School Services Staff

Ceisteanna (185)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

185. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he and his officials have engaged with a union (details supplied) that represents school secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39269/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools.  I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment conditions and understand the issues they have raised.

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school. There are 91 schools in the C&C and ETB Sector who meet this criteria, based on the information currently available to this Department. This is an initial step and has taken immediate effect.

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools.  The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008.  These schemes have been superseded by the more extensive capitation grant schemes.  The current grant scheme was agreed in the context of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, published in 1991. 

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes.  It is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs. Where a school uses the grant funding for caretaking or secretarial purposes, any staff taken on to support those functions are employees of individual schools.  Specific responsibility for the pay and conditions rests with the school.

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration process in 2015. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 for staff and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 be phased in over that period.  This arbitration agreement covers the period up to 31 December 2019. 

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per hour in 2015 prior to the arbitration has from 1 January 2019, been paid €13 per hour which is a 50% increase in that individual’s hourly pay. 

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim. 

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the full current cost of the trade union’s claim. This is standard practice. 

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis. 

Officials from my Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to further explore the details of the pay claim as presented by FÓRSA and the nature of the industrial action.   

In these circumstances the industrial action by FÓRSA members is considered premature, not least because the period of the current arbitration agreement has not expired.  My officials are fully open to having further dialogue with FÓRSA once the survey work has been undertaken.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (186)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

186. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the school supports in place for a person (details supplied); the number of waiting lists for schools with special classes they are on; and when they will be provided with a place in a special class as recommended in the educational assessment. [39275/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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

Nearly one euro in every five of this budget, about €1.9 billion, is invested in supporting children with special educational needs in schools. 

Since 2011, the Government has increased the number of Special education teachers from 9,740 to over 13,400 and the number of Special Needs Assistants from 10,575 to 15,950. 

We have also increased the number of special classes from 548 in 2011 to 1,621 across the country now.  

In addition places in the 124 special schools for students with the most complex special educational needs have increased from 6,848 to 8,000 across the country now. 

This ensures that a continuum of special educational provision, including special class and special school placements, is made available for children with special educational needs, so that regardless of the level of need of the child, educational provision can be made for them. 

The greater proportion of children with special education needs attend mainstream class, where they may access additional supports, including additional teaching and SNA support, if required.  

But some students may find it difficult to manage full-time placement in mainstream and so placement in a Special Class or Special School setting is sometimes deemed more appropriate. 

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.  

This includes the establishment of special class and special school placements in various geographical areas where the NCSE identifies need. 

The NCSE have well established structures to ensure that advance planning is in place so that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing specialised placements. 

The NCSE team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist parents to identify appropriate educational placements for children with special educational needs and to discuss their child's special educational needs. The local SENO contact details are available on www.ncse.ie.  

The enrolment of a child to a school is a matter in the first instance for the parents/guardians of the child and the Board of Management of a school.   

My Department has no role either in making or deciding on enrolment applications to schools or keeping waiting lists. In these matters, schools are required to adhere to the requirements of relevant legislation and the policies of my department. 

Where there is no school placement available for a child with Special Educational Needs, funding for the provision of home tuition is available to Parents as an interim measure until a placement becomes available. The availability of a school placement is assessed by the local SENO having regard the relevant diagnosis and relevant professional report. 

As this question relates to a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (187)

John Brady

Ceist:

187. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of alternative suitable temporary accommodation for a school (details supplied); the stage the plans are at for the permanent school building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39289/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department is currently exploring alternative temporary accommodation for use by the school referred to by the Deputy.

In relation to permanent accommodation for the school, a project manager has been appointed to undertake the master planning of an existing school site to demonstrate how the accommodation needs of this school and the existing school already located on the site could be met. This process is ongoing.

My Department is continuing to keep the school authority updated on these matters.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (188)

John Brady

Ceist:

188. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements being made to ensure alternative suitable temporary accommodation for a school (details supplied) is provided in view of the fact that its existing temporary premises has now been sold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39290/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The facility in question is not a recognised school by my Department and the provision of accommodation does not come within the Department’s remit. I understand that the facility operates as an independent school.

School Management

Ceisteanna (189)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

189. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason schools are required to submit accounts on-line via an accountant to FSSU; the reason an individual school cannot file the figures directly to the unit by extracting the numbers from the profit and loss and balance sheet on an annual basis,which in some cases would save the school the added expense of hiring an accountant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39312/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

It is important to ensure that appropriate governance arrangements are in place for transparency and accountability in the management of public money.

