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 Thursday, 11 February, I announced Government approval for the establishment of a national Educational psychological service. Financial provision has now been made for the first two years of a five-year implementation phase. At the end of the five-year period, it is envisaged that every school in the country will have access to a schools psychological service.
My Department will shortly be recruiting 25 additional psychologists, who should take up their appointments during the school year 1999-2000. It is intended that the psychological service will be an integrated service for the primary and second level sectors and, from now on, newly recruited psychologists will be expected to work in both sectors. My Department is currently carrying out a detailed analysis of the needs and resources available in all parts of the country, in order to set priorities for the expansion of the national educational psychological service.