Special Educational Needs

Questions (349)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

349. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when his officials will meet a union (details supplied) to discuss the recommendations following the review of the National Council for Special Education guidelines of 2018 in view of the fact that a new pilot scheme is due to commence in September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19495/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

In 2016, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was requested by the then Minister Richard Bruton to review the Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Scheme and to advise him on what support options are needed to provide better outcomes for students with additional care needs. Following extensive research and consultation with schools, parents, SNAs and other stakeholders, a report was submitted last year.

The review found that the SNA scheme was working really well particularly for younger children and for certain type of care needs, for example, mobility and toileting. It also found that a new and more widely based model of support involving both education and health supports was needed to meet the range of student need currently presenting in our schools. The review made a number of recommendations including the way SNA support is allocated to schools and the need to build school capacity through training. Overall, the Council recommended a new service model, the School Inclusion Model that would involve the provision of speech and language, occupational and behavioural therapies in schools and the development of a national nursing scheme to cater for children with the most complex medical needs. The overall aim of the model is to improve outcomes for children by ensuring each child receives the right support at the right time.

The Government approved a pilot of the new Model in 75 schools for the 2019/20 school year which will be independently evaluated. A budget of €4.75m has been allocated to support implementation of the Review findings.

Consultation will be a central feature of the development and implementation work. Over 50 people including SNAs and their representatives attended an information and consultation last week. Separately, there have been meetings with the union representing SNAs and other meetings are planned.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (350)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

350. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he is taking to improve working conditions, terms of employment and job security for special needs assistants in view of the precarious nature of their employment; his plans to develop a panel based on the model of the primary school supplementary panel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19496/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Scheme has been a major factor in both ensuring the successful integration of children with special educational needs into mainstream education and the provision of support to pupils enrolled in special schools and special classes. This support is very much valued by students, parents and schools, as they provide an indispensable service.

Increased investment has allowed the government to increase the number of SNAs by 42%, from 10,575 in 2011 to 15,000 by the end of this year. A further 950 SNA posts were provided for in Budget 2019, increasing employment opportunities in this important field of employment.

The current public service collective industrial relations agreement, known as the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), was reached with the public service trade unions in June 2017 and is due to run to 31 December 2020. The pay benefits of the PSSA range progressively from 7.2% to 6.2% over the three years 2018 to 2020. At the end of the agreement, pay will have been restored in full to 90% of all public servants. On 24 September 2018, an agreement was reached between the Government and the public services committee of ICTU in respect of new entrant pay. This agreement will benefit nearly 5,000 SNAs within the education sector. The deal provides for a series of incremental jumps for new entrants.

There are supplementary panel arrangements in place to facilitate SNAs made redundant by one employer in filling SNA vacancies that may become available in another school/ETB. These arrangements were agreed between management and staff side representative bodies and are subject to annual reviews by these parties. The current SNA supplementary assignment panel arrangements for the 2018/19 school year are contained in Circular 34/2018 which can be accessed through the following link: http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0034_2018.pdf. A circular in respect of arrangements for SNAs for the 2019/2020 school year will issue shortly.

Every eligible SNA remains on the panel for two years with a view to getting further employment. If they are not successful over that period of time in obtaining a further SNA position then they will be eligible for a redundancy payment in line with the terms set out in the SNA redundancy scheme (Circular 58/06). An SNA may choose to take the redundancy immediately or remain on the panel for up to two years. The SNA is entitled to trigger the redundancy payment anytime during the two years.

I announced in March the trialling of the new School Inclusion Model for the 2019/20 school year. One aspect of this new model is the development of an allocation model which would front load SNA support into schools. This model would remove the existing need for assessments for many students and would ensure the support is available to them as soon as they arrive in school. When implemented, it would also substantially further improve job security for SNAs in schools ensuring greater certainty for them in relation to their employment status.

I am committed to the continued effective operation of the SNA scheme in consultation with education partners.

Child Protection

Questions (351)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

351. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of child protection complaints received due to staffing levels in schools and not having the requisite number of adult teachers or assistants to adhere to child protection guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19497/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The primary statutory responsibility for child protection lies with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The role of my Department is to provide guidance and support to schools in implementing child protection requirements and to refer any allegations the Department receives to the appropriate authorities for investigation.

In accordance with Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 (Children First National Guidance 2017) there are four different categories of child abuse; physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and child neglect. The Children First National Guidance 2017 requires that Tusla should always be informed where a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being, or is at risk of being abused.