Therefore, all Boards of Managements of schools are obliged to comply with Section 18 of the Education Act 1998 and the arrangements set out in my Department’s circulars 0060/2017 and 0002/2018 in relation to the operation of the Financial Services Support Unit (FSSU). This includes the submission of accounts to the FSSU by an external accountant/auditor who has a current Practising Certificate, Professional Indemnity Insurance and is registered with a prescribed accountancy body in the State.

The independence of an external accountant/auditor provides assurance to the Board and the State that the accounts are prepared in line with good accounting practice and standards.

Responsibility for procurement of an external accountant/auditor and payment of same rests with the Board of Management in respect of schools operated by them. Boards of Management should take a proactive approach when it comes to sourcing accountancy services in order to ensure best value is obtained and to ensure compliance with public procurement procedures. Schools Procurement Unit which has a national remit is available to advise and assist schools in relation to procurement matters.  The FSSU also provides assistance for schools when sourcing accountancy services.

School Transport Appeals

Ceisteanna (190)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

190. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the waiting time to have an appeal heard by the student transport appeal board for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39315/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.  In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018. 

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

The School Transport Appeals Board, which is independent of my Department, determines appeals against decisions made by, or on behalf of, the Department of Education and Skills regarding the provision of school transport services and/or grant-aid under the terms of the School Transport Schemes.  

An appeal was lodged with the School Transport Appeals Board on the 12th August 2019.

The Board has requested the School Transport Section of the Department of Education and Skills to provide a report in accordance with the terms of the Board’s Operating Procedures. When received, the Board will liaise directly with the family regarding the appeal date and their subsequent deliberations.

Schools Health and Safety

Ceisteanna (191)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

191. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a fire safety inspection of the former premises of a school (details supplied) in Bray, County Wicklow, will be commissioned to see if it complies with safety rules for use by another secondary school in future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39326/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the premises to which he refers is not in my Department's ownership and the Department will not be commissioning a fire safety inspection of the property.  

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (192)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

192. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for a special autism unit at national school level in Roscommon town, County Roscommon, to address and facilitate the needs of young children with autism in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39344/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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

Nearly one euro in every five of this budget, about €1.9 billion, is invested in supporting children with special educational needs in schools.

Since 2011, the Government has increased the number of Special education teachers from 9,740 to over 13,400 and the number of Special Needs Assistants from 10,575 to 15,950.

We have also increased the number of special classes from 548 in 2011 to 1,621 across the country now. 1,355 of these are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special classes.

In addition places in the 124 special schools for students with the most complex special educational needs have increased from 6,848 to 8,000 across the country now.

This ensures that a continuum of special educational provision, including special class and special school placements, is made available for children with special educational needs, so that regardless of the level of need of the child, educational provision can be made for them.

In Co. Roscommon, there is currently 1 special school and 22 special classes in mainstream schools, including 2 ASD Early Intervention classes, 12 primary ASD classes and 4 ASD post primary ASD classes.

The greater proportion of children with autism attend mainstream class, where they may access additional supports, including additional teaching and SNA support, if required.

But some students may find it difficult to manage full-time placement in mainstream and so placement in a Special Class or Special School setting is sometimes deemed more appropriate.

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.

This includes the establishment of special class and special school placements in various geographical areas where the NCSE identifies need.

The NCSE have well established structures to ensure that advance planning is in place so that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

It is open to any school to make application to the NCSE to establish a class where a need has been identified in their area.

In deciding where to establish 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. In this regard, the SENO will also approach individual schools in the area to discuss the matter with a view to finding the optimal location in terms of convenience and sustainability.

The NCSE team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise schools to plan for special class provision and to address issues in provision that may arise from time in time at local levels.

When the NCSE sanction a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to re-configure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation.

The NCSE Support Service delivers a range of professional development initiatives and support for teachers working with students with special educational needs in special classes.

Guidelines for Boards of Management and Principals of Primary and Post Primary schools contain information on setting up and organising special classes, including information on resources which may be provided to schools to establish special classes are available to download from www.ncse.ie.

As the Deputy's question relates to the NCSE planning for special class provision in a particular area I have arranged for the question to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.

School Transport Data

Ceisteanna (193)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

193. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills the average cost per child availing of the school bus programme on an annual basis; and the number of children attending primary and secondary school. [39377/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.  In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018. 

The current annual charge for transport is €100 per annum for primary children and €350 for post primary children with a maximum family charge of €220 for primary children or €650 overall. Children who are eligible for school transport and who hold valid medical cards (GMS Scheme) are exempt from paying the annual charge.

The average cost of providing transport for a child on the primary and post-primary school transport schemes is in the region of €1,000 per annum.

