Written Answers. - Psychological Service.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

143 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Science when educational psychologists will be appointed to primary schools in Maynooth, Celbridge, Ardclough, Rathmore, Sallins, Kilcock, Rathcoffey, Kill and Donadea, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19264/03]

The situation relating to the psychological service provided by the National Educational Psychological Service Agency to schools in County Kildare remains substantially as outlined to the Deputy in a written reply on 10 April last. My Department is continuing to appoint new psychologists to the agency, including some who will be based in the eastern region (south-western area). The overall staffing complement in the county has been adversely affected by factors such as promotions, illness and other types of long-term leave. I hope it will be possible to extend NEPS to the named schools during the school year 2003-04 but the exact dates cannot be determined until newly appointed psychologists take up their posts. In the meantime, the schools may avail of the scheme for commissioning psychological assessment, details of which may be found on my Department's website.