Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (177)

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

279 Mr. O’Connor asked the Minister for Education and Science the priorities of her Department following the recent Cabinet changes; the programme being followed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25689/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

The priorities of my Department are informed by the programme for Government and are reflected in the statement of strategy. As the Deputy will be aware, there is a statutory requirement that a new statement of strategy be prepared within six months of a Minister assuming office. In that context, the areas of capital projects, special education needs, advancement towards a knowledge economy and response to related skills needs, together with the area of educational disadvantage, are amongst those which I believe must receive attention. I would also emphasise that expenditure decisions must be fair and balanced in dealing with the wide range of demands across the education sector.