Departmental Funding

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<h3>Questions (146)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_146">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Pauline Tully</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2297" class="">146. <strong>Deputy Pauline Tully</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the amount of funding allocated in each of the years 2017 to 2020 towards assistive technology; the percentage of the funding that was specifically for children with additional needs by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7634/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_382">
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Josepha-Madigan.D.2016-10-03/">Minister of State at the Department of Education</a>
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<p id="para_2298" class="">Under the Assistive Technology scheme, as set out in my Department’s Circular 0010/2013, funding is provided to schools towards the cost of computers and specialist equipment, which are required for educational purposes. </p>
<p id="para_2299" class=""> All equipment provided under this scheme supports children with more complex disabilities who, in order to access the school curriculum, require essential specialist equipment.</p>
<p id="para_2300" class=""> The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports. SENOs also make recommendations to my Department where assistive technology/specialised equipment is required. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in making recommendations for support.</p>
<p id="para_2301" class=""> In order to qualify for equipment under the assistive technology scheme, a student must have been diagnosed with a physical or communicative disability and must also have a recommendation in a professional assessment that the equipment is essential in order to allow the student to access the curriculum. It must also be clear that the existing I.T. equipment in the school is insufficient to meet the child's needs.</p>
<p id="para_2302" class=""> Schools make applications directly to the SENO, providing details of the student’s special educational needs or disability, including details of the approach taken by the school in making relevant interventions. </p>
<p id="para_2303" class=""> SENOs will review the application, and professional reports provided in support of same, in order to establish whether the criteria of the scheme have been met. They will then make a recommendation to my Department as to whether or not assistive technology is required; and based on this recommendation, my Department will decide on the level of grant, if any, to be provided. </p>
<p id="para_2304" class=""> Although equipment is sanctioned under the Assistive Technology scheme for use by particular students, it is the property of the school, and the school’s management authority is responsible for maintenance, repair, and insurance of the equipment.</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2305" class="">YEAR</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2306" class="">Primary</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2307" class="">Post- Primary</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2308" class="">Total</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2309" class="">2017</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2310" class="">1,922,583</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2311" class="">522,144</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2312" class="">2,444,727</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2313" class="">2018</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2314" class="">1,702,652</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2315" class="">680,133</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2316" class="">2,382,785</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2317" class="">2019</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2318" class="">1,925,577</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2319" class="">651,603</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2320" class="">2,577,180</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2321" class="">2020</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2322" class="">1,510,466</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2323" class="">502,770</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2324" class="">2,013,236</p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p id="para_2325" class=""> Assistive Technology Statistics by county are not readily available.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Summer Works Scheme

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<h3>Questions (147)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_147">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Pauline Tully</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2326" class="">147. <strong>Deputy Pauline Tully</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the amount allocated to schools in County Monaghan for the summer works scheme in 2018, 2019 and 2020, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7636/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
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<p id="para_2327" class="">I would like to inform the Deputy that there was no Summer Works Scheme announced in 2018, the table below shows the Amounts approved for Schools in Monaghan under the 2019 and 2020 Summer Works Scheme.</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2328" class="">Year</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2329" class="">€</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2330" class="">2019</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2331" class="">€715,342.04</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2332" class="">2020</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2333" class="">€1,509,111.34</p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
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Summer Works Scheme

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<h3>Questions (148)</h3>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Pauline Tully</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2334" class="">148. <strong>Deputy Pauline Tully</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the amount allocated to schools in County Cavan for the summer works scheme in 2018, 2019 and 2020, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7637/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
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<p id="para_2335" class="">I would like to inform the Deputy that there was no Summer Works Scheme announced in 2018, the table below shows the Amounts approved for Schools in Cavan under the 2019 and 2020 Summer Works Scheme.</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2336" class="">Year</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2337" class="">€</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2338" class="">2019</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2339" class="">€317,489.54</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_2340" class="">2020</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_2341" class="">€595,967.75</p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
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Departmental Funding

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<h3>Questions (149)</h3>
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<p id="para_2342" class="">149. <strong>Deputy Pauline Tully</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the estimated amount it would cost annually to increase the schools services support fund by €5 per pupil; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7638/21]</p>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
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<p id="para_2343" class="">The estimated full year cost of increasing the schools service support funding to post-primary schools in the free education scheme by €5 per pupil is circa €1.9 million.</p>
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Irish Sign Language

