Public Expenditure Statistics

Questions (73)

Seán Fleming

Question:

73. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the reduction in public expenditure numbers that will be achieved in 2013 and 2014 from targeted redundancy and early retirement in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43035/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department is not in a position to provide details of the reduction in numbers as there is no targeted redundancy or early retirement scheme available to staff in my Department. Figures are not yet available for those who may retire on or before 31 August 2014 following the application of pay adjustments and related measures in accordance with the Financial Emergency Measure in the Public Interest Act, 2013 and the Haddington Road Agreement.

Student Grant Scheme Appeals

Questions (74)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

74. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that an appeal to Student Universal Support Ireland has been received in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan; and when he expects a decision to issue on same. [42618/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that in the case of the student referred to by the Deputy, her student grant application was appealed to the appeals officer in SUSI on 17 September, 2013 and the student will be notified directly by SUSI of the outcome.

Where an appeal is turned down in writing by SUSI and the applicant remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his or her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form is available to download from www.studentfinance.ie.

Site Acquisitions

Questions (75)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

75. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding negotiations between his Department and a school (details supplied) in Dublin 14 regarding the donation of a site beside the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42632/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am pleased to advise that the legal agreement associated with the donation of the site referred to by the Deputy was concluded earlier this year.

School Transport Eligibility

Questions (76)

Martin Heydon

Question:

76. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a student (details supplied) in County Kildare who was travelling on a school bus to Naas from their home in Kildare until recently can not use this bus now, if this decision may be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42636/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kms from, and are attending, their nearest education centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. Bus Éireann endeavours, within available resources, to ensure that each eligible child has a reasonable level of school transport service in the context of the Scheme nationally.

Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible child having to travel more than 3.2 kms to or from a pick up/set down point or to have travel and waiting times in excess of 2.5 hours per day. Routes are planned on the basis of the locations of children who are eligible for school transport only.

A number of dedicated school transport services are provided to cater for eligible children attending Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara. The service referred to by the Deputy caters for pupils residing in a distinct locality and is currently operating to capacity. The child referred to is eligible for school transport and has been issued with a ticket for the 2013/14 school year on a newly established service. Bus Éireann has advised that the pupil resides 1.4 km from the nearest pick up point of this service and this is deemed to be a reasonable level of service and within guidelines.

Schools Building Projects Applications

Questions (77)

Tom Fleming

Question:

77. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will examine the application by Kerry Education Service for the provision of a new school building for a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42640/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department officials met with the ETB in August last in relation to a capital project for the school concerned. The next step is to determine the suitability of the greenfield site, identified by the ETB, for development and this process is on-going. Tralee has not been identified as an area of significant demographic growth. In that context, a project for the school has not been included in the current 5 year plan. My Department's over-riding objective is to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place and that our school system is in a position to cope with increasing pupil numbers. To ensure that this is achieved, the delivery of major school projects to meet significant demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital investment in schools in the coming years. The 5 Year Construction Plan that I announced in March 2012 is focused on meeting this demand.

Given the need to meet this demographic growth within the limited funding available, it is not possible to indicate at this point when a building project for the school will be progressed. However, should the greenfield site prove suitable for development, the site acquisition could progress in the context of available funding.