Student Grant Scheme Appeals

Questions (93)

Michael Ring

Question:

93. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a review of a student grant application for the academic year 2012-13 will be completed for a person (details supplied), considering that correspondence to SUSI on this case has not been responded to; and if he will make a full and final reply on the matter. [35635/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the applicant referred to by the Deputy was issued with a decision on the 26th February 2013 awarding her a grant. This decision was reviewed on the basis of a change of circumstances and on 5th July 2013 a letter issued upholding the original award. Where an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant, or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to SUSI. Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by SUSI, and remains of the view that SUSI has not interpreted the scheme correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the Student Grant Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form will be available on request from SUSI.

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Questions (94)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

94. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the refusal of a Student Universal Support Ireland grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35646/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have been informed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the application from the student in question is being reviewed and SUSI will contact the student directly in relation to the outcome shortly. If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant, or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to SUSI. Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by SUSI, and remains of the view that SUSI has not interpreted the scheme correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the Student Grant Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form will be available on request from SUSI.

Apprenticeship Programmes

Questions (95)

Tom Fleming

Question:

95. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the action he is taking to revive and enhance the apprentice system as a means of reducing youth unemployment and developing the economy; the targets set out regarding the feasibility of offering apprenticeships to each unemployed person; if he will introduce a more innovative, modern and enlarged system of apprenticeships in addition to the 26 listed trades and crafts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35658/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Government's 2012 Action Plan for Jobs contained a commitment to "initiate a review of the Apprenticeship training model, including costs, duration and demand with a view to providing an updated model of training that delivers the necessary skilled workforce to service the needs of a rapidly changing economy and ensures appropriate balance between supply and demand." This review was undertaken in two phases, the first of which was the preparation of a background issues paper, which is available on my Department's website, www.education.ie. The second phase of the review is currently under way. This stage of the review is being managed by an Apprenticeship Review Group comprised of persons with relevant experience and interest in apprenticeship. A public consultation process has recently been announced which is seeking submissions with regard to the apprenticeship system. The consultative phase of the Review will address three key themes: Consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of Apprenticeship and what improvements can be made to its current structure, an examination of the alternative methods of work-based training in Ireland and consideration of the structural mechanisms, and criteria, under which collaboration with industry/employers can be pursued into the future, either through improved, alternative or complementary models of work-based training. Following the consultation process, the Review Group will recommend options recognising the broad spectrum of vocational training available, for the development of the apprentice formation system, and other work based education/training systems.

Schools Complaints Procedures

Questions (96)

Finian McGrath

Question:

96. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will support a matter (details supplied). [35681/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As you will be aware, the Department has no role in the employment of staff in schools or schools' day to day management and a complaint about the child's school and its staff must be made to the school itself. In this regard, the Department does not have the power to instruct schools to follow a particular course of direction with regard to individual complaint cases. While many schools use the complaints procedures that have been agreed between school management authorities and teacher unions, the Department has no role in relation to a school's implementation of these procedures. The Deputy will be aware that my officials recently wrote to the HSE on the matter. On foot of their reply, my officials have written to the person in question and to the school authorities. If a parent is dissatisfied in relation to a school's handling of his/her complaint, it is open to the parent to contact the office of the Ombudsman for Children which may investigate complaints relating to the administrative actions of a school recognised by the Department.

Teaching Qualifications

Questions (97)

John O'Mahony

Question:

97. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills if teaching experience in a montessori school in a member state of the European Union is recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35685/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I take it that the Deputy is referring to persons seeking to be registered as teachers on the basis of qualifications and/or experience in the field of Montessori teaching. Such persons may be eligible to be registered in accordance with the Teaching Council Registration Regulations. Regulation Three (Montessori and Other Categories) stipulates that applicants must hold qualifications at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications which are deemed suitable for teaching pupils with special education needs in mainstream primary schools and in recognised special schools where Irish is not a curriculum requirement or for teaching pupils with special education needs in post-primary schools.