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<h3>Questions (150)</h3>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Kieran O'Donnell</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2344" class="">150. <strong>Deputy Kieran O'Donnell</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> her current and proposed plans for the provision of services for Irish Sign Language (details supplied); if the deployment of Irish Sign Language teachers under the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 will be prioritised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7645/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Josepha-Madigan.D.2016-10-03/">Minister of State at the Department of Education</a>
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<p id="para_2345" class="">The Teaching Council is the independent regulatory body with statutory authority for the professional regulation of teachers in this State. </p>
<p id="para_2346" class=""> Registration with the Council is necessary in order to be recognized as a teacher for employment in a state funded teaching post. Registration ensures that standards of entry to the profession are maintained. Teachers may apply for registration in the primary, post-primary, further education and other sectors. </p>
<p id="para_2347" class=""> The registration of teachers is governed by Section 31 of the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015 and the Council registers teachers under the Teaching Council Registration Regulations 2016. My Department is not directly involved in the registration of individual teachers. </p>
<p id="para_2348" class=""> Applicants wishing to register as a teacher in the Further Education sector must meet the requirements for registration under Route 3, as set out in the regulations, which are available on the Teaching Council’s website at www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Registration/How-do-I-register-/.</p>
<p id="para_2349" class=""> I would advise members of the Council of Irish Sign Language Teachers (CISLT) to liaise directly with the Teaching Council regarding their registration.</p>
<p id="para_2350" class=""> Very significant levels of financial provision are made to ensure that all children with special educational needs, including children who are deaf/hard of hearing, can be provided with an education appropriate to their needs. </p>
<p id="para_2351" class=""> The total education spend on special education is about €2 Billion - almost a fifth - of the the annual educational and training budget. This represents an increase of over 60% in total expenditure since 2011, at which point €1.247 Billion per annum was provided.</p>
<p id="para_2352" class=""> Included in this provision is an extensive range of supports to assist students who are deaf or hard of hearing. In line with my Department's policy that children with special educational needs access appropriate education intervention in mainstream settings where possible, many deaf or hard of hearing pupils are integrated into mainstream classes at primary and post-primary level, while other children who are deaf or hard of hearing and have more complex needs may attend special schools or classes, which have lower pupil teacher ratios.</p>
<p id="para_2353" class=""> The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Support Service includes Visiting Teachers, who are qualified teachers with particular skills and knowledge of the development and education of children with varying degrees of hearing loss and/or visual impairment. They offer longitudinal support to children, their families and schools from the time of referral through to the end of post-primary education.</p>
<p id="para_2354" class=""> Each visiting teacher (VT) is responsible for a particular region and is allocated a caseload of students. The VT supports children/young people, parents, guardians, teachers and other professionals involved with the child. </p>
<p id="para_2355" class=""> The frequency and nature of support takes into account a range of factors based on the individual’s needs. </p>
<p id="para_2356" class=""> The NCSE provide direct support to schools and individual teachers in as flexible a way as possible, offering telephone advice, a school visit from a member of the team, an in-service course for individual teachers, or whole-school training. Whole-school training will ensure that all teachers are equipped to cater for the pupils’ educational needs, as they progress through primary and post primary school.</p>
<p id="para_2357" class=""> Among the courses towards which funding is provided to schools are courses in Irish Sign Language, which are available throughout the country through a variety of providers.</p>
<p id="para_2358" class=""> Additional supports provided by my Department include funding to schools for assistive technology such as radio aids and Soundfield systems, special transport arrangements for pupils, and enhanced levels of capitation in special classes and special schools.</p>
<p id="para_2359" class=""> Funding is also provided by my Department for a weekly home tuition service whereby tutors visit the homes of deaf and hard of hearing pre-school children and school-going pupils to provide training in Irish Sign Language (ISL) for these children, their siblings, parents/guardians and grandparents. </p>
<p id="para_2360" class=""> Reasonable accommodations and supports are made available to support children with special educational needs, including students who are deaf/hard of hearing, to participate in state exams.</p>
<p id="para_2361" class=""> The NCSE published the Comprehensive Review of the SNA Scheme in May 2018. The report recommends that Irish Sign Language (ISL) qualified assistants should be put in place to support profoundly deaf students whose primary language is ISL and that this should be aligned to the requirements of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017..</p>
<p id="para_2362" class=""> In line with the recommendations of this review and the requirements of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017, a scheme will be developed to provide Irish Sign Language support for students attending recognised schools, whose primary language is Irish Sign Language. It will take some time to introduce and implement this ISL scheme. In the interim these posts are filled, on a case by case basis, through the NCSE to allocate an additional SNA post with appropriate ISL qualifications. They are employed on similar terms and conditions to SNAs. The purpose of these posts is to enable these students attend school and access the curriculum.</p>
<p id="para_2363" class=""> A new undergraduate programme, Bachelor of Education (Irish Sign Language), in Dublin City University (DCU), launched in 2019, enables deaf and hard of hearing people who use Irish Sign Language (ISL) to enter primary teaching.</p>
<p id="para_2364" class=""> Previously, there was no entry route to primary teacher education for someone who communicates through ISL and cannot meet the minimum entry requirement for Irish in Leaving Certificate. This B.Ed. allows ISL to be accepted as an alternative to Irish. It is an important step towards ensuring increased access and inclusion for all in the classroom.</p>
<p id="para_2365" class=""> It is envisaged that, when qualified, these students will teach in schools for the deaf or special classes in mainstream schools. These qualified teachers will have a high level of ability in ISL, in-depth knowledge of bilingual education and the ability to teach all of the curriculum subjects through ISL. It will further aid deaf children who use Irish Sign Language in primary school to fully access the curriculum by having teachers who are fluent ISL users. </p>
<p id="para_2366" class=""> This new Bachelor of Education (ISL) is approved by the Department of Education and accredited by the Teaching Council.</p>
<p id="para_2367" class=""> The duties of the Minister for Education in relation to the implementation of the ISL Act are set out in Section 5 of the Act and the Minister has no role in recognising representative bodies.</p>
<p id="para_2368" class=""> Under section 10(3) of the Act, the Minister for Justice shall ensure that persons or organisations that are representative of the interests of the members of the deaf community are consulted on the matters to be considered in a report prepared on the operation of the Act.</p>
<p id="para_2369" class=""> My Department does not have responsibility for the recognition of representative bodies under the ISL Act.</p>
</div>
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</div>

