Written Answers. - Teacher Appointments.

Declan Bree

Question:

104 Mr. Bree asked the Minister for Education the number of full-time, temporary whole-time and part-time staff, both academic and support, appointed to St. Angela's College, Lough Gill, Sligo, since January 1993; the new full-time and part-time courses and programmes approved for the college since January 1993; the increase in funding pay and non-pay provided to the college since January 1993; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9304/97]

There have been seven temporary full-time appointments to the college since January 1993. All the appointments were to replace existing staff.

The State grant — pay and non-pay — for 1993 was £693,900 and for 1996 was £858,760 — excluding tuition fees — an increase of £164,860, 24 per cent, over the three years. This grant relates to the running of the home economics teacher training course.

A new extended course in remedial education was introduced in November 1994, run under the auspices of Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick. This is an in-career development course for teachers who hold posts sanctioned for remedial teachers. A seconded teacher acts as co-ordinator-tutor to the course. Other lecturing staff are engaged as required and are not part of St. Angela's College staffing complement.

Since the introduction of this course, my Department has provided separate funding amounting to £96,000 to cover its costs. My Department has not approved any other courses for St. Angela's College.

Michael P. Kitt

Question:

105 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for Education if she will appoint a remedial teacher to a school (details supplied) in County Galway. [9305/97]

Noel Treacy

Question:

110 Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for Education if she will sanction a remedial teacher for a school (details supplied) in County Galway; if her attention has been drawn to the urgency of this situation; the date on which sanction will be granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9366/97]

Noel Treacy

Question:

111 Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for Education if she will sanction a remedial teacher for a school (details supplied) in County Galway; if her attention has been drawn to the urgency of this situation; the date on which sanction will be granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9367/97]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 110 and 111 together.

I am aware of the cases made by the schools in question in support of their applications for a remedial teacher service.

I am not in a position at present to allocate additional remedial teachers to primary schools.

Remedial teacher posts are allocated to schools on the basis of priority of need as determined by my Department following the collection and analysis of data from schools, by my Department's inspectorate. The allocation of such posts is also subject to resource availability in any given year.

Since my appointment as Minister for Education, I have allocated an additional 241 remedial teachers to the primary sector. A total of 1,188 remedial teachers are now in place and the percentage of pupils who have access to a remedial service has increased from 77 per cent to 87 per cent.
However, as Minister for Education, I have to consider how best to deploy available resources across a wider range of special needs. I have to determine priorities and try to allocate resources to best effect.
In the current year, I have adopted a particular focus on children who suffer from educational disadvantage and have sought to target resources into this area in an effort to break the cycle of disadvantage. As part of this approach, I recently launched a major new initiative aimed at bringing special targeted assistance to children in selected urban and rural areas who suffer serious educational disadvantage.
I am satisfied that since my appointment as Minister for Education I have achieved substantial advances across the entire spectrum of special needs, including the remedial area. It is my intention to continue this process.
When I am next in a position to extend the remediation service, the needs of the schools in question will receive every consideration.