Tionscadail Tógála Scoileanna

Ceisteanna (194)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

194. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire den Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna an bhfuil aon phlean aige cúnamh a thabhairt do Scoil (sonraí thíos), le hathchóiriú a dhéanamh ar a cuid foirgneamh, ina measc, Halla Spóirt a chur ar fáil; agus cad é stádas an iarratais seo. [39378/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Tá áthas orm a dheimhniú gur cheadaigh mo Roinn oibreacha uasghrádaithe fuinneoige le déanaí faoin Scéim Oibreacha Samhraidh 2019 don scoil dá dtagraíonn an Teachta.

Chuir an tÚdarás Scoile iarratas isteach freisin ar Oibreacha Díonta (Catagóir 2) faoi Scéim Oibreacha Samhraidh ilbhliantúla mo Roinne (SWS) 2020 ar aghaidh. Ag teacht leis an leibhéal maoinithe atá ar fáil don SWS in 2020, déanfar iarratais a mheas ón mbarr anuas de réir na gcritéar tosaíochta atá leagtha amach i gCiorclán Rialaithe na Scéime.

Níl m'Oifig ag fáil iarratais ar mhaoiniú caipitil do halla spóirt sa scoil. Faoin bPlean Forbartha Náisiúnta (PFN), tá maoiniú méadaithe curtha ar fáil do chlár infheistíochta caipitil na hearnála scoile.

Ceadaíonn an maoiniú seo fócas leanúnach ar sholáthar áiteanna scoile buana nua chun coinneáil suas le héileamh déimeagrafach agus déanann sé foráil freisin do fhócas breise ar athchóiriú na bhfoirgneamh scoile atá ann cheana féin lena n-áirítear tógáil agus nuachóiriú saoráidí corpoideachais in iar-bhunscoileanna.

Is é tosaíocht láithreach mo Roinne ná 20,000 áit scoile nua agus athsholáthair a chur ar fáil gach bliain, chun a chinntiú go bhfuil áit scoile ag gach páiste.

Díreoidh an rialtas sa mheántéarma ar sholáthar na n-áiseanna corpoideachais in iar-bhunscoileanna.

Schools Refurbishment

Ceisteanna (195)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

195. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide a retrofitting programme for education facilities, including primary, secondary, and third-level to ensure that they become more energy efficient and sustainable. [39379/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland are currently involved in an energy efficiency retrofit pilot scheme for schools.  Now in its third year, the aim of the pilot is to create a scalable model for energy efficiency retrofitting of schools.

This is taking place in advance of the major programme of retrofits scheduled to commence in 2022, as outlined in Project Ireland 2040. It is intended to expand the intake of schools in the pilot programme in the lead up to 2022. However, it is too early at this stage to say how many schools will be involved with this programme.

This pilot commenced in 2017 when ten schools received energy retrofits.  In 2018 six schools received retrofits and seventeen schools are set to benefit from this scheme in 2019.

As part of the higher education capital programme, an upgrade and refurbishment programme is being advanced for the sector.  This includes investments that will deliver significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency.  Major projects approved under this programme to date include an upgrade of the North and South Blocks in Dundalk Institute of Technology and upgrade of Blocks K & L in IT Sligo.

Higher Education Authority Funding

Ceisteanna (196)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

196. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received a request for funding for the renovation of the Kane Science Building in UCC; and the consideration given to it. [39380/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In the 2017 HEA Review of Higher Education Capital requirements, UCC had listed the Cork University Business School (CUBS) building as its first priority for funding, with the Kane Science Building listed as its third priority project. 

The CUBS project has recently secured approval in principle for an allocation of €25m from my Department under the Higher Education Strategic Infrastructure Fund.  This allocation, along with the proposed HE PPP building in CIT for which a planning application was recently lodged, shows the Government’s continued commitment under Project Ireland 2040 to higher education in the region.  

My Department will continue to engage with UCC in relation to its campus development plans.

Schools Facilities

Ceisteanna (197)

James Lawless

Ceist:

197. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of consent to a school (details supplied) to apply to Kildare County Council for planning permission for a sports facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department has recently been in contact with the Patron of the school referred to by the Deputy in relation to this matter.

Special Educational Needs Data

Ceisteanna (198)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

198. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills the ASD units in schools in County Meath. [39390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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

Nearly one euro in every five of this budget, about €1.9 billion, is invested in supporting children with special educational needs in schools. 

Since 2011, the Government has increased the number of Special education teachers from 9,740 to over 13,400 and the number of Special Needs Assistants from 10,575 to 15,950. 

We have also increased the number of special classes from 548 in 2011 to 1,621 across the country now. 1,355 of these are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special classes. 

In addition places in the 124 special schools for students with the most complex special educational needs have increased from 6,848 to 8,000 across the country now. 