Oideachas trí Ghaeilge

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<h3>Questions (151, 152)</h3>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Aengus Ó Snodaigh</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2370" class="">151. D'fhiafraigh <strong>Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh</strong> den <strong>Aire Oideachais</strong> an bhfuil aon soiléiriú ann faoi chinneadh an Aire sa Dáil deiridh cás eisceachtúil agus píolótach a dhéanamh maidir le Gaelscoileanna Uíbh Ráthaigh agus lena líon daltaí mar chosaint don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht ar feadh achar ama áirithe. [7660/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_152">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Aengus-Ó-Snodaigh.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Aengus-Ó-Snodaigh.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Aengus Ó Snodaigh"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Aengus-Ó-Snodaigh.D.2002-06-06/">Aengus Ó Snodaigh</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Aengus Ó Snodaigh</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2371" class="">152. D'fhiafraigh <strong>Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh</strong> den <strong>Aire Oideachais</strong> cad iad na céimeanna a ghlacfaidh sí chun Gaelscolaíocht a chosaint ó dhúnadh scoileanna i gceantair iargúlta toisc líon na ndaltaí a bheith ag laghdú; agus an dtuigeann sí an cás ar leith a bhíonn sa Ghaeltacht má dhruidtear scoil Ghaeilge agus go mbeadh daltaí Gaeilge brúite isteach i scoileanna Béarla má tharlaíonn sin. [7661/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-151_152">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_387">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
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<p id="para_2372" class="">Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 151 agus 152 le chéile.</p>
<p id="para_2373" class=""> Is í príomhaidhm an Pholasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta 2017-2022, de chuid na Roinne Oideachais, ná tacú le húsáid na Gaeilge i bpobail Ghaeltachta agus í a chothú trí sholáthar oideachais trí mheán na Gaeilge a neartú i limistéir phleanála teanga Ghaeltachta. Ó cuireadh tús le feidhmiú an Pholasaí in 2017, tá maoiniú thart ar €14m curtha ar fáil do roinnt ghníomhartha chun tacú le soláthar oideachais ardcháilíochta trí mheán na Gaeilge i scoileanna Gaeltachta. I measc na ngníomhartha sin, áirítear seoladh na Scéime Aitheantais Scoileanna Gaeltachta a chuireann acmhainní spriocdhírithe breise ar fáil do scoileanna atá lonnaithe i limistéir phleanála teanga Ghaeltachta chun tacú leo leis an soláthar oideachais trí mheán na Gaeilge a fheabhsú. </p>
<p id="para_2374" class=""> Faoi láthair tá 105 bunscoil agus 29 iar-bhunscoil Ghaeltachta sa Scéim ag fáil uaireanta breise do thacaíocht na Gaeilge, forbairt ghairmiúil leanúnach breise atá á cur ar fáil ag an gComhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), deontas bliantúil de €1200 d’ábhair teagaisc trí mheán na Gaeilge a cheannach agus cuairteanna comhairleacha breise cigireachta. Ag leibhéal na hiar-bhunscoile, tugadh an deis do scoileanna páirt a ghlacadh sa tionscadal píolótach ríomh-mhoil, a bhaineann leas as soláthar foghlama cumaisc ar líne chun cur leis an raon ábhar atá ar fáil trí mheán na Gaeilge do scoláirí in iar-bhunscoileanna Gaeltachta. Chomh maith leis sin, tugadh deis d'iar-bhunscoileanna roghnaithe, páirt a ghlacadh sa chlár Forás, a thugann tacaíocht teanga bhreise do scoláirí na Sraithe Sóisearaí.</p>
<p id="para_2375" class=""> Tá pacáiste acmhainní ar leith, sa bhreis ar na tacaíochtaí atá ar fáil faoin Scéim Aitheantais Scoileanna Gaeltachta, á cur ar fáil do na hiar-bhunscoileanna atá lonnaithe ar na hoileán chomh maith de bharr na ndúshlán ar leith a bhíonn acu agus an tábhacht a bhaineann leis na scoileanna seo do bheogacht agus do chaomhnú phobail na n-oileán. Áirítear leithdháileadh breise múinteora agus buiséad imfhálaithe €15,000 breise in aghaidh na bliana do gach iar-bhunscoil ar na hoileáin chun costais oibríochtúla breise a chlúdach mar chuid den phacáiste tacaíochta seo.</p>
