Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (208)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

208. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to immigrant parents who often have difficulty negotiating the school system; if he will consider introducing statutory guidelines for schools for the purpose of facilitating migrant parents' engagement in their children's education. [5065/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy may be aware, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration maintains a comprehensive resource of services across a range of Government Departments and agencies, including education. My Department also maintains a resource in relation to the Irish education system which is available on the Department's website. This resource is currently being updated to incorporate details of recent legislative and other changes. Further resources and advice on the Irish school system are available from the National Parents Councils Primary and Post Primary. Finally, individual schools have developed additional resources and strategies to encourage active engagement and effective communications with immigrant parents.

All of this activity takes place in accordance with the Intercultural Education Strategy, which is my Department's policy initiative in this area. The Strategy adopts a partnership approach to intercultural education. This is the preferred approach of my Department and consequently I do not propose to consider the introduction of statutory guidelines in relation to parental engagement with their children's education. As the Deputy may also be aware, parents who may be experiencing a difficulty in accessing a school place for their child may avail of the services of the Educational Welfare Service of the Child and Family Agency.