Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (84)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

84. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school building project (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26965/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The major building project referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of architectural planning Stage 2b (Detailed Design), which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been secured.

The Design Team has confirmed that it is working on finalising the Stage 2b report ensuring it will be a "Near Zero Energy Building" (NZEB) in compliance with the 2017 amendment to Part L of the current Building Regulations.

Upon completion, receipt and review of the Stage 2(b) submission, my Department will be in contact with the school regarding the progression of the project at that time.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (85)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

85. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will report on his recent visit and engagements in the UAE. [26967/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

This question relates to my recent Education Trade Mission to the UAE.

While in the UAE, I engaged with 450 Irish teachers at two meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These meetings gave me the opportunity to hear the challenges facing these teachers and also gave them a chance to offer practical solutions to some issues.

The meetings allowed me in my role as Minister, to meet with these teachers and discuss first hand with them the challenges they face in returning to Ireland, and to consider ways that we can work together, to support them, when and if they decide to return to work in Ireland.

To facilitate this, teachers volunteered to form a group to liaise on the identified issues with the embassy and my Department. Arrangements are being made for the first meeting of this group in the autumn.

During my visit I also had a number of productive meetings which will further develop and enhance the cooperation that presently exists between Ireland and the UAE in the Higher Education area.

The Irish education system plays a key role in forging crucial global relationships and building international outlook and awareness. One of the core ambitions of my Government’s International Education Strategy, ‘Irish Educated, Globally Connected’ is to support the development of internationally-oriented, globally competitive institutions and this visit has assisted us in delivering on this ambition.

I met with my counterpart the UAE Minister for Education H.E. Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, where we discussed some of the mutual common challenges that we face in our respective education systems and agreed that we will work together through the exchange of information and through collaboration to address these challenges.

I also visited a number of UAE Higher education Institutions such as Khalifa University and the City University College of Ajman (CUCA) where I had the opportunity to promote the Irish Higher Education Sector and had very fruitful discussions on how to increase the level of Academic, Research, Staff and student exchange between Higher Education Institutions in both Countries.

While in Dubai I attend a business breakfast of the Irish business Network to highlight possibilities of partnerships between Irish and UAE educational institutions and to meet with key Irish business community members.

I also visited RCSI and Mohamed Bin Rashid University in the Mohamed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre. RCSI are present in Dubai since 2005 offering post graduate education, training and consultancy in leadership, management, patient safety and quality. A strong connection already exists through the RCSI Alumni network and my visit was to strengthen this relationship as Minister for Education and Skills in Ireland.

I want to thank the Irish ambassador and his staff in the Embassy, the local Irish groups, including the GAA, and the Irish living in the UAE for the work they did to make this visit a success.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (86)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

86. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will report on his recent meeting with a union (details supplied). [26968/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I and officials from my Department recently met with FÓRSA representatives to discuss a range of issues in the education and training sector. This forms part of the ongoing and regular dialogue between my Department and union representatives.

School Curriculum

Ceisteanna (87)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

87. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the NCCA will report on the updating of the sex education curriculum; and when its recommendations will be implemented. [26969/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In April 2018, a review of Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE) in schools was announced. This review is currently underway by the NCCA and covers both the content of RSE curriculum and support materials, as well as the delivery of the curriculum to students.

Included in the areas for particular consideration during the review are:

- Consent, what it means and its importance

- Developments in contraception

- Healthy, positive sexual expression and relationships

- Safe use of the internet

- Social media and its effects on relationships and self-esteem

- LGBTQ+ matters.

Given the scope of the request, the review is comprised of three inter-related dimensions

1. Desk-top review of recently published research/studies in this area.

2. Consultations with key individuals and organisations who have responsibility for or who are working in this area.

3. Working directly with schools to examine the experience of RSE in schools and in classrooms.

A review of research was commissioned in June 2018 and a report on this was published in November 2018.

A consultative event was held on 27 November 2018 at Collins Barracks, Dublin and involved approximately 60 groups and organisations who have expressed an interest in or who are known to have an interest in contributing to the review.

Approximately 20 primary and post primary schools, representing a range of school types and experiences are directly involved in the review. Consultations are taking place with students, parents and teachers.

The NCCA Council are due to consider a draft of the report. When agreed by the Council, the report will form the basis of a further round of public consultation this year, after which the NCCA Council will agree a final report to be sent to the Minister.

Apprenticeship Data

Ceisteanna (88, 89, 90, 91)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

88. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the apprenticeship population by individual apprenticeship programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26997/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

89. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the projected apprenticeship population for 2020 and 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26998/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

90. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of female apprentices enrolled in apprenticeships; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26999/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

91. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of persons with a disability enrolled in apprenticeships; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27000/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 to 91, inclusive, together.

Details in respect of the current apprentice population, including apprentices with disabilities and the projected population figures for 2020 & 2021 are set out in the attached tabular statements.