<p id="para_2376" class=""> Chomh maith leis sin, le blianta beaga anuas, cuireadh roinnt ghníomhartha i bhfeidhm chun na tairseacha ceapacháin agus coinneála i scoileanna beaga a fheabhsú, lena n-áirítear tairseacha rollaithe níos buntáistí do bhunscoileanna le múinteoir amháin agus scoileanna ar na hoileáin. I measc na ngníomharhta, áirítear laghdú 1 phointe den chóimheas idir daltaí agus múinteoirí i mbunscoileanna beaga le ceathrar múinteoirí nó níos lú ón scoilbhliain 2020/21. Cuireann Buiséad 2021 leis an dul chun cinn seo trí laghdú 1 phointe breise a chur i bhfeidhm maidir le múinteoir a cheapadh sa scoilbhliain 2021/22 agus laghdú trí phointe ar an sceideal coinneála. Cuideoidh na bearta seo lena chinntiú go mbeidh níos lú daltaí ag teastáil chun múinteoir a earcú nó a choinneáil. Foilseofar an sceideal foirne don scoilbhliain 2021/22 sna seachtainí amach romhainn. Is ag an bpointe seo a bheidh eolas ag bunscoileanna faoin soláthar foirne a bheidh acu don Mheán Fómhair seo chugainn agus cuirfear tús leis an bpróiseas ath-imlonnaithe chun folúntais teagaisc a líonadh.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Schools Building Projects

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (153)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_153">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/John-McGuinness.D.1997-06-26/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/John-McGuinness.D.1997-06-26/image/thumb" alt="John McGuinness"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/John-McGuinness.D.1997-06-26/">John McGuinness</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">John McGuinness</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2377" class="">153. <strong>Deputy John McGuinness</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the progress being made, relative to the funding required, on a building project at a school (details supplied); if the additional costs caused by the conditions attached to the planning permission will be approved; the number of meetings held between her Department and the school relative to the overall costs of the project since planning permission was granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7672/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-153">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_388">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
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<p id="para_2378" class="">I can confirm to the Deputy that the school referred to has been approved for a project under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme 2015. This project will provide for one mainstream classrooms with en-suite, a WC for assisted user and one SET room.</p>
<p id="para_2379" class=""> This project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority. This project was approved to go to Planning in June 2019. The planning received had onerous conditions attached which were outside the remit of the additional accommodation scheme and the school were informed to appeal to An Bord Pleanála. The planning decision was upheld following this appeal. </p>
<p id="para_2380" class=""> My Department has been in contact with the school recently with a view to progressing this project. The school has been requested to submit information pertaining to the relevant planning conditions to the Department for review. Upon receipt and review, a virtual meeting between the Department and the school may be arranged if necessary to progress the project.</p>
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</div>
</div>

