I propose to take Questions Nos. 373 and 374 together.
The Boards of Management of schools are responsible for the employment of school secretaries and it is a matter for each school to determine the level of secretarial services required for the school. Funding to cater for these services is made available from my Department under two separate schemes.
One is the 1978/79 scheme under which the school secretaries and caretakers are paid directly through the payroll operated by my Department. The 1978/79 scheme is being phased out as posts become vacant and no new posts are being created. There are currently 153 primary and 110 post-primary whole time equivalent school secretaries employed by schools under the 1978/79 Scheme and paid through my Department’s payroll. This information is not maintained on a county basis.
The 1978/79 scheme has been superseded by a more extensive capitation grant scheme towards the funding of ancillary services in schools. Within the grant programme, the level and extent of services provided is a matter for the school authorities who, through the discretion afforded by the scheme, apply their own arrangements for secretarial services as resources permit. My Department does not have any direct role in the pay and conditions under which they are engaged. Given that employment of school secretaries and caretakers is dealt with at local school level, my Department does not have a central record of the number of school secretaries and caretakers funded by the ancillary services grant.