas which will come into operation in September.