Written Answers. - Psychological Services.

John Moloney

Question:

915 Mr. Moloney asked the Minister for Education and Science the position regarding the provision of educational psychologists for primary school children in County Laois. [1121/99]

One of my key priorities as Minister is the establishment of a National Educational Psychological Service, to be available to all schools at both levels. On 15 September last, I launched and endorsed the report of the planning group, which has prepared recommendations for me on how a National Educational Psychological Service may best be introduced. Financial provision has now been made for the first two years at a five year implementation phase. Subject to the approval of Government, implementation of the report will begin in early 1999.

I am aware that there are inevitably many primary schools in the country, including all the primary schools in County Laois, which do not yet have access to my Department's psychological service. Attention will be paid to the needs of all areas as the psychological service is expanded.