Road Projects Status

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (348)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

348. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of progress towards delivering the Galway city bypass since approval was provided in 2018; the spend on the N6 Galway city transport project to date; the annual capital allocations for 2019, 2020 and 2021 for the project; the estimated completion date; the estimated final cost of the road; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30321/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. TII also manage and distribute the capital national roads programme budget allocated to them by my Department.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Road Projects

Ceisteanna (349)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

349. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be allocated in 2020 to enable the further design and development of an essential road project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30393/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

This year I gave an allocation of €100,000 to Cavan County Council to enable the Council to undertake a detailed project appraisal, in line with the current requirements in the Public Spending Code and the Capital Investment Framework, of the Cavan to Dundalk section of the proposed east-west route. The aim of this appraisal would be to assess the extent to which the scheme or elements of it can be justified in terms of appraisal and advanced for further consideration in relation to schemes for future development. Preparation of the appraisal is the responsibility of the Council.

Allocations for 2020 will not be decided on, or issued until early 2020.

Road Projects

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (350)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

350. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be allocated in 2020 towards the planning and design of an essential road project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30394/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Once funding arrangements have been put in place by my Department with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for TII, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. TII also manage and distribute the capital national roads programme budget.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Departmental Shareholdings

Ceisteanna (351)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

351. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide details of all entities in which she or her Department hold shares; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30178/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I can confirm to the Deputy that neither I, or my Department, are shareholders in any entity.

School Discipline

Ceisteanna (352)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

352. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla plans to inform schools that a reduced timetable put in place for a child is deemed a suspension under its 2008 guidelines and should be recorded and reported to Tusla and to schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30195/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guideline for Schools (NEWB, 2008) was published as part of the then NEWB’s overall strategy to support school attendance and participation. They were designed to provide support for schools in their work with students and their families to ensure that schools can maintain the best possible educational environment. The Guidelines were prepared with the help of an Expert Group, and wide-ranging inputs from management bodies, teacher unions, parent organisations, students, the Department of Education & Science (DES) and its agencies and services, non-governmental organisations, State agencies and many other contributors.

The existing guidelines state that “Exclusion of a student for part of the school day, as a sanction, or asking parents to keep a child from school, as a sanction, is a suspension. Any exclusion imposed by a school is a suspension, and should follow the guidelines relating to a suspension”. The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 requires that when a student is suspended from a recognised school for a period of not less than 6 days the school must inform an Educational Welfare Officer.

Tusla Educational Welfare Services (EWS) participated in the recent Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills examination of the matter of the use of reduced timetables in schools. My Department and the EWS are working closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have a lead role on this issue. It is important, however, to note that there are instances where, if agreed by all parties (the parents, child and the school) the use of a “reduced timetable” may, in certain exceptional circumstances, be deemed an appropriate short-term response to support a student’s continuation in education. In such instances it would be important that a record is maintained detailing such an agreed arrangement.

The issue of reduced timetables was the subject of a recent meeting of our National Advisory Council for Children and Young People wherein the range of issues, whereby these are used as sanctions, but in some cases supports, was considered. The National Advisory Council will continue to consider this issue and I intend to ensure that the perspectives of these experts would inform enhanced guidance which will be developed collaboratively by my Department, the Department of Education and Skills and Tusla Educational Welfare Services.

Child and Family Agency

Ceisteanna (353, 355)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

353. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the training and information provided for Tusla to enable it to recognise and support a child who has or potentially has ME; the difference between school phobia or school avoidance and the physiological presentation of ME; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

355. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the training and information provided to schools to enable them to recognise and support a child who has or potentially has ME (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30213/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 and 355 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, does not have a role in the diagnosis of medical conditions. Where a child is in the care of Tusla, the Agency will work to source any required supports to meet the child's identified needs, in collaboration with other bodies such as the HSE.

I am not in a position to comment on the training provided to schools. Matters relating to schooling are more appropriate for my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills.

Medical Conditions

Question No. 355 answered with Question No. 353.

Question No. 356 answered with Question No. 354.

Ceisteanna (354, 356)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

354. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if a child who has or may potentially have ME and-or is waiting for an appointment to diagnose or exclude ME using recognised diagnostic criteria will be protected (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30207/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

356. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if an assurance will be given that a child who has or potentially has ME will be referred to an appropriately knowledgeable paediatric service that is willing to diagnose the condition (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30214/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 354 and 356 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that I am not in a position to comment on the diagnosis, or treatment, of health conditions. Matters concerning the HSE, including hospital programmes that may be offered to children diagnosed with a condition, are more appropriate for the attention of my Cabinet colleague, the Minister for Health.

Question No. 355 answered with Question No. 353.
Question No. 356 answered with Question No. 354.

Family Resource Centres

Ceisteanna (357)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

357. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of family resources centres and the county in which each is located, in tabular form. [30216/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, administers the Family Resource Centre (FRC) Programme. There are currently 121 Family Resource Centres, which are funded under the Programme. Funding for the Programme has increased from €13.5m in 2017 to €18.0m this year.

In Budget 2019, I secured an increase of €1.5 million for the FRC Programme. This additional funding is being used to:

- Increase core funding to each of the 110 FRCs which existed pre-2018 by 5%.

- Employ an additional 17 Family Support Workers - one FRC in each of the 17 Tusla geographical areas will be allocated funding to employ a Family Support Worker.

- Fund the Family Resource Centre Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Programme.

As the operation of the Family Resource Centre Programme is a matter for Tusla, I have asked Tusla to provide the Deputy with the requested information directly.

School Discipline

Ceisteanna (358)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

358. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla plans to inform schools that putting in place a reduced timetable for a child is deemed a suspension under its 2008 guidelines and should be recorded and reported to Tusla and to schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30226/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guideline for Schools (NEWB, 2008) was published as part of the then NEWB’s overall strategy to support school attendance and participation. They were designed to provide support for schools in their work with students and their families to ensure that schools can maintain the best possible educational environment. The Guidelines were prepared with the help of an Expert Group, and wide-ranging inputs from management bodies, teacher unions, parent organisations, students, the Department of Education & Science (DES) and its agencies and services, non-governmental organisations, State agencies and many other contributors.

The existing guidelines state that “Exclusion of a student for part of the school day, as a sanction, or asking parents to keep a child from school, as a sanction, is a suspension. Any exclusion imposed by a school is a suspension, and should follow the guidelines relating to a suspension”. The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 requires that when a student is suspended from a recognised school for a period of not less than 6 days the school must inform an Educational Welfare Officer.

Tusla Educational Welfare Services (EWS) participated in the recent Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills examination of the matter of the use of reduced timetables in schools. My Department and the EWS are working closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have a lead role on this issue. It is important, however, to note that there are instances where, if agreed by all parties (the parents, child and the school) the use of a “reduced timetable” may, in certain exceptional circumstances, be deemed an appropriate short-term response to support a student’s continuation in education. In such instances it would be important that a record is maintained detailing such an agreed arrangement.

The issue of reduced timetables was the subject of a recent meeting of our National Advisory Council for Children and Young People wherein the range of issues, whereby these are used as sanctions, but in some cases supports, was considered. The National Advisory Council will continue to consider this issue and I intend to ensure that the perspectives of these experts would inform enhanced guidance which will be developed collaboratively by my Department, the Department of Education and Skills and Tusla Educational Welfare Services.