Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (196, 197)

Cecilia Keaveney

Ceist:

272 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education and Science the details of who was, over the past five years, and who is currently in charge of music inspection in primary schools; the person who is responsible for the delivery of the music in the new curriculum demands of 1999; the numbers and locations of those recruited to deliver the required inservice training in music to fulfil the aspiration of the new curriculum; the level of cross-Border support that has been sought in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3908/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

Music in primary schools is inspected by primary inspectors. Each inspector is responsible for the inspection of the entire curriculum, which has been drawn up as an integrated whole. Inspectors do not specialise in particular curriculum areas. Primary inspectors are assigned schools on a geographical basis. Each regional team of inspectors is managed by an assistant chief inspector.

The primary curriculum support programme is responsible for the delivery of inservice training in music as outlined in the primary curriculum 1999. Class teachers are responsible for delivery of the curriculum at school level. It is planned that a team of approximately 26 trainers will deliver the required inservice training in music to teachers in 2004-05 with a view to implementing the music curriculum in primary schools the following year. This number is based on the experience of the primary curriculum support programme in delivering inservice training for six subjects to date.

The primary curriculum support programme is in contact on an ongoing basis with the advisers attached to the western library board of Northern Ireland. Our schools have a long and proud tradition in teaching music and I am committed to ensuring that schools continue their excellent work in this regard.

Cecilia Keaveney

Ceist:

273 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of meetings that have taken place in the last six months between either himself and his officials or the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism and his officials with regard to developing a strategy for the delivery of the new music curriculum in schools or the general issue of arts in education; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3909/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The information requested by the Deputy in regard to meetings is being gathered at present and will be forwarded as soon as it is available.

A grant totalling £6.1 million was issued to all schools in December 2000 in order to support schools in the implementation of the arts education section of the curriculum. The aim of the grant was to facilitate the purchase of necessary teaching and learning materials. The new primary curriculum, launched in 1999 and being implemented on a phased basis, is accompanied by detailed guidelines for teachers in respect of each subject area. The curriculum is also accompanied by a support programme which provides professional development for teachers, including organising seminars for teachers, visiting schools and providing tailored support for individual schools and clusters of schools. To date, the following aspects of the primary curriculum have been implemented and fully supported by the PCSP: English, Gaeilge, mathematics, visual arts, science and social, and personal and health education.

This year, following a request from teachers' representatives, I announced a year of consolidation and review of areas of the curriculum that have already been introduced. Music is one of the next subjects to be introduced. It is planned that the in-career development programme for music will take place in the school year 2004-05. All primary teachers will receive training in the new programme during that year. Teachers will begin to implement the programme during the following school year. In preparation for this roll-out, a team of trainers for music and an assistant national co-ordinator who has particular responsibility for this team have been selected. The role of this team is to plan supports for the implementation of the music curriculum. These trainers also work closely with the education centre network in the provision of evening and summer courses.