School Curriculum

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (154)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_154">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Robert Troy"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">Robert Troy</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Robert Troy</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2381" class="">154. <strong>Deputy Robert Troy</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> if her Department will introduce education on the ancient Kingdom of Mide and east County Meath into the history curriculum at both junior certificate and primary school levels; and her views on whether the importance of this period of Irish history should be recognised. [7681/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-154">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_389">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_2382" class="">The Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) provides the underpinning for the new Junior Cycle. The Framework gives students the opportunity to develop a wider range of knowledge and skills – to equip them for further learning, for work, for responsible and active citizenship, and for healthy living. The Junior Cycle has been developed and implemented over several years, with the final phase of new subject specifications being introduced to schools from September 2019. The new subject specification for History was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and introduced from September 2018.</p>
<p id="para_2383" class=""> When schools in Ireland implement the Framework for Junior Cycle, they have the autonomy and flexibility to design programmes within the parameters of the framework, mindful in particular of the needs of their students and their teaching resources. This allows decisions on what is offered within these programmes to be at the discretion of the school, and students to have as broad a range of options to choose from as possible.</p>
<p id="para_2384" class=""> In the Framework for Junior Cycle, all schools are expected to provide opportunities for students to achieve 24 statements of learning over the period of Junior Cycle. These statements include valuing local, national and international heritage and understanding the importance of the relationship between past and current events, the forces that drive change, and understanding the origins and impacts of social, economic and environmental aspects of the world around them. </p>
<p id="para_2385" class=""> The specification for Junior Cycle History provides a framework for students to acquire the historical skills, conceptual understanding and substantive knowledge that lead to a sense of historical consciousness, whereby students can see the world and their place in it from a historical perspective. It has been designed for a minimum of 200 hours of timetabled student engagement across the three years of Junior Cycle. The specification has three interconnected strands, each with a set or related elements: the nature of history, the history of Ireland, and the history of Europe and the wider world.</p>
<p id="para_2386" class=""> As a result of the learning outcomes approach, teachers can facilitate discussion around a wide range of periods of Irish history and culture, as well as the many other issues which might arise during the course of a class. For example, in Learning Outcome 1.3 (Junior Cycle History) students are asked to appreciate their cultural inheritance through recognising historically significant places and buildings and discussing why historical personalities, events and issues are commemorated.</p>
<p id="para_2387" class=""> The two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) in the Junior Cycle specification allow students to explore topics that are interesting and relevant to their own lives. In A Life in Time, students choose a person from the past and explore why that person is historically significant, while The Past in my Place, allows students to present their findings on a study of an aspect of their home place that they consider of interest. </p>
<p id="para_2388" class=""> In October 2019, the Minister for Education announced that History should have special core status within the Framework for Junior Cycle. Further details in this regard are set out in Circular Letters 0076/2020 and 0016/2020. From September 2020, students will study English, Irish, Mathematics and History (with some exceptions in the case of students with special educational needs), along with a number of other subjects or short courses in their Junior Cycle programme.</p>
<p id="para_2389" class=""> The NCCA is also developing a short course in History for certain students with general learning difficulties/needs. Students in this category will not be required to study the subject ahead of the new short course being made available in September 2021.</p>
<p id="para_2390" class=""> Across each of the strands and strand units of the curriculum, teachers have flexibility in determining the content which is to be taught and are encouraged to expose pupils to a range of perspectives, which could include discussions on the ancient Kingdom of Mide.</p>
<p id="para_2391" class=""> The broad objectives of the primary school history curriculum (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment NCCA, 1999) state that children should develop a sense of responsibility for, and a willingness to participate in, the preservation of heritage; that children should study a range of people and events in the past in order to develop a balanced understanding of family, local, national and world history; and that children should learn about the people, events, issues and cultural experiences which have helped to shape the local community and the environment. The units selected by the school and teacher should introduce children to the lives of women, men and children from a range of social, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, include studies from a wide range of human experience (e.g. economic, technological, scientific, artistic, social, cultural, religious, political, etc.); and come from local, national and international contexts. </p>
<p id="para_2392" class=""> One of the strands in the history curriculum at primary level is <em>Early People and Ancient Societies</em>. Teachers have the autonomy to select the areas studied from a range of peoples including, for example, the Stone Age; the Bronze Age; the Celts; Early Christian Ireland; and the Vikings. In studying <em>Early People and Ancient societies</em>, the child should be enabled to</p>
<p id="para_2393" class=""> - become familiar with some aspects of the lives of these peoples, their origins, homelands and migrations, homes, settlements and urban developments, food and farming, clothes, work and technologies, tools and weapons, cultural or artistic achievements, language(s), myths and stories, leisure and pastimes, faith, beliefs and religious practices, burial practices, etc.</p>
<p id="para_2394" class=""> - examine critically, and become familiar with, evidence we have which tells us about these people, especially evidence of these people which may be found locally and in Ireland, where appropriate </p>
<p id="para_2395" class=""> - record the place of these peoples on appropriate timelines.</p>
<p id="para_2396" class=""> The NCCA is currently developing a draft primary school curriculum framework, from which the curriculum for each subject areas will be redeveloped, including History. The first stage of consultation is now closed, but the NCCA intends to open a second stage consultation in the school year 2021-22. During the consultation phase, submissions are accepted from schools, teachers, parents, special interest groups and general members of the public.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

