Teacher Training Provision

Questions (96)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

96. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills in view of the decrease in the number of school Inspectors, his plans to re-hire retired principals to supervise the probation for teachers to obtain their final qualification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29479/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Access to the profession of teaching in recognised schools in Ireland is regulated by the Teaching Council. Section 7(2)(f) and Section 7(2)(g) of the Teaching Council Act 2001 were commenced on 1 September 2012, conferring responsibility for induction and probation procedures on the Teaching Council.Currently the Inspectorate evaluates the professional competence element of probation of teachers in primary schools on behalf of the Teaching Council. The Department has no plans to recruit personnel for this purpose.

Teacher Training Provision

Questions Nos. 98 and 99 answered with Question No. 94.

Questions (97)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

97. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase the time between when a new teacher is required to register and when he or she must complete probation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29481/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Access to the profession of teaching in recognised schools in Ireland is regulated. The Teaching Council is the designated authority for the regulation of the profession. Section 7(2)(f) and Section 7(2)(g) of the Teaching Council Act 2001 were commenced on 1 September 2012, conferring responsibility for induction and probation procedures on the Teaching Council. The Teaching Council's policy on probation is available on the Council's website. Decisions regarding the development of the probation process in the future will be taken in accordance of the policy currently being developed by the Teaching Council through the Droichead pilot programme.

Questions Nos. 98 and 99 answered with Question No. 94.

Site Acquisitions

Questions (100)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

100. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there has been any further discussions between his Department and the National Assets Management Agency in relation to a new site for a school (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29527/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

It is my understanding that the school authority referred to by the Deputy identified a site and entered into direct negotiations with the relevant owner. It would appear that those negotiations ended without agreement, as when I visited the school recently, details of the site were given to me. The matter is now under consideration by my Department. However, due to commercial sensitivities attaching to site acquisitions generally I am not in a position to comment further at this time.

School Accommodation

Questions (101)

Joan Collins

Question:

101. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding improved accommodation in a school (details supplied) in Dublin 12. [29535/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm for the Deputy that my Department is considering an application for the replacement of temporary accommodation from the school to which he refers. This application is currently being assessed and my officials will be in further contact with the school authority shortly.

Special Educational Needs Services Provision

Questions (102)

John Halligan

Question:

102. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that in certain incidents where a secondary school pupil has been assessed by a National Educational Psychological Services psychologist and resource hours have been sanctioned by the Special Educational Needs Officer on that basis due to a reduction in funding/available services certain schools have been absorbing these hours into the main school timetable which results in the child in question not having access to their individual resource hours; if his attention has been drawn to this practice; if it is legitimate for the school to absorb these hours; if he will now make a commitment to investigate this practice and prohibit the absorption of these hours into the main school timetable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29553/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports, including the allocation of resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants to schools. The NCSE operates within my Department's established criteria for the allocation of Special Education supports and the staffing resources available to my Department. Resource teaching hours are allocated to schools for the specific purpose of providing additional teaching supports for children with special educational needs, in accordance with my Departments Circular Sp Ed 02/05. It is not appropriate for schools to absorb these hours into the main school timetable, resulting in the children for whom the hours have been allocated not having access to resource hours.If the Deputy has any information regarding schools who have been engaging in this practice, I would be grateful if he could bring it to the attention of my Department so that this matter can be investigated.