National Development Plan Data

Ceisteanna (132)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

132. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount granted historically to Ireland specifically for use under national development plans; the breakdown of the funding by Department in the context of their Project Ireland 2040 ambitions; if a schedule and amount per Department will be set out by year in the context of future release of funds until 2040; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47092/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I understand the Deputy is referring to the National Development Plan (NDP), which was launched alongside the National Planning Framework (NPF) as part of Project Ireland 2040 in February 2018.

The current national development plan is the fifth since 1989. The first three were framed in response to EU requirements for Structural Funds assistance. The fourth National Development Plan, intended to cover the period 2007 to 2013, was curtailed as a result of the economic downturn.

The current NDP adopts a new approach, that relates funding allocations to the National Strategic Outcomes identified in the National Planning Framework, under the umbrella of Project Ireland 2040.

The NDP sets out the investment priorities that will underpin the successful implementation of Ireland’s infrastructural commitments in the NPF by ensuring that public capital investment is clearly aligned to the delivery of the objectives and priorities detailed in the NPF. The NDP commits €116 billion of capital spending over the period from 2018 to 2027, with the Exchequer funding allocation for public capital investment over the period amounting to €91 billion.

The NDP set out expenditure allocations by Department covering the period 2018 to 2022 in Annex 1 and also sets out the aggregate capital expenditure split between Exchequer and non-Exchequer for the period 2018 to 2027.

Departmental allocations have been updated in Budget 2020 for the period up to 2022 as follows:

-

2020

2021

2022

-

€m

€m

€m

AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND THE MARINE

274

265

275

BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION

632

640

715

CHILDREN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

31

32

33

COMMUNICATIONS, CLIMATE ACTION AND ENVIRONMENT

372

517

611

CULTURE, HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT

81

80

110

DEFENCE

113

120

125

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

922

1,006

1,100

EMPLOYMENT AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

15

16

17

FINANCE GROUP

22

18

19

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE GROUP

13

13

14

HEALTH

854

880

880

HOUSING, PLANNING, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

2,230

2,269

2,280

JUSTICE AND EQUALITY GROUP

265

208

216

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND REFORM GROUP

219

223

232

RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

150

152

175

TRANSPORT, TOURISM AND SPORT

1,943

2,613

2,424

TOTAL GROSS CAPITAL EXPENDITURE CEILINGS*

8,136

9,052

9,226

UNALLOCATED RESERVE

109

109

* Rounding effects totals

The plan makes no funding commitments beyond 2027. A full mid-term review of the NDP will be undertaken in 2022, to allow Government to:

• take stock of progress in terms of delivery of the planned projects and programmes; and

• review and reaffirm investment priorities of Government.

The review will be carried out in order to prepare and publish a new updated 10-year plan for public capital investment in 2023, covering the period 2023 to 2032.

Public Sector Staff Data

Ceisteanna (133)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

133. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the projected cost to transition to a four-day work week without loss of pay in the public sector. [47205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Projecting detailed costs of transitioning to a four day week without loss of pay in the public sector would depend on a number of factors including:

- The amount of reduced working hours

- The distribution of the reduced hours

- How frontline services were treated

- The impact on overtime expenditure, premia payments and allowances

- The impact on agency expenditure

- The potential productivity increase per public sector worker

The projected cost sought in this request would require detailed HR data on the 337,000 Full Time Equivalent public servants including: grade; point on scale; work pattern; standard hours worked per week; usual hour worked per week; allowances; overtime; premia payments. This data is not available to the Department.

The total pay bill estimated in Budget 2020 is €19.6 billion. Assuming that transitioning to a four day week would result in a need to replace one-fifth of public service working hours, the estimated cost would be €3.9 billion. However, given the issues outlined above, it is likely that the cost could exceed this.

Some of these issues were highlighted in my department’s 2017 Staff Paper ‘Estimating the Value of Additional Hours Worked: Haddington Road and Croke Park Agreements’, which I have attached below in a link for your information.

Finally, depending on implementation, there could be wider costs to society as a whole from a decision to transition to a 4 day week in the public service, for example increased childcare costs for families to replace an existing school day. The potential effects on the broader labour market, economy and national competitiveness would also need to be examined.

