State Examinations

Questions (532)

Catherine Martin

Question:

532. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the minimum number of scripts per day junior and leaving certificate correctors have to process by subject; when this daily minimum number was last reviewed; if consideration has been given to reducing this number to improve the quality of work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33252/19]

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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

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Questions (533)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

533. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of changing the eligibility rules which determine whether or not an applicant can be assessed as dependent or independent will be investigated to ensure that a change in circumstances of a person can be appropriately considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33278/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

For student grant purposes, students are categorised according to their circumstances either as students dependent on parents or a legal guardian, or as independent mature students.

For a dependent student, the reckonable income for grant purposes includes both his/her own income and that of his/her parents/legal guardians.

A student may be assessed as an independent mature student if he or she has attained the age of 23 on the 1st January of the year of first entry to an approved course, or of re-entry following a break in studies of at least three years, and is not ordinarily resident with his/her parents from the previous October. Otherwise he or she would continue to be assessed on the basis of parental income.

An applicant's class is defined at his/her first point of entry to an approved higher or further education course and this will continue to apply for the duration of his/her studies.

While it is not possible to appeal an applicant’s class during the course of his/her studies, an applicant may be assessed or re-assessed by the awarding authority in the event of a change of circumstances relating to the following:

- Permanent change in reckonable income;

- Number of dependent children residing in the household;

- Commencement of an approved course;

- Normal residence;

- Nationality or immigration status;

- Change of course or institution.

If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant on the grounds of his/her initial classification as an independent or dependent student, she/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 the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his/her case, an appeal, outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board at www.studentgrantappeals.ie within the required timeframe.

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Questions (534)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

534. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of raising the financial thresholds for SUSI applicants will be investigated in view of the increases in the costs of living since the current grant system was launched in 2012 with a view to implementing same in the context of budget 2020; if increasing the sum of money paid to successful SUSI applicants through the maintenance grant will be examined in view of the increases in the cost of living for students with a view to implementing same in the context of Budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33279/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The student maintenance grant is a contribution towards the living costs of a student. It is not intended to cover the full cost of attending college. The student grant scheme does however, provide for different levels of maintenance support, depending on means.  Grants are also provided at adjacent and non-adjacent rates.  The higher non-adjacent rates are intended to provide additional support to those students who may be living away from home.

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. Details of this fund are available from the Access Office in the third level institution attended. 

Tax relief also is available on tuition fees. Details in relation to this relief are available from the Revenue Commissioners at www.revenue.ie

The Deputy will appreciate that there are a large number of competing demands for available funding. Decisions with regard to Budget 2020 will be announced on Budget day.

The Student Grant Scheme and Student Support Regulations for the 2019/20 academic year, were published in April and SUSI's online grant application system subsequently opened on 25 April 2019. Prospective applicants can still apply for support via the SUSI website at

https://susi.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Student-Grant-Scheme-2019.pdf

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Questions (535)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

535. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of introducing an exemption for money earned by SUSI applicants through summer or part-time work earnings from the household reckonable income financial assessment will be investigated; the steps he will take to ensure that students are not penalised for earning pocket money through summer jobs or part-time work by being excluded from SUSI due to the increase in means which comes from same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33280/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The assessment of means under my Department's student grant scheme is based on gross income from all sources, with certain social welfare and health service executive payments being exempt.

In the assessment of means, a deduction can be made for holiday earnings made by the applicant from employment outside of term time but within the reference period. The value of this income disregard was increased from €3,809 to €4,500 in the 2016 scheme.

The student grant scheme contains a number of qualifying thresholds for various grant values. These gradations allow students just over a threshold margin, to remain in receipt of a grant, albeit at a reduced rate that reflects their relative income vis-à-vis other applicants.

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. This fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.

Third Level Funding

Questions (536)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

536. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he has taken to implement the recommendations made in the Cassells report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33281/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, in order to build a political consensus regarding the future funding of higher education on a fiscally sustainable basis, in July 2016 the then Minister for Education and Skills referred the expert group report on future funding of higher education to the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills. In January 2018 the Committee requested that my Department undertake an economic examination of the three policy options proposed by the expert group to assist the Committee in forming its view of the most appropriate option.

Following the receipt of this request my Department engaged with the European Commission Structural Support Service throughout 2018 to ascertain the scope for the economic evaluation to be carried out with support from the European Commission Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP). 

