Written Answers. - Maintenance Grants.

Gay Mitchell


957 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Education and Science if the case will be examined for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 who applied to City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee for a post leaving certificate grant but was turned down on the basis that she had attended a previous course. [1477/99]

Under the terms of the maintenance grants scheme for students attending post-leaving certificate courses which issued last August, candidates who are entering approved PLC courses for the first time in the 1998/9 school year or who are already in attendance on an approved PLC course are eligible to apply for a maintenance grant. Initially candidates were deemed ineligible for grant assistance if they already held an NCVA level 2 or level 3 qualification, a third level qualification at national certificate, national diploma, degree, postgraduate or equivalent level. Subsequently it was decided, in line with the practice in the third level student support schemes, to allow for progression from NCVA level 2 courses to NCVA level 3 courses or their equivalent. All vocational education committees were notified of this improvement to the scheme. Therefore anyone who has already completed an NCVA level 2 course and is now progressing to pursue a course at, or equivalent to, NCVA level 3 is eligible to apply for grant assistance under the maintenance grants scheme for post-leaving certificate courses.

I understand from City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee that the candidate in question already holds an NCVA level 2 qualification. As the course that the candidate is now pursuing provides progression from NCVA level 2, City of Dublin VEC has reassessed her application, and the student has been awarded a maintenance grant.