Written Answers. - Teachers' Centres.

Micheál Martin

Question:

189 Mr. Martin asked the Minister for Education the plans, if any, she has to change the title and/or the remit of the teachers' centres; and if so, the way in which she intends to involve the partners in education in the consultative process concerning any proposed changes. [1928/96]

The role of the teachers' centres is dealt with in the White Paper, "Charting our Education Future", which sets out Government policy in the area of education. One of the decisions contained in the White Paper is that teachers' centres will henceforth be called education centres.

This decision reflects the substantial development of such centres which has already taken place and the further development which is provided for under the ESF aided human resources operational programme. As stated in the White Paper, the centres will provide a focus for development programmes for teachers, parents and boards of management. Following the establishment of the education boards, the centres will come under their authority.
There are regular meetings between officials of my Department and centre representatives at which a wide range of issues are discussed, including the development of the centres. These discussions will focus, in due course, on the detail of the new structural arrangements set out in the White Paper and on any other issues related to the development of the centres.