The SRSP provides tailor-made support to all EU countries for their institutional, administrative and growth-enhancing reforms to carry out the analysis of the three policy options identified by the Expert Group. 

A formal application for support under the SRSP was submitted in October 2018 and subsequently approved by the Commission. Officials of my Department are currently working with officials from the European Commission to assist in finalising the detailed terms of reference for the review which will commence thereafter. 

Having this evaluation undertaken through the Commission’s SRSP will provide access to the type of independent international expertise and analysis that will be very beneficial to a major evaluation of this nature.

The Government’s commitment to higher education is clearly demonstrated by the increase in current spending on higher education of almost €350m since 2015. This amounts to an increase approaching 25% over the period. In addition, the Government has already committed to a five year programme of increased investment amounting to €300m, commencing next year, under the Human Capital Initiative. It represents a significant response to projected demographic pressures impacting on the sector over the next five years, as highlighted in the report on future funding.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Questions (537, 538)

Seán Crowe

Question:

537. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the school places available in primary and secondary schools in the Dublin area that have units and places open to children on the autism spectrum; the number of spaces needed to fulfil demand; his plans to address the shortfall; and the advice for parents that are seeking a space for their child or children in the locality. [33288/19]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

538. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the school places available in primary and secondary schools in south-western areas of Dublin that have units and places open to children on the autism spectrum; the number of spaces needed to fulfil demand; his plans to address the shortfall; and the advice for parents that are seeking a space for their child or children in the locality. [33289/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 537 and 538 together.

I want to assure the Deputy and Parents that concerns regarding a shortage of appropriate school places for next September are being taken very seriously.

The National Council for Special education (NCSE), an independent agency of my Department, is responsible for planning, coordinating and advising on education provision for children with special educational needs. The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

Individual school boards of management are responsible for the establishment of special classes. It is open to any school to make application to the NCSE to establish a class. In deciding where to establish a special class in an area, the NCSE take account of the current and projected demand and the available school accommodation both current and planned. In this regard, the SENO may approach individual schools to discuss the matter with a view to finding the optimal location in terms of convenience and sustainability.

When the NCSE sanction a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to reconfigure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation.

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) who are locally based are available to assist and advice parents whose children have special needs. Where parents have been unsuccessful in enrolling their child in a school, they should update their local SENO to inform the planning process.

SENOs are also available to assist and advise schools on special education supports and planning.

The number of ASD special classes in County Dublin have increased from 66 in the 2011/2012 school year to 197 in the 2018/2019, a threefold increase. There are 15 ASD classes in the areas referred to by the Deputy: 2 Early Intervention classes, 8 Primary ASD classes and 5 Post-primary ASD classes.

Details of all special classes for children with special educational needs are available in tabular form by county on the NCSE website at https://ncse.ie/special-classes

From time to time, the NCSE identifies local areas where additional special class provision is required. In those circumstances, Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) work with the schools and families concerned to resolve the issues involved.

This process is ongoing and the NCSE are actively engaging with schools in relation to establishing ASD classes where there is an identified need for the 2019/2020 school year.

As a result of these efforts, I expect progress will be made in the coming weeks in ensuring that every child has a placement available to them.

I have asked the NCSE to keep in regular contact with the Parents of the children concerned and advise them of progress.

In short, ensuring that every child has a suitable placement available to them is a key priority for me and my Department.

Education Grants

Questions (539)

Seán Haughey

Question:

539. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full year cost if the schools services support fund increased by €3 to €121.50 per pupil using 2018/2019 figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33311/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The School Services Support Fund (SSSF) rate quoted by the Deputy relates to Community & Comprehensive schools.  This rate has increased by €1.50, from €118.50 in 2018, to €120.00 per pupil in January 2019. The estimated full year cost of this increase in 2019 is €92,000.

The estimated full year cost of increasing the rate of SSSF Grant by a further €1.50 from €120.00 to €121.50 in 2020 is €94,000.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (540)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

540. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 215 of 9 July 2019, if the tender report has been received; if so, if it has been approved; if the letter of intent has issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33320/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy is aware, this project has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB) for delivery.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the tender report for this project was received in my Department yesterday. A review of the report is currently underway and is expected to be completed very shortly. Therefore, the Letter of Intent has not issued yet. It is expected that the project will commence construction in November this year so that it will be completed before September 2021.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (541)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

541. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 214 of 9 July 2019, if the tender report has been received; if so, if it has been approved; if the letter of intent has issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33321/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The project to which the Deputy refers has been devolved for delivery to Kildare and Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB).