State Examinations

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (155, 156, 157)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_155">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2397" class="">155. <strong>Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> if a copy of any recommendations made to her, her Department or Ministers of State in her Department by the advisory group on the leaving certificate since December 2020 to 8 February 2021 will be provided. [7714/21]</p>
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<div class="question" id="pq_156">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2398" class="">156. <strong>Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> if a copy of minutes or copies of minutes forwarded to her, her Department or Ministers of State in her Department arising from the meetings of the advisory group on the leaving certificate since December 2020 to 8 February 2021 will be provided. [7715/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_157">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Aodhán Ó Ríordáin"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Aodhán-Ó-Ríordáin.D.2011-03-09/">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2399" class="">157. <strong>Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> if a copy of briefing documents prepared for her arising from meetings of the advisory group on the leaving certificate since December 2020 to 8 February 2021 will be provided. [7716/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-155_156_157">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_390">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
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<p id="para_2400" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 to 157, inclusive, together.</p>
<p id="para_2401" class=""> The planning work underway in respect of the State Examinations in 2021 is being assisted by an Advisory Group of key stakeholders which has met on a number of occasions in recent months. The Advisory Group on Planning for State Examinations 2021 has been convened to advise Government on all of the various issues arising in relation to the holding of the 2021 examinations, including public health considerations and appropriate contingency measures. The Advisory Group includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service.</p>
<p id="para_2402" class=""> Details of the Advisory Group have been published, the webpage contains details on the purpose of the group, the terms of reference and the membership of the group. The webpage also includes a link to meeting documentation where minutes of meetings that have been agreed by the Advisory Group have been published. These details are available at www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/06f0c-advisory-group-on-planning-for-state-examinations-2021/.</p>
<p id="para_2403" class=""> Press releases regarding meetings of the group are available at www.gov.ie/en/publications/?q=&amp;sort_by=published_date&amp;type=press_releases&amp;organisation=department-of-education.</p>
<p id="para_2404" class=""> In addition to the above, a subgroup of the Advisory Group was established to consider in greater depth issues relating to planning towards the 2021 examinations. The subgroup includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Department of Education. Minutes of meetings of that have been agreed by the subgroup to the Advisory Group will also be published at the above link.</p>
<p id="para_2405" class=""> There has been ongoing stakeholder engagement in relation to the planning for the 2021 State Examinations, including this week, confidential bilateral meetings with the above stakeholders.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Special Educational Needs

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (158)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_158">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Cathal-Crowe.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Cathal-Crowe.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Cathal Crowe"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Cathal-Crowe.D.2020-02-08/">Cathal Crowe</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Cathal Crowe</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2406" class="">158. <strong>Deputy Cathal Crowe</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> when the two new SEN classrooms at a school (details supplied) will be operational. [7719/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-158">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-158">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_391">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/158/speech/391/" data-share-text="Special Educational Needs" title="Share speech #391 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2407" class="">I can confirm to the Deputy that the school referred to has been approved for a project under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme 2021. This project will provide for a two classroom SEN base and has been devolved for delivery to the school authority.</p>
<p id="para_2408" class=""> This project was approved in January 2021 and is in the early design stage. It is not possible to provide a timeline for the project’s completion at this point.</p>
<p id="para_2409" class=""> I can advise the Deputy that temporary accommodation has also been approved as part of this project to cater for the school’s needs in September 2021.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Teaching Council of Ireland

