Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (227)

John McGuinness


227. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will engage with the board of management of a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny to resolve a lengthy dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12790/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I appreciate the concerns you raise in your question. While my Department sets out the constitution of Boards of Management and rules of procedure it is not directly involved in the management of schools.

Under the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school, and it is the Board of Management which employs the teachers at the school. Accordingly, whereas my Department provides funding and policy direction for schools, it does not have the power to instruct schools to follow a particular course of direction with regard to individual complaint cases.

The Office of the Ombudsman for Children may independently investigate complaints relating to the administrative actions or non actions of a school recognised by my Department, provided the parent has firstly and fully followed the school's complaints procedures. The key criterion for any intervention by the Ombudsman for Children is that the administrative actions or non actions of a school has, or may have, adversely affected the child. Accordingly, officials in my Department are not in a position legally to intervene in the dispute in question.