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the tender report for this project was received in my Department today. A review of the report is currently underway and is expected to be completed very shortly. Therefore, the Letter of Intent has not issued yet. It is expected that the successful contractor will recommence work on site in Q3 2019 and the buildings will be available for occupation prior to September 2020.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (542)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

542. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 217 of 9 July 2019, if tenders have been invited for the project; the closing date for receipt of tenders; when work will commence and finish on the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33322/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at Stage 2(b) = Detailed Design.

The pre-qualification process to select a short-list of suitable contractors has been completed and the Design Team is currently carrying out a final review of tender documentation.

Once this work is complete, my Department will be in contact with the Board of Management of the school regarding the progression of the project to the next stage of architectural planning, Stage 3 - tender stage.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (543)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

543. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 218 of 9 July 2019, if tenders have been invited for the project; the closing date for receipt of tenders; when work will commence and finish on the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33323/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The process of Pre-Qualification of contractors was recently completed for the project in question.  The Pre-qualification process culminates in the compilation of short-lists of suitable candidates for each respective discipline.  

The next stage of architectural planning for this project will be Stage 3 – tender stage. My Department will be in contact with the school regarding progression to tender stage.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (544)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

544. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 219 of 9 July 2019, if phase 1 of the project will be completed in time to enable the school to move into the new building from its temporary building for the opening of the new school year in September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33326/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The school building project to which the Deputy refers is currently on site. 

The first phase, consisting of the construction of the new 8 classroom school is due for completion in Quarter 4 2019. The temporary accommodation currently occupied by the school will be available until the first phase is complete.

My Department will continue provide updates to the Board of Management on the progress of the building project.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (545)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

545. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 279 of 21 May 2019, if there has been progress in finalising the project brief; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33327/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department is currently progressing the accommodation brief for the proposed building project at the school in question and will be in contact with the school authorities when this process has been completed.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (546)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

546. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 172 of 14 May 2019, the further progress on the site acquisition; if a design team will be put in place for the three projects; the estimated timetable for the completion of the education campus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33328/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy has been informed previously, agreement in principle has been reached with a landowner for the acquisition of a site at Donaghcumper, Celbridge and work is progressing and is ongoing in respect of technical matters on the acquisition.

It is a priority for my Department to commence the architectural planning process for this site at the earliest possible stage. For the time being, and as previously indicated - given the commercially sensitive nature of site acquisitions in general, I am unable to elaborate further.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (547)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

547. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 276 of 11 June 2019, if tenders have been invited from the short-list of contractors; if so, the closing date for receipt of tenders; the number of contractors from which tenders have been sought; when construction will commence and is expected to be completed on the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33329/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school in question is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) - Detailed Design which includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents.  All statutory approvals have been secured. 

The Design Team is currently in the process of compiling a short-list of contractors for tender stage.  Until such time as this process is complete it would be inappropriate for my Department to comment on the composition of the short-list.

When the pre-qualification process is complete my Department will be in contact with the school regarding the progression of the project to the next stage of architectural planning which is Stage 3, Tender Stage.

A tender stage normally takes between 7 and 8 months to complete.

School Accommodation Provision

Questions (548)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

548. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 216 of 5 February 2019, if approval has issued for the provision of additional mainstream and specialist accommodation for the school; the details of the accommodation approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33330/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is currently assessing the application for capital funding, under the Additional School Accommodation Scheme, from the school in question.   In this regard, a decision will be relayed to the school authority shortly.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (549)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

549. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the location of the additional SNA allocations in primary schools in County Kildare for the school year 2019-2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33339/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE publish the allocations for individual schools for each school year and this information is available on their website, www.ncse.ie.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (550)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

550. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the location of the additional SNA allocations in secondary schools in County Kildare for the school year 2019/2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33341/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE publish the allocations for individual schools for each school year and this information is available on their website, www.ncse.ie.

Capitation Grants

Questions (551)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

551. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase the capitation grant for pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33344/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I fully recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year.  The first and full year costs of this increase is €4 million and €10 million respectively.

