School Closures

Questions (105)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

105. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on allowing schools to remain open (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18219/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I assure the Deputy that there is no decision to close small or rural schools. I am aware of the concerns of the small rural schools and I am cognisant of the importance of schools to rural communities. Our current configuration of small primary schools is being examined by my Department in a value for money review. This review had been commenced by my predecessor in office is part of the normal review processes undertaken by Departments on selected areas of expenditure. Among the issues the review will take into account are questions such as availability of diversity of provision, ethos of schools, parental choice, language of instruction, travel distances, transport costs and the impact of schools on dispersed rural communities. The report of the review is currently being finalised and I expect to receive it shortly.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (106, 107)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

106. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisors in his Department over the last two years. [18310/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

107. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisors pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisors for 2012 [18324/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 107 together.

The table that follows this reply gives details of the Special Advisers employed at my Department and their respective salaries, which have remained constant since the date of their appointment. The total salary cost for Special Advisers in 2012 was approximately €198,548, including the employer's P.R.S.I. contribution. While there are ministerial staff at my office and the Minister of State's office at the grades of Personel Secretary and Personal Assistant, none of their salaries exceeds the Principal Officer salary scale.

Appointee

Position

Current Salary

John Walshe

Special Adviser

€92,672

Deirdre Grant

Special Adviser

€86,604

State Bodies Establishment

Questions (108)

Niall Collins

Question:

108. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new State bodies that have been established under the aegis of his Department since February, 2011; the number of such bodies subject to a sunset clause; the number of new public bodies currently being planned;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18338/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the Public Service Reform plan, the following rationalisations were identified: the merger of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Science into a consolidated single council under the HEA; the amalgamation of the Further Education and Training Awards Council, the Higher Education and Training Award Council and National Qualifications Authority of Ireland into one body, Quality and Qualifications Ireland; and the reduction of the number of VECs from 33 to 16.

The following actions have been taken to date: the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences were merged in March 2012 to form the Irish Research Council. The Irish Research Council has been established as a sub-board of the HEA and is not subject to a sunset clause. Under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, the Higher Education Training Awards Council and the Further Education Training Awards Council were amalgamated into a new agency, Quality and Qualifications Ireland, on 6 November 2012 and is not subject to a sunset clause. In June 2011, I announced that the Government had approved a revised reconfiguration of the Vocational Education Committees system. The Government decision confirmed that the number of VECs would be reduced to 16. It is anticipated that the Education and Training Boards will be established in early 2013. Once established, the Education and Training Board will continue to provide a wide range of educational and training programmes into the future.

In section 8.1.iv of the Public Service Reform plan contains a commitment to legislate for the establishment of SOLAS in addition to the rationalisation of the VECs. My Department is in the process of establishing a further education and training authority, to be called SOLAS, which will result in the dissolution of FÁS. The Further Education and Training Bill was published in January 2012 and is expected to be enacted before the summer recess. In addition, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board was established in March 2013 under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 and is not subject to a sunset clause. As a result of the establishment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board, the Education Finance Board has been dissolved and its remaining functions have been transferred to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board.

Ministerial Remuneration

Questions (109)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

109. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide the annual salary amount to be received by the Taoiseach, each Government Minister and each Department secretary general, if the proposed Croke Park II Labour Relations Commission reduction in pay proposals are imposed. [18003/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The salaries which will apply to the Taoiseach, each Minister and the Secretaries General of Government Departments, if the pay reductions set out in the recent Labour Relations Commission proposals on the draft Public Service Agreement 2013-2016 are implemented, are set out in the following tables:

-

Current Pay

Rate of pay on application of proposed deductions

Pension Related Deduction

Revised effective rate of pay

Taoiseach

€200,000

€185,350

€17,412

€167,938

Tánaiste

€184,405

€171,309

€15,937

€155,372

Minister

€169,275

€157,540

€14,492

€143,048

Minister of State

€130,042

€121,639

€10,722

€110,917

Non-PPC Rates

-

Current Pay

Rate of pay on application of proposed deductions

Pension Related Deduction

Revised effective rate of pay

Secretary General Level I

€200,000

€185,350

€17,412

€167,938

Secretary General Level II

€190,000

€176,350

€16,467

€159,883

Secretary General Level III

€180,000

€167,300

€15,517

€151,783

PPC Rates

-

Current Pay

Rate of pay on application of proposed deductions

Pension Related Deduction

Revised effective rate of pay

Secretary General Level I

€200,000

€185,350

€17,412

€167,938

Secretary General Level II

€200,000

€185,350

€17,412

€167,938

Secretary General Level III

€189,474

€175,877

€16,417

€159,460

PPC stands for "personal pension contribution" and refers to established officers that make employee contributions in respect of superannuation benefits. “Non-PPC” refers to officers who do not make a personal pension contribution .