My Department has issued "Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017" which are based on the Children First National Guidance 2017 and the Children First Act 2015. The purpose of these procedures is to give direction and guidance to school authorities and to school personnel, including teachers as mandated persons, in relation to meeting their statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the implementation of the best practice (non-statutory) guidance set out in Children First National Guidance 2017. The procedures make clear the procedures to be followed by members of school personnel when dealing with child protection concerns. The procedures apply to all recognised schools regardless of size.

It is the responsibility of each individual school to ensure that it complies with the procedures and that it has, having regard to its own particular circumstances and available resources, appropriate policies and practices in place to safeguard its pupils. In relation to one teacher schools, my Department has been in contact with one teacher schools to help identify where there are any gaps in having a second adult present during the school day and arrangements are being put in place to increase funding to those schools where a gap has been identified. In that regard, additional funding will support one teacher schools to ensure that there is a second adult present for all of the school day.

In relation to any child abuse concerns that are brought the attention of staff of my Department, in accordance with my Department’s Procedures for Responding to Child Protection Concerns Brought to the Attention of Staff Employed by the Department of Education and Skills, such concerns are forwarded to Tusla and where applicable to the relevant school authorities. My Department does not maintain records of such concerns in the format referred to by the Deputy.

Legal Costs

Questions (352)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

352. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount paid in fees to legal professionals for the purpose of defending a case (details supplied) and other cases of day school sex abuse litigation in each of the years from 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19502/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The State Claims Agency are mandated to manage these cases on behalf of the State. The information sought is currently being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

Education Policy

Questions (353)

Michael McGrath

Question:

353. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration has been given from a public health perspective and to support lifelong healthy eating to funding a programme in which children are taught in school at second level the way to cook by qualified chefs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19522/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Schools and the wider education sector have a vital role to play in contributing to the ‘Healthy Ireland’ agenda that is being led by the Department of Health and is supported by the Department of Education and Skills and Government Departments. The Healthy Ireland agenda is committed to supporting everyone’s efforts to improve their health and wellbeing. Schools are strongly encouraged to have a formal healthy eating policy that has been developed in consultation with students and parents.

The Department of Education and Skills works closely with the Department of Health and the HSE on the Healthy Ireland agenda. Healthy Lifestyles guidance issued to post primary schools in 2015 and primary schools in 2016. This guidance was drafted in consultation with the Department of Health.

The Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme is a mandatory part of the curriculum in junior cycle. SPHE for Junior Cycle builds on the primary SPHE curriculum. Nutrition is specifically addressed in the SPHE curriculum. Students are made aware of the elements of a balanced diet and the importance of healthy eating for physical and mental well-being. In addition, cross-curricular links with other subjects, such as Home Economics, PE and Science that deal with SPHE-related topics are encouraged. Also, Home Economics as an exam subject remains popular.

Given the issues of overload which are emerging in evaluations, allied with criticisms that some of these areas receive inadequate coverage, it is not feasible for the curriculum to be further extended to include all students being taught cooking in schools. However, some schools through the transition year programme offer short courses in cookery that support students to develop the necessary skills for independent living.

The decision on what is offered in terms of subject choices or short courses for Junior Cycle or modules for the Transition Year Programme remains at the discretion of the individual school. The aim is to support students to have as broad a range of options (that reflect their interests) to choose from as possible. Curriculum choice is important in motivating students to learn, and to remain in school to completion of senior cycle.

School Enrolments

Questions (354)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

354. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if priority access to a local secondary school will be given to those who live in the local catchment area and attend primary school there in the case of pupils that are going on to secondary level education (details supplied). [19549/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The question of enrolment in individual schools is the responsibility of the managerial authority of those schools. It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018.

My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking places. Parents have the right to choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice.

As the Deputy is aware the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, which was signed into law by the President on the 18th July 2018, is an important piece of legislation which will introduce a more parent-friendly, equitable and consistent approach to how school admissions policy operates for the almost 4,000 primary and post-primary schools in this country and a fair and balanced school admission process for all pupils.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (355)

Catherine Martin

Question:

355. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to a situation in which SNAs who were eligible to retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year but chose to continue working had a reduction in pay to the lowest scale when returning to work in September 2018; his plans to address the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19578/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

It is understood that the question from the Deputy refers to those Special Needs Assistants who had a compulsory retirement age of 65; who reached that age at the end of the 2017/18 school year and who availed of an interim arrangements to be rehired. This interim measure was introduced from 5 December 2017 on foot of a Government Decision pending the enactment of the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018. The Act provides for a new compulsory retirement age of age 70 for certain public servants recruited before 1 April 2004; who had a compulsory retirement age of 65 and who had not reached that age when the Act took effect on 26th December 2018.

