Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (201)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

201. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the processes small schools have to go through to avail of improved information and communications technology equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44234/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, sets out a plan to embed the use of digital technology in teaching, learning and assessment, and affirms that the use of digital technology can enhance the teaching and learning experience. The Strategy recognises that schools require investment in their ICT infrastructure. Funding of some €210m been designated to support the implementation of this strategy with €60m issued to schools over the 2016/17 and 2017/18 school years and a further €50m issued earlier this year to schools in respect of the 2018/19 school year.

My Department also pays an ICT grant of €5,000 for each new mainstream classroom or SEN Class base approved for a school. The minor works grant can also be used for the purchase of IT equipment.

Decisions regarding the use and deployment of digital technology in schools is a matter for the Board of Management of each school. Where the introduction of digital devices is planned, consultation with members of the school community including parents is advised. Consultation between parents, students and schools is now underpinned through the recently published Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill 2019.

The Professional Development Service for Teachers Technology in Education (PDST-TIE) offers advice to schools and have developed an advice sheets on digital technology in education, including on the adoption of Laptops and tablets in schools.