In relation to the recognition of qualifications under the terms of EU Directive 2005/36/EC, this Directive deals with the mobility of professionals including teachers within the EU. It requires that professionals recognised in one EU state must be afforded similar status when migrating to other EU Member States. The Teaching Council grants registration on the basis of qualifications which include teacher-education qualifications. When applying to the Teaching Council applicants must demonstrate comparability with Irish requirements and where substantial differences exist, conditions may be applied to any registration granted. Relevant teaching experience may be taken into consideration where qualification shortfalls are identified or towards meeting post-qualification requirements (e.g. induction or probation). A copy of the Regulations may be accessed on the Council's website.

Teaching Qualifications

Questions (98)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

98. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reasons he is refusing to give any information in view of the fact that the review by the Information Commissioner is now complete regarding his Department's qualification - the secondary school teacher's drawing certificate - issued to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W who met the conditions for this particular certificate in 1972 and was awarded the certificate by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35686/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The person to whom the Deputy refers applied, under the Freedom of Information Acts, for access to records concerning the Secondary School Teacher's Drawing Certificate. The original decision was made on 14 February 2011 and a decision on internal review was made on 24 March 2011. Access to some records was granted while access to others was refused and certain provisions of the Act were relied upon in that respect. The Department's internal review decision was appealed to the Office of the Information Commissioner. The Office of the Information Commissioner decided to affirm the decision of the Department on the 4th March 2013.

School Patronage

Questions (99)

Clare Daly

Question:

99. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider the patronage of Educate Together for the new second level school in Balbriggan, County Dublin, in view of the large number of Educate Together national schools in Balbriggan and the greater north County Dublin area. [35770/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The process and criteria to be applied in awarding patronage of all new post-primary schools were announced by me in June 2011 and details are available on the Department's website www.education.ie. The application process for patronage of the new post primary schools due to open in September 2015 and 2016 is currently under way. This includes applications for the proposed new post primary school for Balbriggan. The closing date for receipt of applications from prospective patrons was 12 July 2013. As part of the process, my Department will prepare a report on all applications received for consideration by the New Schools Establishment Group who will submit a report to me for final consideration and decision. I expect to be in a position to announce my decision later this year. An application has been received from the patron referred to by the Deputy for the Balbriggan area.

School Patronage

Questions (100)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

100. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision will be made on the patronage of the new school proposed for Knocknacarra, Galway; the names of the potential patrons who have applied for the patronage of this school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35776/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The application assessment process for the patronage of the new primary schools due to open in September 2014, including the new school proposed for Knocknacarra, Galway is currently under way. As part of this process, my Department will prepare a report for consideration by the New Schools Establishment Group who will submit a report to me for final consideration and decision. I expect to be in a position to announce my decision later this year. Three prospective patrons have applied for patronage of the new school in question. These are Lifeways Ireland Limited, City of Galway VEC (now part of Galway & Roscommon Education and Training Board) and Educate Together.

University Governance

Questions (101, 102)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

101. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide, in tabular form, the statutory limitations on the statutory autonomy of publicly funded universities. [35816/13]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

102. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 100 of 11 July 2013, if it is implicit in the answer that he has never been of the opinion that there were reasonable grounds for contending that the functions of a university were being performed in a manner which prima facie constituted a breach of the laws, statutes, or ordinances applicable to the university and, in addition, that none of his ministerial predecessors were ever of that opinion. [35817/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 102 together.

The Universities Act 1997 sets out the legislative provisions for the governance of universities and defines the powers and functions of the universities' governing authorities, academic councils and chief officers. I would refer the Deputy to my answers to his previous questions on these matters: number 95 of 24 April; numbers 87 and 92 of 2nd May; number 250 of 14th May; number 355 of 21st May; number 144 of 18th June; number 132 of 27th June and numbers 98, 99, 100 and 101 of 11th July 2013.