In the education sector the terms of the interim arrangements were set out in my Department’s Circular 27/2018 which issued in April 2018. The terms of the retention, to which the participating public servants signed up, included that the person be placed on the 1st point of the appropriate salary scale which is in line with existing policy for the rehire of retired public servants. Similar to other school personnel who opted for rehire under the interim arrangements, the retention of pre-2004 Special Needs Assistants under this arrangement is for a maximum of one year to the end of this school year. Special Needs Assistants having reached the compulsory retirement age in 2018 received their retirement lump sum and an annual pension is payable, subject to pension abatement rules, during the period of rehire.

The 2018 Act provided that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a Report on those pre-2004 public servants who were required to retire due to reaching age 65 in the period of the interim arrangements from 5 December 2017 to 25 December 2018 and on potential remedies to assist them. This report was laid before the Oireachtas on 26 March 2019. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has decided not to make any change to the terms of the interim arrangement. This in effect means that the current employment of Special Needs Assistants, and other education sector personnel, who availed of the interim arrangement at the end of the 2017/18 school year must finish at the end of the current school year.

Special Educational Needs

Questions (356)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

356. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received a formal request from a trade union (details supplied) to meet with a view to discussing the recommendations of the NCSE Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistance Scheme, published in March 2018; if so, when this engagement will commence; his views on the findings of the report; his plans to implement same prior to the discussions taking place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19589/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

In 2016, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was requested by the then Minister Richard Bruton to review the Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Scheme and to advise him on what support options are needed to provide better outcomes for students with additional care needs. Following extensive research and consultation with schools, parents, SNAs and other stakeholders, a report was submitted last year.

The review found that the SNA scheme was working really well particularly for younger children and for certain type of care needs, for example, mobility and toileting. It also found that a new and more widely based model of support involving both education and health supports was needed to meet the range of student need currently presenting in our schools. The review made a number of recommendations including the way SNA support is allocated to schools and the need to build school capacity through training. Overall, the Council recommended a new service model, the School Inclusion Model that would involve the provision of speech and language, occupational and behavioural therapies in schools and the development of a national nursing scheme to cater for children with the most complex medical needs. The overall aim of the model is to improve outcomes for children by ensuring each child receives the right support at the right time.

The Government approved a pilot of the new Model in 75 schools for the 2019/20 school year which will be independently evaluated. A budget of €4.75m has been allocated to support implementation of the Review findings.

Consultation will be a central feature of the development and implementation work. Over 50 people including SNAs and their representatives attended an information and consultation last week. Separately, there have been meetings with the union representing SNAs and other meetings are planned.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (357)

Dara Calleary

Question:

357. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a funding application by a school (details supplied). [19591/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to inform the Deputy that an application for capital funding to build a sport hall has been received from the school in question.

The Deputy will be aware that under the National Development Plan (NDP), increased funding has been provided for the school sector capital investment programme. This funding allows for a continued focus on the provision of new permanent school places to keep pace with demographic demand and also provides for an additional focus on the refurbishment of existing school buildings to include the building and modernisation of PE facilities in post-primary schools.

Under the Ireland Project 2040, we will invest €8.4 billion (compared to €4.9 billion in the previous decade) in primary and post primary school buildings.

The immediate priority of my Department is providing 20,000 new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place. The government will focus in the medium term on the provision of PE facilities in post primary schools.

Emergency Works Scheme Applications

Questions (358)

Dara Calleary

Question:

358. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of emergency works funding for a school (details supplied). [19593/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that an application for Emergency Works at the school referred to by him has been received in my Department.

This application has been examined and further information has been requested from the school. Once the information has been received, the application will be considered in its entirety and the outcome will be conveyed directly to the school.

School Curriculum

Questions (359)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

359. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which students will be assessed under the new syllabus for agricultural science in secondary schools beginning from September 2019; the way in which the practical elements of the current syllabus change under the new system will be assessed; if the practical elements will be maintained to the same level as the current system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19600/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations.