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (159)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_159">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Gary Gannon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">Gary Gannon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Gary Gannon</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2410" class="">159. <strong>Deputy Gary Gannon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the status of an application for a Teaching Council registration number by a person (details supplied). [7790/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-159">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-159">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_392">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/159/speech/392/" data-share-text="Teaching Council of Ireland" title="Share speech #392 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2411" class="">Under the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015 the Teaching Council is the body with statutory authority and responsibility for the regulation of the teaching profession in Ireland including the registration of teachers in the State.</p>
<p id="para_2412" class=""> The Teaching Council inform me that the application of the person referred to by the Deputy is registered with effect from 8 February 2021. Should the individual have any queries regarding their registration I would advise they liaise directly with the Teaching Council.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

DEIS Scheme

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (160)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_160">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Gary Gannon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">Gary Gannon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/160/question/160/" data-share-text="DEIS Scheme" title="Share question #160 by Gary Gannon">
<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Gary Gannon</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2413" class="">160. <strong>Deputy Gary Gannon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> if she will review the non-DEIS status of a school (details supplied) in view of the high number of other DEIS status schools in the area serving the same catchment area and in view of the fact that the school serves a number of vulnerable children, which is evident by their participation in the schools completion programme and school meals scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7791/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-160">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-160">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_393">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/160/speech/393/" data-share-text="DEIS Scheme" title="Share speech #393 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2414" class="">My Department is in the final stages of refinement of the new DEIS identification model, based on school enrolment data and the latest data available from Census 2016 using the HP Deprivation Index. A detailed analysis of the data has been carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group which contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. The work of this group is at an advanced stage and a consultation process with education stakeholder representatives on the technical aspect and implementation of this model has commenced. It is envisaged that this will then provide the basis for development of a DEIS resource allocation system to match resources to identified need.</p>
<p id="para_2415" class=""> I am confident that the culmination of this work will facilitate the ultimate aim of matching resources to identified need and will allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need. Until this work is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

State Examinations

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (161, 162)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_161">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Gary Gannon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">Gary Gannon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/161/question/161/" data-share-text="State Examinations" title="Share question #161 by Gary Gannon">
<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Gary Gannon</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2416" class="">161. <strong>Deputy Gary Gannon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> when the minutes from the first meeting of the advisory group on planning for State examinations 2021, which took place on 25 November 2020, will be published. [7792/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-161_162">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_162">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Gary Gannon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">Gary Gannon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/161/question/162/" data-share-text="State Examinations" title="Share question #162 by Gary Gannon">
<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Gary Gannon</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2417" class="">162. <strong>Deputy Gary Gannon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> when the minutes from the second meeting of the advisory group on planning for State examinations 2021, which took place on 14 December 2020, will be published. [7793/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-161_162">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-161_162">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_394">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/161/speech/394/" data-share-text="State Examinations" title="Share speech #394 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2418" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 162 together.</p>
<p id="para_2419" class=""> The planning work underway in respect of the State Examinations in 2021 is being assisted by an Advisory Group of key stakeholders which has met on a number of occasions in recent months. The Advisory Group on Planning for State Examinations 2021 has been convened to advise Government on all of the various issues arising in relation to the holding of the 2021 examinations, including public health considerations and appropriate contingency measures. The Advisory Group includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service.</p>
<p id="para_2420" class=""> Details of the Advisory Group have been published, the webpage contains details on the purpose of the group, the terms of reference and the membership of the group. The webpage also includes a link to meeting documentation where minutes of meetings that have been agreed by the Advisory Group have been published. These details are available at www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/06f0c-advisory-group-on-planning-for-state-examinations-2021/.</p>
<p id="para_2421" class=""> Press releases regarding meetings of the group are available at www.gov.ie/en/publications/?q=&amp;sort_by=published_date&amp;type=press_releases&amp;organisation=department-of-education.</p>
<p id="para_2422" class=""> In addition to the above, a subgroup of the Advisory Group was established to consider in greater depth issues relating to planning towards the 2021 examinations. The subgroup includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Department of Education. Minutes of meetings of that have been agreed by the subgroup to the Advisory Group will also be published at the above link.</p>
<p id="para_2423" class=""> There has been ongoing stakeholder engagement in relation to the planning for the 2021 State Examinations, including this week, confidential bilateral meetings with the above stakeholders.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