I must be prudent in the context of ongoing budgetary pressures.  Where it is not possible to do everything that I would like to do in the education sector in any one year I have to prioritise, especially in the context of increasing enrolments.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.

Public Sector Staff Remuneration

Questions (552)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

552. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to regularise the situation for teachers regarding equal pay for equal work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33345/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. The starting salary for a new entrant teacher in 2012 was €30,702. As a result of the programme of pay restoration, the starting salary of a teacher is now €36,318 and from 1 October 2020 onwards will be €37,692.

Section 11 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that “the Minister [for Public Expenditure and Reform] shall, within three months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a report on the cost of and a plan in dealing with pay equalisation for new entrants to the public service.”

The report laid before the Oireachtas on foot of this provision by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform assesses the cost of a further change which would provide a two scale point adjustment to new entrants recruited since 2011. The total cost of such an adjustment across the public sector is of the order of €200 million, of which Education accounts for €83 million. The report also acknowledges that, during the financial crisis, there were policy changes which affected remuneration in different occupations across the public sector (including education).

The matter of new entrant pay is a cross sectorial issue, not just an issue for the education sector alone. The Government supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI legislation, having due regard to the priority to improve public services and in recognition of the essential role played by 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 16,000 teachers and nearly 5,000 SNAs within the education sector. The deal provides for a series of incremental jumps for new entrants.

I am aware that the teacher unions have outstanding issues of concern following the September 2018 agreement. These outstanding matters will be given full consideration. This will happen either in the context of any pay review mechanism agreed by the parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement, or in the context of the next round of pay talks. The positions of each of the parties on these matters must be given due regard in endeavouring to reach a mutually agreed resolution.

The current series of restorative measures for new entrants have been achieved through continued engagement and collective bargaining between the Government and the public service unions and shows the benefits that such engagement can bring.

School Playgrounds

Questions (553)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

553. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding available to assist national schools with the development of playground facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33352/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Summer Works Scheme (SWS) is designed to allow schools, on a devolved funding basis, to carry out necessary improvement and refurbishment works that will upgrade existing school facilities, including play areas.

As the Deputy will be aware, the current Summer Works Scheme was open for applications until 30th June 2019 for projects to be delivered from summer 2020. 

It is also open to primary schools to use their minor works grant to carry out improvement works to the school's infrastructure.

School Attendance Data

Questions (554)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

554. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children who travel out of Donabate, County Dublin to attend secondary school outside of the town; the number of children that travelled into the town to attend secondary school over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33380/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As indicated to the Deputy recently, the information is not readily available in the format requested. However, the following information can be provided in relation to this matter.

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. There is one post-primary school in the Donabate school planning area. Donabate Community College is a 1,000 pupil capacity post-primary school established in 2008, and has a 2018/2019 school year enrolment in the region of 760 pupils. At post-primary level, the average intake pattern in the Donabate school planning area over the last three years was some 90%.  This suggests that a proportion of pupils who attended primary school in the Donabate school planning area did not attend post-primary school in the area in those years.

The Deputy might wish to note that such movement between school planning areas in relation to attendance at primary or post-primary schools is not unusual. A range of factors including parental choice, ethos, language, school location and commuting patterns can influence intake patterns.

Schools Building Projects Data

Questions (555, 556, 609)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

555. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new school builds commenced, finished or announced in west County Galway since 2016; the location of same in tabular form; the amount of funding provided in each instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33422/19]

View answer

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

556. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional schools, accommodation commenced, finished or announced in west County Galway since 2016; the school involved; the amount of funding provided in each instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33423/19]

View answer

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

609. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of school building projects in County Kildare; the timeline for completion of same in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34023/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 555, 556 and 609 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of projects being delivered by my Department may be viewed on my Department's website, www.education.ie.

Large scale projects, including new schools, being delivered under the school building programme are listed by county along with school name and address. The current status of each school project is also provided.

In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date, - again broken down by county -, along with school name and address may also be viewed on the website.

Regarding other types of projects, - for example additional accommodation, emergency works etc. - , information on these is also available on my Department’s website and includes the school details and the nature of the works.

The status of projects listed on my Department’s website is updated on a regular basis to reflect their progress through the various stages of design, tender and construction.