In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (360)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

360. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 23 of 6 March 2019, the status of the school building project; the timeline for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19606/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

A building project for the school in question is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.

It is proposed to develop this school to a 1,000 pupil school and to provide a significant amount of new accommodation, 7,460 square metres approx., in additional floor area. The existing retained accommodation, 2,720 square metres approx., will be upgraded in a practical manner, to match the new accommodation.

The project will be delivered via the ADAPT programme which is an innovative delivery programme first introduced by my Department in 2016. It uses a professional external Project Manager to coordinate and drive the respective design teams on each project.

In this regard, a tender exercise to establish a Project Manager framework was concluded on 10th April 2019. A tender competition to the newly established framework to appoint the Project Manager for the ADAPT programme has commenced and the closing date is Tuesday May 21st 2019 at 17.00hrs.

My Department recently wrote to the school to provide an update on the status of the project.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Questions (361)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

361. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are extenuating circumstances that SUSI can take into account when deciding whether to accept a late application aside from the death of a close family member or medical circumstances that prevent the student from submitting an application during the requested timeframe, for example, bankruptcy proceedings and home repossession proceedings against the student's family during the time period for accepting applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19677/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Online Application System for the 2018/19 academic year was closed November 1st 2018. I understand from SUSI that students who wish to make an application after that date must satisfy one of the following criteria in order to be granted access to make a late application:

1) Course is starting after the Online Closing date of November 1st 2018.

2) Applicant has had a Change in Circumstances under one, or more, of the following criteria, after the Online Closing date of November 1st 2018 and no later than the end of the 2018/19 academic year;

- Reckonable Income;

- Number of Dependent Children;

- Relevant Persons commencing an approved course;

- Normal Residence;

- Nationality or immigration status; and/or

- Change of course or institution.

3) Applicant experienced extenuating circumstances that adversely affected them and their ability to make an application prior to the Online Closing date of November 1st 2018.

Some examples of this would be a close bereavement or medical circumstances. If anyone submits a late application request under this option, documentary evidence may be required to verify the circumstances prior to any request being accepted.

When a late application request is received due to extenuating circumstances, each request is dealt with by SUSI on a case by case basis. While the examples above mention bereavement or medical circumstances, all other extenuating circumstances outlined by the requestor are reviewed by SUSI and documentary evidence of same is requested where required.

A decision is then communicated by the SUSI Late Applications Officer to each requestor.

Third Level Institutions Governance

Questions (362)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

362. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the revised code of practice for the governance of third level institutions will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19737/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

A revised Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies was introduced by Government in 2016. In order to ensure compliance with the revised Code, both the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) engaged in the development of revised Governance Codes for both the Institutes of Technology and the Universities.

I can advise that a revised Institutes of Technology Governance Code was published by the THEA in January 2018. A copy of the code is available here: https://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2018/01/THEA-Code-of-Governance-of-Institutes-of-Technology-January-2018.pdf.

The revised University Code has been finalised following consultations with the university sector and is due to be published shortly by the IUA.

Student Grants Appeals Board

Questions (363)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

363. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of meetings held by the Student Grants Appeals Board in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19738/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The current Student Grants Appeals Board was appointed by the Minister in September 2016. It is statutorily independent in the performance of its functions but receives administrative support from the Department.

There are statutory time provisions for determining appeals to the Board. Meetings are generally held once a fortnight but this can change depending on the number of appeals on hand.

The number of meetings held by the Student Grants Appeals Board for each of the years 2016, 2017 & 2018 were 24, 27 & 24 respectively.

Student Grant Appeals Board

Questions (364)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

364. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the most recent report on the activities of the Student Grants Appeals Board that he has received pursuant to section 27 of the Student Support Act 2011; if this report is publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19739/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

While Section 27 of the Student Support Act 2011 makes provision for the Student Grants Appeals Board to submit a report of its activities to the Minister at such intervals and in such manner and form, as the Minister directs, in recent years my Department has not requested a formal report of the Board's activities.

To date the only report prepared was titled "Report to the Minister for Education and Skills by the Student Grants Appeals Board for the academic year 2011/12" and was published in March 2013 and a copy of this report may be accessed at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Bodies-and-Committees/Student-Grants-Appeals-Board.html.

However, my officials liaise with the Student Grants Appeals Board on an on-going basis throughout the year.