Estimating the Value of Additional Hours Worked - HRA and CPA

Public Sector Staff Data

Ceisteanna (134)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

134. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated number of additional jobs that would be created in the public sector by a transition to a four day work week. [47206/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have responsibility for the non-pay terms and conditions for the Civil Service. Other Ministers are responsible for the non-pay terms and conditions in the wider public service.

The campaign for a 4 day week relates to a significant change to working time in Ireland for the entire workforce - Civil Service, wider public sector and private sector. In terms of the Civil Service position as an employer in relation to the 4 day week, significant research would need to be undertaken as to the feasibility of this, taking into consideration factors such as service provision to the public and any potential additional costs to the Exchequer, including as you mention, whether it would result in any additional headcount being required.

The Civil Service is currently a leading employer in the field of flexible working. Approximately 17% of the Civil Service workforce are currently on flexible work arrangements that include work-sharing and shorter worker year. Civil servants can also apply for career breaks which allows us, the Civil Service, to retain staff in cases where they need some time away from work to focus on other opportunities. Some departments also offer e-working.

Public Sector Staff Redeployment

Ceisteanna (135)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

135. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of a request by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47326/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Civil Service Mobility scheme, which comes under the remit of my Department, is administered through HR Shared Services, National Shared Service Office (NSSO). There is an agreed sequencing arrangement in place for the scheme which is applied on a nationwide basis. This means that organisations can use different methods for filling vacancies in various locations provided they meet their quota under the nationwide sequence. The specific arrangements, timing etc., for the filling of vacancies is a matter for individual organisations and neither officials from my Department or NSSO can intervene in this process.

Ms. Walsh could contact the Local HR office(s) in the organisation(s) she has applied to, as they will be in a better position to advise on her query. ‘Mobility Contact Emails’ can be found under Useful Links on the Mobility website

https://hr.per.gov.ie/civil-service-mobility/

Garda Stations

Ceisteanna (136)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

136. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when a car park will be constructed at a Garda station (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47577/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I can confirm that the Office of Public Works (OPW) received an enquiry from local Gardaí about developing the parking facilities at the Garda Station in question. A quotation for the work was provided to Garda Estate Management (GEM), which must approve funding before the work can be scheduled by OPW for delivery.

GEM has confirmed that the proposed car park works remain under consideration in the context of the Divisional accommodation priorities for Cork West for 2020.

Flood Relief Schemes

Ceisteanna (137)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

137. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will meet with a group (details supplied) and visit an area to witness the urgent need for a flood relief scheme in Buncrana, County Donegal; the reason he has indicated that funding will not be released until previous Donegal County Council flood schemes have progressed in view of the fact that many existing schemes are held up by the council for various reasons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47653/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

A total of 118 flood relief projects were identified in the Flood Risk Management Plans that I announced in May 2018 to protect the main flood risk areas throughout the country. Fifteen projects were identified in County Donegal arising from these Plans. As there is a significant resource commitment involved in the delivery of such an ambitious programme of investment it is not possible to implement all of the projects at the one time.

Following consultation and discussions between the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Donegal County Council (DCC), six of the Donegal projects were identified and are being progressed in the first phase of implementation

While the proposed project for Buncrana is not in the initial phase of projects to be advanced I can assure the Deputy that the OPW and DCC will work closely to ensure that the project will be progressed as early as possible in the coming years and within the 10 year timeframe for the national programme of investment.

I am always happy to meet with residents and community groups in relation to flooding issues and I understand that arrangements are being finalised for me to visit Donegal over the coming weeks.

Flood Relief Schemes Status

Ceisteanna (138)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

138. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the measures that will be put in place to protect homeowners and mitigate the risk posed by flooding in Donegal town in future in view of recurring episodes of flooding in the town, the latest of which occurred on 4 October 2019 when water from the River Eske breached its banks; if a dedicated budget for such measures has been sanctioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47806/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Fifteen projects were identified in County Donegal under the Flood Risk Management Plans that I announced in May 2018. Following consultation and discussions between the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Donegal County Council (DCC), six of the Donegal projects were selected and are being progressed in the first phase of implementation.

