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.