Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (920)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

920. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) submitted a request to sponsor or sub-sponsor a community employment scheme; if her attention has been further drawn to the fact that in a response of 16 May 2019, it was stated that educational provision is the domain of the Department of Education and Skills; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the Constitution acknowledges the role of a parent and guardian as the primary educator of the child; and if the application by the school will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31220/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Community Employment (CE) projects are typically sponsored by groups wishing to benefit the local community, namely voluntary and community organisations and, to a lesser extent, public bodies involved in not-for-profit activities.

The private school outlined by the Deputy provides an alternative to the mainstream model of education. Charges are applied in respect of those attending the school.

Schools are not permitted to sponsor CE schemes and CE participants cannot be employed by or work in schools. This includes the provision of security, caretaking and other services to schools. As the Deputy may be aware, FAS who had responsibility for CE up until 2012, withdrew the CE services from schools from September 2001. As a result, the budget for schools-based CE schemes was transferred to the Department of Education and Skills.

My colleague, Minister Joe Mc Hugh T.D. has overall responsibility for the services and initiatives provided for the whole education sector including the control of policy, funding and direction.

It is a matter for all private schools to determine how the provision of their services are resourced.