The proposed project in Donegal town, at an estimated cost of €8.5m, consists of flood water storage and a series of flood embankments and walls, which will provide flood protection to approximately 73 properties when completed.

While the proposed project for Donegal town is not in the first phase of projects to be progressed, the OPW and DCC will work closely to ensure that it will be commenced as early as possible in the coming years and within the 10 year timeframe for the programme of investment.

An application from DCC for a project at Donegal town under the OPW's Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme is currently under consideration and Donegal County Council will be notified of the decision shortly.

Schools Building Projects Expenditure

Ceisteanna (139, 166)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

139. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the €40 million spent on remedial work at education facilities was paid for; if it was allocated in budget 2019; if not, if the €40 million has come from within the Department of Education and Skills capital envelope in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47258/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

166. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the €40 million in remedial work for education facilities was paid for; if the €40 million came from within the education capital envelope in 2019; if so, the projects from which the €40 million came from; if the projects were delayed as a result of the reallocation; if not, the reason the project has not been delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47259/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 166 together.

Safety is the number one priority for my Department since the structural and fire safety issues, which are the subject matter of the Deputy’s Parliamentary Questions, arose and I am pleased to be able to inform him that significant progress has been made on the remediation programme for the 40 schools involved.

A substantial programme of remediation work took place during the summer months in relation to these 40 schools and plans are well advanced for the next phases of the programme.

Over the summer, permanent remediation work was carried out in 14 schools, which enabled the removal of precautionary measures from those schools in full. Partial structural remediation was carried out in another school. Structural remediation work for another 6 schools is advancing since October.

Planned detailed structural investigations were carried out in 17 schools over the summer months also and, based on engineering advice, precautionary measures and other engineering solutions were put in place in parts of 13 of those schools before they reopened after the summer holidays.

As well as this, a solution has been devised for Ardgillan Community College. The design phase for this work is progressing and the project will move to delivery when this is completed.

The bulk of the remainder of the Schools Remediation Programme is scheduled to be undertaken on a phased basis over 2020 and 2021 and work is well underway in my Department to underpin this. Details will continue to be communicated to the schools as my Department’s plans develop and progress.

About €40m has been spent this year up to the end of quarter 3 2019 on the remediation programme, covering the cost of investigations, precautionary measures, fire safety upgrades and structural repairs.

The cost to date is less than was initially estimated and this is largely due to the well-managed way in which the remediation programme has been handled.

The Public Spending Code requires Government Departments to make contingency provision within their overall capital programme to meet any unforeseen demands or additional costs which might emerge for the capital programme as a whole.

In accordance with this requirement, the cost for the schools remediation programme is being met to date through a contingency provision as part of the increased 2019 capital budget of €942m and also from the reduced funding requirement for the multi-annual capital development in TU Dublin Grangegorman following the sale of DIT Kevin Street. This approach does not undermine our commitment to planned school construction projects being delivered over the course of 2018, 2019 and 2020 which will provide 70,000 school places and the 29 building projects being progressed at third level.

It is my Department’s intention to pursue the original contractor, using all available contractual and legal channels, for the cost of implementing precautionary measures and remediation works in each of the schools. Two cases are currently before the Commercial Court. Those are for Ardgillan Community College and Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School. My Department continues to liaise with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office on the on-going legal process related to the 40 schools built by the contractor.

Apprenticeship Programmes

Ceisteanna (140)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

140. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to encourage the provisions and uptake of apprenticeships in green skills, for example those required in retrofitting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47826/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

National apprenticeships play an important role in developing skills to support sustainable building and energy practices. Curricula in apprenticeships are being updated on an ongoing basis to keep pace with changes in building practices and building regulations. Sustainability and energy efficiency were key topics of recent curricular reviews of construction apprenticeship programmes, including Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry and Joinery, Stonecutting & Stonemasonry and Brick & Stonelaying and relevant skills are now included in the programmes. New apprenticeships being developed in wind turbine maintenance and scaffolding will include best practice in green technology.

The All of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption contains actions relevant to education and training in the area of retrofitting and my Department is engaging with partner Departments and agencies to ensure delivery.

Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) Skills Specifications have been developed by Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board with support from a range of organisations, including third level institutions, construction sector representative bodies, Government Departments and other agencies. The specifications cover areas such as airtightness and fabric and ventilation for new build and retrofitting of existing buildings. A dedicated NZEB Training centre is now established in Wexford and is currently providing 10 NZEB training programmes to existing construction workers in areas such as plumbing, electrical, bricklaying, carpentry and plastering. As of the end of October 2019, 322 people received NZEB training.

Construction skills are also being targeted through Springboard, further education and training programmes and other initiatives. A number of current traineeship programmes include components that are relative to eco-friendly/sustainable training topics including traineeships in wind turbine maintenance and interior systems.

In addition, the Generation Apprenticeship competition 2019-2020, which has been extended to second level schools, has a sustainability theme. The second level teams will enter designs that are made from landfill materials, and there will be prizes for second level and apprentice teams that demonstrate potential and commitment to sustainability in an engaging and innovative way.

Special Educational Needs Data

Ceisteanna (141)

James Browne

Ceist:

141. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 215 of 5 November 2019, the criteria for granting further additional temporary language support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47085/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Special Education Teaching allocation, as outlined in Circular 0007/2019, provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on each school’s educational profile and also encompasses the Language Support (EAL) allocation that schools were allocated in previous years.

Further temporary Language Support is also provided, as necessary, to schools that have high concentrations of pupils that require language (EAL) support. At primary level, these allocations are made on the basis of appeals by schools to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board.

The staffing arrangements for primary schools for the 2019/20 school year, as set out in Circular 0019/2019 which is available on the Department website, provides details on the staffing appeal process. Where at least 20% of the total enrolment of the school is made up of pupils that require EAL support (pupils with less than B1 Level 3 proficiency), the Board of Management may lodge an appeal for a review of the proposed allocation for pupils requiring EAL support.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (142)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

142. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide an increase in special education teacher, SET, hours to a school (details supplied) in view of an appeal by the school for an increase; the number of additional SET hours that will be made available; when the additional hours will be sanctioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47093/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

DES Circulars 0007/2019 for primary schools and 0008/2019 for post primary schools provide details of how the allocations of Special Education Teachers have been updated for schools from September 2019, based on updated profile data.

All schools have now received revised allocations for September 2019.

As the re profiling occurred, some schools gained additional allocations, where the profile indicator data indicates these schools have additional needs. Some schools received slightly reduced allocations, where the data indicates less need, and some schools maintained their existing allocations.

No school has lost a full special education teaching post as a result of the re profiling process.

There has also been be no reduction to the overall number of special education teaching posts within the school system. There are currently over 13,500 special education teachers in schools, an increase of 38% since 2011.

Under the allocation model, schools have been provided with a total allocation for special education needs support based on their school profile.

The school referred to by the Deputy has 10 special education teaching hours, or 0.4 of a special education teacher post, for an enrolment of 41 pupils at the time the profile was developed.

Both this Department and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) are committed to ensuring that all schools are treated equally and fairly in the manner in which their school profiles have been calculated.

Accordingly, a number of review processes have been put in place to support schools.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) published details of an appeal process for the 2019 allocation process for schools on their website www.ncse.ie .

Schools were advised that the appeal would consider circumstances where schools considered that their school profile was calculated incorrectly, using the data set out in DES Circulars 007 and 008 2019. An appeal could be submitted for a review of the information used and of the calculation of the allocation.

The NCSE wrote to schools on 31st May, 2019 to advise them of the outcome of the appeals.

A second process is in place to address circumstances where the school profile significantly changed following the allocation process e.g. a developing school where the net enrolment numbers significantly increased.

The criteria for qualification for mainstream developing school posts are set out in the Primary and Post Primary School Staffing Schedule for the 2019/20 school year.

Schools who qualify for additional mainstream developing school posts, in accordance with these criteria, will also qualify for additional Special Education Teaching Allocations to take account of this developing status.

Finally, it is acknowledged that there are some circumstances, which may arise in schools, which fall outside the appeals process, or allocations for developing school status.

