Written Answers. - Teaching Qualifications.

Bernard Allen

Ceist:

333 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason his Department is now refusing to give the honours allowance to those teachers who have been teaching art for some considerable time, who completed a course in the National College of Art And Design organised by his Department in conjunction with the National University of Ireland and received a diploma in art teaching at honours level; the reason that, despite teachers writing to his Department on several occasions, they are not receiving replies; and if this matter will be rectified. [27153/02]

The course referred to by the Deputy was organised by my Department in association with the National College of Art and Design. The purpose of the course was to enable unqualified teachers of art to gain an acceptable qualification for the purpose of appointment as a permanent teacher of art in a second level school.

The matter of the appropriate level of qualification allowance to be paid to teachers who successfully completed this course is currently under consideration in my Department. When a decision is reached, my Department will communicate with the teachers concerned and arrangements will be made for the payment to them of the appropriate allowance.