School Enrolments

Ceisteanna (116)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

116. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will receive guidance on an enrolment anomaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7591/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In relation to school admissions, parents can choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary.

This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice.

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 provides for an appeal by a parent or guardian to the Secretary General of my Department, or in the case of an Educational Training Board (ETB) school to the ETB in the first instance, where a Board of Management of a school, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, refuses to enrol a student in a school, expels a student or suspends a student for 20 or more days in any school year. Further information on the Section 29 appeals process is available on the Department's website www.education.ie.

The Education Welfare Service of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school place for their child. The EWS can be contacted at 01-7718500.

Gender Equality

Ceisteanna (117)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

117. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of all gender discrimination proceedings involving female lecturers at NUI Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7625/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

NUI Galway is an autonomous body within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997. Under the Act, the University is an autonomous body for the purposes of staffing, appointments and dispute resolution in relation to personnel matters subject to the provisions of the Equal Status Acts 2010-2015 and other general employment legislation.  Therefore, I am not in a position to comment on the status of any proceedings of the type referred to by the Deputy.

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (118)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

118. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the preparedness of his Department in the context of the incoming general data protection regulation, GDPR, EU 2016/679; if staff in his Department have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing on the GDPR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7644/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department has established a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Readiness project. As part of this project my Department is currently undertaking work to ensure that it will be compliant with the GDPR.

In June 2017, my Department assigned an interim Data Protection Office (DPO) whose role is to inform and advise staff of my Department who carry out processing of personal data of their obligations pursuant to the GDPR and to other data protection provisions.

To date a number of information events on the GDPR have been held for the staff of my Department. My Department is currently assessing how best it can meet the training requirements of all of its staff in connection the GDPR.   

My Department has also organised advanced training in data protection for example on Data Projection Impact Assessments (DPIA) for a number of its staff. It is the intention of my Department to extend this training to other staff as the need arises.

Departmental Properties

Ceisteanna (119)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

119. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills the person or body that owns a building (details supplied) and its grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7657/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The property referred to by the Deputy is not in my ownership. In common with other buildings of its kind, there is a charging lease in place on the property dated 21 January 1960 for 99 years to protect the State's investment in the property.

In circumstances where a property has ceased to be used as a school, and a request is received from the property owner to release the State's interest secured under a charging lease, such requests are considered in the context of the specific circumstances which pertain to the individual property.

I can confirm that my Department has not received a request from the property owners to release my interest in this property.  Queries in relation to the property should be directed to the property owner in the first instance.

School Completion Programme

Ceisteanna (120)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

120. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of pupils who completed the leaving certificate who commenced second level education in each of the years 2005 to 2012; the completion rates which these represent; the areas with the lowest completion rates in each of those years; the outcome of analysis undertaken on poor completion rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7683/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Second Level school completion rates are published by my Department in the annual report titled ‘Retention Rates of Pupils in Second Level Schools’. These reports can be found on my Department's website at: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Statistical-Reports/Other-Statistical-Reports.html. In the most recently published data, 91.2% of students who entered secondary education in 2010 sat their Leaving Certificate.

Retention rates by area, from 1996 to 2010, are published by Administrative County, County, Region and Nationally. A detailed breakdown of the analysis is available on my Department’s Education Statistics Database at: http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Database/eirestat/Key%20Indicators/Key%20Indicators_statbank.asp?SP=Key%20Indicators&Planguage=0&ProductID=DB_ED

This latest analysis of the 2010 cohort show particularly significant improvements in retention rates in schools in the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) scheme. The gap in retention rates to Leaving Certificate between DEIS and non-DEIS schools continues to narrow, halving from 16.8% for the 2001 cohort to 8.5% for the 2010 cohort.

Across Europe the average number of adults aged 20-24 who have completed upper secondary education is 83.1%. We are significantly ahead of that figure at 93.6%, placing Ireland second highest across the 28 EU member states.

School Completion Programme

Ceisteanna (121)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

121. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to improve supports to help students remain in school and complete the leaving certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7684/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The School Completion Programme forms an integral part of Tusla's educational welfare service and has the aim of increasing the numbers of young people remaining in primary and second level education and in doing so improving the numbers of pupils who successfully complete Senior Cycle. The programme is a key support for schools under the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme. My Department has requested Tusla to contact the Deputy directly with further details regarding the School Completion Programme.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (122)

John Lahart

Ceist:

122. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department is examining proposals for building works at a school (details supplied) in view of the concern of the school community in this DEIS one area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7686/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy is aware, a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department's six-year Construction Programme.

The next stage involves the preparation of the project brief. This is part of the preparatory work required to facilitate the progression of the project into the architectural planning process and my Department will be in further contact with the school in this regard.

Schools Refurbishment

Ceisteanna (123)

John Lahart

Ceist:

123. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of his Department's contacts with the management of a school (details supplied) in respect of urgently required works; if funding will be made available for these works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7687/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department contacted the principal of the school in question earlier this week to ascertain if cost estimates had been secured for the proposed insulation works. The principal advised that cost estimates are awaited from the school's Consultant and will be furnished to my Department when available. The matter will be considered further following receipt of response from the school.