The annual review of the statutory based Student Grant Scheme and Student Support Regulations, carried out by my Department, is undertaken following consultation with the various stakeholders which includes the Student Grants Appeals Board.

Apprenticeship Council

Questions (365, 366)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

365. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the work of the Apprenticeship Council; the remit and membership of the board; the number of meetings held in each of the years since 2014; the key achievements to date; the proposed future actions of the board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19740/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

366. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the work of the National Apprenticeship Advisory Committee; the remit of the committee; the membership of the committee; the number of meetings held in each of the years since 2014; the key achievements to date; the proposed future actions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19742/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.

The Apprenticeship Council was appointed by the then Minister for Education and Skills in November 2014. The establishment of the Council was a key action in the implementation of recommendations from the independent 2014 Review of Apprenticeship Training in Ireland. The Council is enterprise-led with representatives from business, trade unions, further and higher education bodies and the Department of Education and Skills.

The Council is tasked with the expansion of apprenticeship into new sectors of the economy. It's remit is to:

- Develop Calls for Proposals for apprenticeships in areas outside of the existing apprenticeships

- Examine and analyse proposals arising from the calls

- Report to the Department of Education and Skills on viable new apprenticeships - having particular regard to the sustainability of the proposals received

- Monitor the development by industry and education and training partners of the successful proposals into new apprenticeships, including curriculum development, awarding arrangements, duration and entry level.

In carrying out its role, the Council takes account of ongoing and future skills needs, including through data and reports produced by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit.

The Council’s achievements to date include overseeing 2 calls for proposals for new apprenticeships in 2015 & 2017. Twenty new apprenticeship programmes have been developed spanning a variety of sectors ranging from financial services, ICT to hospitality. The Council will continue to work on the expansion of the apprenticeship system with a further 33 programmes getting underway in 2019 and 2020 in various sectors including construction, engineering and agriculture. The Council has also developed detailed arrangements and guidance for the development of a new apprenticeship.

The National Apprenticeship Advisory Committee (NAAC) is a sub-committee of the SOLAS board rather than a body appointed by the Minister or convened by the Department. I have asked SOLAS to send the information requested to the Deputy directly.

Details in respect of the Apprenticeship Council membership and meetings held are set out in the tabular statements.

Apprenticeship Council Members

Membership (as at May 2019) is as follows:

Council Chairperson

Pat O'Doherty, ESB Chief Executive

Council Members

1. Eamon Devoy, Irish Council of Trade Unions (ICTU)

2. Tony Donohoe, Irish Business and Employer Confederation (IBEC)

3. Sandra Guilfoyle, Jones Engineering

4. Patricia King, Irish Council of Trade Unions (ICTU)

5. Natasha Kinsella, Irish Hospitality Institute and Regional Skills (Dublin)

6. Dr Bryan Maguire, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

7. Tommy Moloney, G&T Crampton

8. Dr Jim Murray, Technological Higher Education Association (THEA)

9. Martin O'Brien, Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI)

10. Phil O'Flaherty, Department of Education and Skills

11. Noreen O'Hare, Microsoft Ireland

12. Dr Vivienne Patterson, Higher Education Authority (HEA)

13. Dr Mary-Liz Trant, SOLAS

AC - Meetings per year

Year

No.

2014

2

2015

6

2016

8

2017

5

2018

6

2019*

2

* As of 08/05/19

Apprenticeship Data

Questions (367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 375, 377)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

367. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices commencing an apprenticeship programme in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19743/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

368. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices who failed to complete an apprenticeship programme in each of the years 2016 to 2018, in tabular form; the reason the apprentices did not complete the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19744/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

369. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices participating on an apprenticeship in each apprenticeship programme, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19745/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

370. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices participating in an apprenticeship programme by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19746/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

371. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of male and female apprentices, respectively, participating in an apprenticeship programme in each of the years 2016 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19747/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

372. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices from a minority ethnic background participating in an apprenticeship programme, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19748/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

373. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices in each age cohort (details supplied) participating on an apprenticeship programme in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19749/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

375. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided for apprenticeships in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19751/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

377. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided to pre-apprenticeship or access to apprenticeship programmes in 2017 and 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19753/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 367 to 373, inclusive, 375 and 377 together.

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the tabular statements.

