I propose to take Questions Nos. 124 and 139 together.
In March, 1997, the outgoing Minister for Education agreed staffing arrangements for primary schools for the current school year with the Irish National Teachers' Organisation. These arrangements were based on the allocation of surplus posts available for redistribution from the demographic dividend for the 1997-98 school year. Accordingly, I am not in a position to allocate concessionary teacher posts to the primary sector.
I am currently reviewing my Department's overall response to the problems of educational disadvantage. My objective is to ensure that all available resources are properly targeted so that children who are educationally disadvantaged receive the support necessary to enable them to maximise their potential in the education system. I can assure the Deputies that the needs of the schools to which they refer will be considered in this context.