Student Support Schemes

Questions (83)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

83. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are any other financial supports open to a person (details supplied) in County Cork who does not qualify for back-to-education allowance. [51025/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The main financial support available to students attending further and higher education is my Department's Student Grant Scheme. Under the student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution and meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those which relate to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means. The Deputy will appreciate that in the absence of all of the relevant details that would be contained in an individual's application in relation to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means, it would not be possible for me to say whether or not a student would qualify for a grant. The grant application process is now closed for the current academic year but a student may submit an online application for 2014/15 at www.susi.ie when the process reopens. However, if an individual has a change of circumstance which occurred after 20th November 2013 and is likely to be permanent e.g. parent made redundant, they should contact the SUSI helpdesk at 0761-08-7874 or email support@susi.ie for advice Eligibility for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and associated payments is determined and administered by the Department of Social Protection. Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. The fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis. In addition to the student grant, tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Questions (84)

Willie Penrose

Question:

84. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for a student grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath. [51030/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that additional information has been requested from the student referred to by the Deputy. When the requested documentation is returned, the student will be notified directly of the outcome. Where an individual applicant considers that he has been unjustly refused a student grant, or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, 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 Grants Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form is available to download from http://www.studentfinance.ie/downloads/1375344221/2013_SGAB_appeal_form.pdf.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Questions (85)

Willie Penrose

Question:

85. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for a student grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51031/13]

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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 assessment of his application has been finalised and a grant has been awarded.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Questions (86)

Willie Penrose

Question:

86. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for a student grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51032/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that additional information has been requested from the student referred to by the Deputy following notification of a change of circumstances. When this information is received and considered, the student will be notified directly of the outcome.

School Costs

Questions (87)

Seán Crowe

Question:

87. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount it cost to produce and deliver the eight page booklet that was sent to every parent of children of school-going age regarding school uniforms. [51046/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that no booklet has been sent to parents. It is my intention to publish a circular on the issue in question to all recognised schools on my Department's website.

Equality Issues

Questions (88)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

88. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the advertisement and recruitment procedures for a recent position filled in the professional development services for teachers run by the Dublin West Education Centre, which recently advertised for the position of deputy director organisational affairs (PDST), complied with equality legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51048/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Dublin West Education Centre is part of a network of twenty one full time and nine part time centres. In accordance with the Education Act, 1998, these centres are bodies corporate and each centre has a management committee which governs its day to day business. As the Deputy may be aware, all organisations that act as employers must comply with the requirements of Irish and EC laws, standards and regulations, including those relating to equality and employment. The Equality Tribunal is an independent statutory office which investigates or mediates complaints of unlawful discrimination and is available to any employee where disputes or grievances arise. Accordingly, enquiries in relation to this competition should be raised with the Centre and/or the Tribunal as appropriate.

Student Grant Scheme Application Numbers

Questions (89)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

89. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to the total of some 40,000 student grants awarded by Student Universal Support Ireland up to end October 2013, the number of those that were renewals; the number that were first-time applications; of the remaining applications to be processed, the number that are renewed; the number that are first time applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51052/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am informed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that SUSI had awarded some 43,000 students up to the end of October. Of these 23,000 were first-time applicants and 20,000 were renewal students. The remaining students with outstanding documentation are being requested to return their documentation as soon as possible so that assessment of their applications can be completed. As at close of business on 24 November 2013, for the 2013/14 academic year 68,073 new applications and 23,495 renewal application had been received by SUSI. Of these 31,931 new applications have been awarded or provisionally awarded and 20,017 renewal applications have been awarded. SUSI is awaiting supporting documentation from 16,413 new applicants and 701 renewal applicants.