School Staff

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (163)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_163">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Gary Gannon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Gary-Gannon.D.2020-02-08/">Gary Gannon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/163/question/163/" data-share-text="School Staff" title="Share question #163 by Gary Gannon">
<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Gary Gannon</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2424" class="">163. <strong>Deputy Gary Gannon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the amount spent on continuing professional development for guidance counsellors in each of the years 2018 to 2020; and the budget allocation for same in 2021. [7794/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-163">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-163">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_395">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/163/speech/395/" data-share-text="School Staff" title="Share speech #395 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2425" class="">The majority of CPD for guidance counsellors is provided by the Supervision of Guidance Counsellors programme administered by Monaghan Education Support Centre and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.</p>
<p id="para_2426" class=""> Funding provided for CPD for guidance counsellors since 2018 is as follows:</p>
<p id="para_2427" class=""> 2018 €0.138m</p>
<p id="para_2428" class=""> 2019 €0.216m</p>
<p id="para_2429" class=""> 2020 €0.186m</p>
<p id="para_2430" class=""> The provisional budget for 2021 is €0.189m </p>
<p id="para_2431" class=""> Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of CPD moved online during 2020. This did not affect the level of CPD provided to guidance counsellors. The level of CPD provided was similar to 2019.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

School Staff

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (164)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_164">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Brendan Smith"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">Brendan Smith</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Brendan Smith</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2432" class="">164. <strong>Deputy Brendan Smith</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the progress to date in finalising the pay and conditions for school secretaries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7808/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-164">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-164">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_396">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/164/speech/396/" data-share-text="School Staff" title="Share speech #396 by Minister for Education"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2433" class="">I am keenly aware of the vital role contributed by school secretaries within school communities and I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools. I have met with Fórsa, who represent many of the secretaries working in schools.</p>
<p id="para_2434" class=""> In recognition of their role, I have put special arrangements in place for this school year whereby schools will be funded to employ a replacement secretary or caretaker in the event that staff who are at very high risk of contracting serious illness from COVID-19 cannot work on the school premises. I have also extended the Employee Assistance Service to all school staff including secretaries. </p>
<p id="para_2435" class=""> The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under grant schemes. Where a school employs a staff member to support those functions those staff are employees of individual schools and responsibility for terms of employment rests with the school.</p>
<p id="para_2436" class=""> On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department implemented the 2015 recommendations of an independent arbitrator. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 be phased in over that period. This arbitration agreement covered the period up to 31 December 2019 and has been fully implemented. </p>
<p id="para_2437" class=""> The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per hour in 2015 prior to the arbitration has from 1 January 2019 been paid €13 per hour which is a 50% increase in that individual’s hourly pay. </p>
<p id="para_2438" class=""> Fórsa trade union has tabled a follow-on claim from the 2015 agreement. Officials from my Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and School Management Bodies have been engaging with with Fórsa on the claim, most recently on 27th of October 2020 under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. </p>
<p id="para_2439" class=""> At that meeting it was agreed that further discussions would be held under the auspices of the WRC with a view to assessing the individual elements comprising the totality of the union’s claims. It is noted that these WRC discussions are taking place within the context of recent Dáil comments concerning the regularisation of pay, conditions of employment and pension provision of school secretaries and caretakers. </p>
<p id="para_2440" class=""> I welcome and support the continued meaningful dialogue between the parties with a view to reaching an agreed outcome.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

School Accommodation

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (165)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_165">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_2441" class="">165. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Education</strong> the ongoing progress in meeting the requirement of schools (details supplied); the extent to which logistical issues in respect of traffic management and transport have been resolved with Kildare County Council; the degree to which the various stages of the proposed school development schedule are being addressed; when the visible progress can be achieved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7844/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Education)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_397">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Norma Foley"/>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/">Minister for Education</a>
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<p id="para_2442" class="">As the Deputy is aware and has been recently advised, work is progressing and is ongoing in respect of technical matters crucial to the delivery of the acquisition. My Department is continuing to actively engage regularly with Kildare Co. Co. and the Landowner, who is currently presenting a masterplan of the site as a whole. It remains a priority for my Department to make progress on this acquisition. </p>
<p id="para_2443" class=""> Due to the commercially sensitive nature of site acquisitions in general and this one in particular - I am unable to elaborate further but please rest assured that this project is still being given our full attention.</p>
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