This ensures that a continuum of special educational provision, including special class and special school placements, is made available for children with special educational needs, so that regardless of the level of need of the child, educational provision can be made for them. 

In Co. Meath, there are currently 3 special schools and 66 special classes in mainstream schools, including 2 ASD Early Intervention classes, 42 primary ASD classes and 18 ASD post primary ASD classes. 

Details of all special classes for children with special educational needs are available in tabular form by county on the NCSE website at https://ncse.ie/special-classes.

The NCSE team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist parents to identify appropriate educational placements for children with special educational needs and to discuss their child's special educational needs. The local SENO contact details are available on www.ncse.ie.  

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) also assist and advise schools to plan for special class provision and to address issues in provision that may arise from time in time at local levels.

Death-in-Service Benefits

Ceisteanna (199)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

199. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a death-in-service payment case ongoing for nine months (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39393/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has recently sanctioned the payment of benefits in respect of the case referenced by the Deputy.  This matter took longer than usual to resolve, and I regret any distress this may have caused to the relatives of the deceased.  May I take this opportunity to offer them my condolences at this sad and difficult time.

School Transport Data

Ceisteanna (200)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

200. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of school children that avail of school buses at both primary and secondary level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39411/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department. In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

Bus Éireann is continuing to allocate seats for the current school year so the number of children availing of transport for the 2019/2020 school year is not yet finalised but the number is expected to be slightly higher than for the 2018/2019 school year.

Teaching Qualifications

Ceisteanna (201)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

201. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) with bachelor degrees from the United States of America is required to contact each individual statutory authority relative to each academia in order to be recognised here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39415/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the State Agency responsible for maintaining the National Framework of Qualifications, operates NARIC Ireland – the National Academic Recognition Information Centre. NARIC Ireland is responsible for providing advice on the recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland and provides comparability statements for a number of qualifications from various countries, including the United States of America.  These statements place foreign qualifications in the context of the Irish education and training system. These statements may be downloaded from the NARIC website at http://www.naric.ie.

It should be noted that the profession of psychologist is regulated in Ireland for the purposes of working in the publicly funded health service.  The Department of Health is designated as the Irish competent authority for this profession. Details on the qualification requirements and recognition processes for this profession are available from the Department of Health’s website at the following link: http://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Information-note.pdf.

If a person is seeking to pursue further studies in Ireland on the basis of their foreign qualifications, the recognition of the qualifications for this purpose is a matter for the Higher Education Institution (HEI) with whom they plan to study. Information on this process is available directly from the HEIs.

School Placement

Ceisteanna (202)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

202. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children that travel out of Donabate, County Dublin to attend secondary school outside the area; the number of children that travel into Donabate to attend secondary school over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39426/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The following reply is the same as that previously provided under PQ 20661/19 as there has been no material change since that date. 

The information is not readily available in the format requested by the Deputy. However, the following information can be provided in relation to this matter.

As the Deputy will be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise.

There is one post-primary school in the Donabate school planning area. Donabate Community College is a 1,000 pupil capacity post-primary school established in 2008, and has a 2018/2019 school year enrolment in the region of 760 pupils. At post-primary level, the average intake pattern in the Donabate school planning area over the last three years was some 90%.  This suggests that a proportion of pupils who attended primary school in the Donabate school planning area did not attend post-primary school in the area in those years.

The Deputy might wish to note that such movement between school planning areas in relation to attendance at primary or post-primary schools is not unusual. A range of factors including parental choice, ethos, language, school location and commuting patterns can influence intake patterns.

Departmental Records

Ceisteanna (203)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

203. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a copy of all correspondence between him and-or his office and-or his advisers and other offices or personnel in his Department regarding a school in County Tipperary will be provided from 1 May 2016 to 22 September 2016 in chronological order. [39431/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Records such as this are not routinely retrieved and compiled to be provided outside of Freedom of Information requests. Requests for access to records may be submitted under Freedom of Information legislation, to be dealt with by my Department as normal.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (204)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

204. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide additional funding to a school (details supplied) to fit out its classrooms with the necessary furniture and appropriate materials for children with special needs following his Department issuing the school with a notice pursuant to section 37A of the Education Act 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39530/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that funding has been approved by my Department, in respect of the school in question, to provide necessary furniture and equipment for the new class.  This funding is comprised of a once-off lump sum grant (€6,500 per class) towards the purchase of educational aids and equipment for special needs pupils enrolled in that class, a Loose Furniture and Equipment Grant, and an ICT grant. 

Devolved grants such as the one-off lump sum grant allow individual school authorities the means to address their specific priorities with a guaranteed amount of funding and gives them self-determining control of their expenditure.