Active Apprentice Population by Trade and Gender as at end of May 2019

Trade

Female

Male

Total

Auctioneering & Property Services

27

31

58

Laboratory Technician

10

5

15

Brick and Stonelaying

195

195

Cabinet Making

2

2

Carpentry and Joinery

8

1,532

1,540

Painting and Decorating

5

104

109

Plastering

87

87

Plumbing

4

1,783

1,787

Stonecutting and Stonemasonry

23

23

Wood Manufacturing and Finishing

1

233

234

Aircraft Mechanics

10

167

177

Electrical

30

5,589

5,619

Electrical Instrumentation

7

388

395

Electronic Security Systems

2

148

150

Industrial Electrical Eng

1

57

58

Instrumentation

1

49

50

Refrigeration

360

360

Farriery

27

27

Industrial Insulation

43

43

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 6)

5

70

75

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 7)

3

52

55

M.A.M.F.

5

601

606

Metal Fabrication

1

762

763

Pipefitting

1

145

146

Polymer Processing Tech

1

41

42

Sheet Metalworking

141

141

Toolmaking

233

233

Accounting Technician

104

71

175

Insurance Practice

72

118

190

International Financial Services Associate

8

19

27

International Financial Services Specialist

7

17

24

Butcher

1

13

14

Chef de Partie

7

21

28

Commis Chef

14

77

91

ICT Associate Professional Network Technician

6

45

51

ICT Associate Professional Software Developer

11

52

63

Logistics

9

18

27

Agricultural Mechanics

148

148

Construction Plant Fitting

243

243

Heavy Vehicle Mechanics

1

543

544

Motor Mechanics

12

1,310

1,322

Vehicle Body Repairs

2

161

163

Print Media

6

6

Grand Total

376

15730

16106

Projected Population for Craft Apprentices:

Year

Totals

2020

21000

2021

23500

Special Educational Needs Data

Ceisteanna (92, 93)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

92. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of designated special classes for children with autism here; the cost of providing classes; the staff complement in each class; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27014/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

93. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of teachers that will be required and the estimated extra cost that will be associated with providing each designated special class for children with autism here with an extra teacher; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27015/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 and 93 together.

At present, the Department of Education and Skills is investing heavily in supporting our children with special educational needs, with €1.8bn being spent annually, about €1 in every 5 of the education budget.

Investment in this area includes an allocation of over €300 million towards providing additional resources specifically to support students with Autism in schools.

The number of Special Education Teachers has increased by 37% from 9,740 in 2011 to over 13,400, Special Needs Assistants by 42% - from 10,575 in 2011 to 15,000, as well as 83 Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs).

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local SENOs, in consultation with the relevant education partners, is responsible for identifying the need for and sanctioning the resourcing of special classes and special school placements in various geographical areas where there is an identified need.

It is open to any school to make an application to the NCSE for the establishment of a specialised provision and where sanctioned, there is a range of supports including capital funding available to the school.

There are now 1,459 special classes in place, compared to 548 in 2011, including 1,196 special classes cater for students diagnosed with ASD – 131 Early Intervention, 743 Primary and 322 Post-primary.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) have advised that for the 2019/20 school year there will be a total of 1,618 special classes of which 1,353 will be for children diagnosed with autism.

124 special schools also provide specialist education for those students with complex special educational needs.

An additional 1,353 teachers would be required should an extra teacher be provided in each autism class from 2019/2020 school year, resulting in an additional estimated cost of €45.7m per annum at primary level and €17.2 m per annum at post-primary level.

Special classes for students with ASD provide 6 placements and are staffed with a lower pupil–teacher ratio of 6:1 at primary level and 6:1.5 at post primary level, and also have a minimum of two Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) for every class of 6 children.

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for Government.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (94)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

94. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the number of special needs assistants is being reduced in a school (details supplied). [27036/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

National Training Fund

Ceisteanna (95, 96)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

95. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of revenue collected by the national training fund levy in each of the years 2015 to 2018; the amount spent from the national training fund in each of the years 2015 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27044/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

96. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated revenue generated from the national training fund levy in 2019; the estimated spend from the national training fund in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27045/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 96 together.

The information sought is set out in the attached table.

It should be noted that, while the National Training Fund (NTF) does not form part of my Department's Vote, the NTF is included as an annex to the published Estimates and such funding has been included in the overall expenditure ceiling for my Department since 2011. The operation of the EU Fiscal Rules and the inclusion of the NTF in my Department's overall annual expenditure ceiling mean that, in the absence of an increased rate of contribution, additional expenditure cannot be sourced from the NTF without a corresponding drop in Exchequer expenditure. Increases in the rate of the levy in 2018 and 2019 has enabled additional expenditure from the Fund in those years.

NATIONAL TRAINING FUND:- Income and Expenditure 2015-2019

2015

2016

2017

2018

Provisional

2019

Estimate

TOTAL INCOME

364,000,000

390,000,000

431,000,000

565,500,000

684,824,000

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

334,210,109

344,411,184

357,230,143

415,393,217

485,640,000

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (97)

Helen McEntee

Ceist:

97. Deputy Helen McEntee asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the number of special needs assistants in a school (details supplied) is being reduced from four to three; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27047/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (98)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

98. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a special classroom in being closed in a school (details supplied). [27048/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory function to plan and co-ordinate the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs, in consultation with the relevant education partners and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

This includes the establishment of special class and special school placements in various geographical areas where there is an identified need.

In deciding where to establish or close a special class in an area, the NCSE take account of the current and projected demand and the available school accommodation both current and planned.

The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

As the Deputy's question relates to a particular school, I have arranged for the question to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.