Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (165)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

294 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the work of the Catholic Secondary School Parents Association; and if he plans to make grants available to support research and administration in this organisation in order that it can play a full part as an education partner. [2682/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

Officials of my Department met representatives of the national congress of Catholic Secondary School Parent Associations, CPSA, last December. At that meeting it was agreed that CPSA would provide my Department with details of its vision for increasing the voice of parents at second level, the promotion of parents associations in schools and the level of support required to achieve those aims. My Department received a submission from CPSA in mid-January and is considering their proposals at present. Officials of my Department will be in touch in the near future with CPSA to arrange a further meeting on this issue.

In deciding on the issue of grant aiding, I must take account of the matter of value for money and the need to avoid unnecessary duplication. This is a particular concern when money is spent on research and administration. The Deputy will also be aware that a report on these matters, commissioned by my Department, emphasised the fact that many of the issues of concern to parents with children at second level are common across the different sectors. It is important, therefore, that any State funding should promote cohesion to the greatest degree possible as this will best serve to increase the voice of parents in education.