It should be noted that data on the ethnic background of Irish apprentices is not currently collected. However, one of the arising actions from the review of pathways to participation in apprenticeships is to incorporate the national census questions on ethnicity into apprentice registration as a means of gathering more robust data on participation.

In relation to the Deputy’s request for data about those apprentices that failed to complete an apprenticeship programme it should also be noted that in order to look at overall retention rates in apprenticeship, it is necessary to focus on those who would have completed their apprenticeship. National apprenticeships are 4 years in total and sometimes take longer to complete. SOLAS have looked at all apprentice registrations from 2000 to 2013 and have set out the position in the relevant table. This shows a completion rate of almost 70% of all apprentices registering during this period.

Reasons for non-completion include redundancy, emigration, repeated failure to pass assessments and leaving to take up other employment or education options. It is important to note that this data includes the period of the recession that severely impacted on the construction industry.

PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROVISION – 2017 to 2019.

Description

2017

2018

2019

Solas - Pre-apprenticeship training*

€402,762

€811,294

€873,806

HEA - Access to Apprenticeship

€0

€60,000

€0

Total

€402,762

€871,294

€873,806

* Based on average cost plus PLC total funding not included, as teacher pay is paid through the DES

Apprentice Population at end April 2019

Total

Auctioneering Total

55

Auctioneering & Property Services *

55

Biopharmachem Total

15

Laboratory Analyst *

Laboratory Technician *

15

Construction Total

3943

Brick and Stonelaying

195

Cabinet Making

2

Carpentry and Joinery

1535

Floor and Wall Tiling

Painting and Decorating

109

Plastering

89

Plumbing

1756

Stonecutting and Stonemasonry

24

Wood Manufacturing and Finishing

233

Wood Machinist

Electrical Total

6756

Aircraft Mechanics

177

Electrical

5564

Electrical Instrumentation

390

Electronic Security Systems

155

Industrial Electrical Eng *

56

Instrumentation

51

Refrigeration

363

Engineering Total

2119

Farriery

27

Industrial Insulation

46

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 6) *

75

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 7) *

55

Mechanical Automation & Maintenance Fitting

608

Metal Fabrication

751

Pipefitting

144

Polymer Processing Tech *

37

Sheet Metalworking

139

Toolmaking

237

Financial Total

411

Accounting Technician *

169

Insurance Practice *

191

International Financial Services Associate *

27

International Financial Services Specialist *

24

Hospitality Total

139

Butcher *

14

Chef de Partie *

27

Commis Chef *

98

ICT Total

89

ICT Associate Professional Network Technician *

38

ICT Associate Professional Software Developer *

51

Logistics Total

26

Logistics *

26

Motor Total

2439

Agricultural Mechanics

152

Construction Plant Fitting

245

Heavy Vehicle Mechanics

547

Motor Mechanics

1328

Vehicle Body Repairs

167

Printing & Paper Total

7

Print Media

7

Totals

Craft Apprenticeships Total

15041

New Apprenticeships Total *

958

Grand Total

15999

* = consortia led

rest = Craft based

Age of current Apprentice Population as at (03/05/2019)

Age Group

Number of Apprentices

16-17

73

18-21

5,578

22-25

6,262

26+

4,098

Grand Total

16,011

Number of Apprentices by County (02/05/19)

County

No. of Apprentices

Carlow

274

Cavan

362

Clare

390

Cork

1,939

Donegal

253

Dublin

3,730

Galway

687

Kerry

468

Kildare

883

Kilkenny

388

Laois

306

Leitrim

91

Limerick

634

Longford

144

Louth

512

Mayo

415

Meath

917

Monaghan

254

Offaly

333

Roscommon

191

Sligo

172

Tipperary

758

Waterford

484

Westmeath

335

Wexford

601

Wicklow

489

Grand Total

16,010

Completion rates:

Table

Female & Male Apprentices 2016 to 2018

Year

Female

Male

Total

2016

60

10,385

10,445

2017

151

12,698

12,849

2018

341

15,032

15,373

Apprenticeship Training

NTF Allocation (€m)

Exchequer Allocation (€m)

Total (€m)

2014

39.6

13.1

52.7

2015

49.6

12.5

62.1

2016

60.1

14.6

74.7

2017

80.4

19.1

99.5

2018**

122

0

122

* Includes all costs associated with apprenticeship training, excluding capital.

** From 2018 all funding for craft and consortia led apprenticeships was provided by the NTF.