These relate to exceptional or emergency circumstances which could not have been anticipated e.g. where the school profile changes very significantly, or where other exceptional circumstances have arisen in a school and which may require a review of schools capacity to provide additional teaching support for all pupils who need it in the school, or of their utilisation of their allocations.

A process is in place where schools can seek a review of their allocations, including the utilisation of their allocations, in circumstances where a school considers that very exceptional circumstances have arisen subsequent to the development of the profile.

This appeal process is available at:

https://ncse.ie/review-of-special-education-teacher-supports-where-there-are-exceptional-circumstances-or-needs-arising-in-a-school-2

Should the school referred to in this question wish to submit an appeal in relation to its current allocation, it should do so via this process.

Schools Refurbishment

Ceisteanna (143, 148)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

143. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeline for the commencement of renovation works at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 15, in order to address the issues being caused by pyrite; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47121/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

148. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of pyrite remedial works at a school (details supplied); the engagement with the school authorities; the work that is planned to resolve immediate health and safety issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47188/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 148 together.

Once the presence of pyrite in the school referred to by the Deputy was established, my Department's Planning and Building Unit sought legal advice as to how to proceed. The matter has been referred to the Chief State Solicitor’s Office.

The Deputy will appreciate that as this matter is still being dealt with by the Chief State Solicitors Office. it is not possible for me to comment further at present.

However, I can say that if a school authority identifies any issues with a building that have been caused by pyrite, it is open to it to submit an application for funding under my Department’s Emergency Works Scheme (EWS). Application forms are available on my Department’s website. In this regard funding of €169,265.00 has been approved for remediation of the school in question in 2019.

Most recently, my Department wrote to the school on 14th August last approving all the necessary works for which it applied. As EWS are devolved projects, it is a matter for the school to progress these works.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (144)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

144. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the July provision for special needs children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47158/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Departments July Provision Scheme provides funding for an extended school year for students with a severe/profound general learning disability and/or students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The scheme was developed to reduce potential regression in learning associated with these specific categories of special education needs over the summer holidays.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) which advises me on these matters published its Policy Advice on Educational Provision for Children with Autism in July 2016 which included a review of the July Scheme.

The review found that in general parents value July provision because it provides day-time respite for families and a structured day for students. However, the NCSE review found a number of problems with the scheme. These include concerns that the scheme may be inequitable because it is not provided to all students with complex special educational needs.

The Council recommended that the relevant Government Departments consider how an equitable national day activity scheme could be developed for all students with complex special educational needs.

The proposed scheme would provide a structured, safe, social environment for all students with complex special educational needs.

My Department has convened an Implementation Group to ensure that the Report’s recommendations are fully and appropriately considered.

There has been consultation with a number of other Departments and State agencies regarding the future direction of the July Education Programme.

It is expected that proposals for a revised scheme will be submitted shortly following which there will be consultations with stakeholders before final decisions are made.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (145)

John Lahart

Ceist:

145. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there will be a delay in a school project (details supplied) due to cutbacks in the school capital programme. [47166/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The building project to provide permanent accommodation for the school referred to by the Deputy is delivered under my Department's Design and Build Programme and is funded under the National Development Plan. Under Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan 2018-2027, my Department has an €8.8bn envelope for the delivery of the school building programme. Budget 2020 provided €620m to the school capital programme, an increase on 2016 of €93m.

This project is included in the procurement process that is currently underway for a bundle of projects to be delivered under this programme. The Project Information Notice (PIN) was published recently and the contract notice is due to be published shortly which will determine a short-list of interested contractors.

The procurement process (and the associated tendering to short-listed contractors) for this bundle of projects will be ongoing during Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

It is anticipated that construction of this school building project will commence in Q2 2020.

Schools Building Projects

Ceisteanna (146)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

146. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if additional places will be provided in a new post-primary school (details supplied) in order to cater for the increased demand in the area; if the catchment boundary for the school will be extended to take account of new residential developments close by; if his officials have met with the school authorities to discuss the issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47168/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.

Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date information on significant new residential development in each area. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.

Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,

- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,

- Provision of a new school or schools.

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2018 the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including the school to which the Deputy refers.

New schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand are required, in the first instance, to prioritise pupil applications from within the designated school planning area(s) which the school was established to serve. This does not preclude schools from enrolling pupils from outside of the designated school planning area where they have sufficient places.

Patronage of the new school was awarded to Educate Together. The delivery of the interim accommodation for the school to which the Deputy refers on its permanent site is contingent on receiving planning permission from the Local Authority.

Notification of the initial Decision to Grant was received by my Department on 14th November, however there are another 4 weeks to wait before the final grant of the decision issues. On confirmation of the Final Grant, accommodation to facilitate both the primary and post-primary schools for the school planning area referred to by the Deputy will be installed on the permanent site.

Thereafter, a planning application for the permanent school will be submitted. Until confirmation of planning permission is received and a timeline for the permanent project is agreed it is not possible for the school to increase its enrolment intake beyond the current intake level.

The requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have regard for the increased rollout of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

Emergency Works Scheme Applications

Question No. 148 answered with Question No. 143.

Ceisteanna (147)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

147. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an application for emergency works made by a school (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the serious nature of the damage involved to the roof in question and the importance of this damaged room to this small school; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the damaged roof is an asbestos product which further heightens the seriousness of the need for a replacement in view of its close proximity to children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47170/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department has no record of receiving an application for funding for the project in question under my Department's Emergency Works Scheme (EWS) from the school to which the Deputy refers.

The Deputy may wish to be aware that the Emergency Works Circular and Application Form are both available on my Department's Website www.education.ie

Question No. 148 answered with Question No. 143.

Teacher Data

Ceisteanna (149)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

149. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional staff and the role of each required to meet existing demand in the education system; and the cost to hire same. [47196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department has regard to all aspects of demand when allocating the resources which are made available to it, including as part of the annual Budgetary Estimates process. This includes examining demographic needs and demands for special educational provision when allocating mainstream teaching posts, special education teaching posts and special needs assistant posts, which together make up a significant proportion of all employment in the sector.

With this in mind, the Department has invested heavily in additional recruitment over the past number of years to meet these demands. At the end of the first quarter of 2019, staffing numbers in the education sector stood at 107,209. This represents an increase of over 10,500 compared to the same period in 2016.

As part of Budget 2020, I announced further announcements, including an additional 581 teaching posts to bring the number of teachers next year to 71,473 and over 1,000 additional SNA posts, which will bring the total number of SNAs in the school system to 17,000.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Ceisteanna (150)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

150. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional staff required to reduce classroom sizes in primary and secondary level education to an average of 17. [47197/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In the current school year, the numbers employed in our schools have reached the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools have been funded, including more than 370 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes. This builds on the Budget 2018 measure which provided a one point improvement in the staffing schedule in primary schools which brings the position to a general average of 26 pupils to every 1 teacher, the lowest ever allocation ratio at primary level.

The latest figures in relation to pupil teacher ratio show an improved ratio of teachers to students from 16:1 to 15.2:1 at primary level when comparing the 2015/16 school year to the 2018/19 school year. Average class sizes at primary level improved from 24.9 to 24.3 in the same period. Corresponding statistics from post primary level show an improved ratio of teachers to students from 13.8:1 to 13:1 at post primary level in the same period.

Teachers are currently allocated to at an average of 1 classroom teacher for every 26 pupils at primary level, and at a ratio of 19:1 in the Free Education System and 23:1 to schools in the fee-charging sector. Approximately 300 teaching posts would be required for each 1 point adjustment to the primary staffing schedule, while approximately 1,150 teaching posts would be required for each 1 point adjustment on the post-primary side.

Private Schools

Ceisteanna (151)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

151. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the average amount spent each year on subsidies for private education institutions. [47198/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Gross expenditure on the order of €95 million was incurred in 2018 on salaries for teachers and special needs assistants (including employer’s PRSI) in fee-charging schools. The total amount spent on Capital Expenditure (including ICT grants) in 2018 was on the order of €0.958 million.

If the parents of children in the fee charging sector chose to send their children to the non-fee-paying sector, the State would have to fund those school places. In this respect, the figures quoted relate to the gross cost of fee-charging schools and not the net cost. Since it is not possible to predict these patterns of behaviour it is not possible to calculate the net financial position.