Student Support Schemes

Ceisteanna (202)

John Brassil

Ceist:

202. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Education and Skills the policies being developed to ensure that students with disabilities can complete their university education without incurring fees for deferring some of their coursework; and if a plan that would allocate funds to allow additional time for students with visual and hearing impairments and who use wheelchairs to complete their university degree will be supported. [48706/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Students with disabilities are one of the target groups identified in the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education (NAP). 

Various access supports are available to students with disabilities such as:

- The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) allocates funding to further and higher education colleges for the provision of services and supports to students with disabilities. The FSD was extended in 2018 to cover students studying on a part-time basis;

- Students are also able to apply for financial support through the Student Assistance Fund (SAF); and

- The Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) has allocated a number of 1916 Bursaries to NAP target groups such as students with disabilities and students who wish to undertake their studies on a part-time basis.

All eligible undergraduate students are covered by the Free Fees Initiative whereby the State provides funding towards tuition fees for students undertaking approved courses in eligible higher education institutions. Under the rules of the initiative, tuition fees are not paid in respect of students undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level. However, this condition may be waived where there is evidence of exceptional circumstances, such as cases of certified serious illness. Decisions in such cases are made at a local level in each higher education institution in line with the criteria of the scheme. A similar approach applies in respect of grant support. In this regard, SUSI cannot extend funding past the normal duration of the course, unless the applicant is repeating the same year of a course under exceptional circumstances.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (203)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

203. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48715/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Deputy will be aware that this project has been devolved for delivery to Westmeath County Council (WCC).

The Deputy will also be aware that officials in my Department continue to support WCC in its engagement with the relevant contractor on progressing this project, including through a dispute resolution process under the Public Works Contract.

It does now seem likely that the project may not be completed until very early in the new year as it has not proven possible to address some technical issues in a shorter timeframe. I can also say that the speed of completion of this project is directly related to the level of resources employed on site, that resource levels have increased lately, and that a continued high level of resources is essential for the timely completion of this project. I can assure the Deputy that we are focussed on ensuring that all issues are progressed as quickly as possible while also ensuring that the quality and integrity of the project is fully protected.

School Transport Provision

Ceisteanna (204)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

204. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there will be a school bus service provided for the Curreeney, County Tipperary, area to a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48742/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

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.

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.

Under the terms of the Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kms from and are attending their nearest national school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

A minimum number of 10 eligible children residing in a distinct locality, as determined by Bus Éireann, are required before consideration may be given to the establishment or retention of school transport services, provided this can be done within reasonable cost limits.

Families who wish to avail of school transport and have their eligibility status assessed should apply on-line in a timely manner to Bus Éireann on Bus Éireann’s website at www.buseireann.ie.

Gaelscoil Issues

Question No. 206 answered with Question No. 195.

Ceisteanna (205)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

205. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the details of the provision of a new Gaelscoil for Donabate, County Dublin; the process by which the patronage will be decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2018, the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the four years from 2019 to 2022, including a new 16 classroom school for Donabate to be established in 2020.

Following a review of the provision of Irish-medium education in the areas where new schools are to be established, on the 3rd September, 2019 I  announced that five of the new primary schools being established from 2020-2022 are being designated for Irish-medium education, including the new school for Donabate.

I took this decision after amending criteria which are considered in determining the ethos and language of instruction of new primary schools as part of the patronage processs for new schools. The change is being made following the pilot Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) for primary schools established in September 2019 and engagement by my Department with school patron bodies and other stakeholders.

The five new schools will serve areas of growing populations, where there is no existing Irish-medium primary school or where there is more than one new primary school to be established between 2019 and 2022. 

A patronage process is run after it has been decided, based on demographic analysis, that a new school is required.  This patronage process is open to all patron bodies and prospective patrons. Parental preferences for each patron, from parents of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process. 

The Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.   

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). Following their consideration of my Department’s assessment reports, the NSEG will submit a report with recommendations to me for consideration and decision.

The patronage process for new primary schools to be established in 2020, including Donabate, commenced with an invitation for applications from patrons on the 19th November 2019. It is envisaged that the Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) will open shortly for parental preferences.  The assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations will be made available on my Department's website.

Question No. 206 answered with Question No. 195.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (207)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

207. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills when construction will commence and be completed in respect of a planned new school building (details supplied) in Cork city; the date the tender documentation will be published; the reason the school is not permitted to enrol a third junior infants class in the 2020-21 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48839/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The building project to provide permanent accommodation for the school is being delivered under my Department’s Design and Build Programme.

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 shortlist of interested contractors.  

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

The Department is in discussions with the Patron Body with regard to the request to go to a third stream.

Physical Education Facilities

Ceisteanna (208)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

208. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department will contribute to the building of a school hall at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48904/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that an application for a PE hall has been received from the school authority in question.

As you are aware the National Development Plan (NDP) provides for an €8.4 billion investment in school buildings over the period 2018 to 2027 to deliver on NDP and National Planning Framework objectives through addressing the twin priorities of catering for demographics and ensuring a strengthened focus on refurbishment of existing school stock. The announcement referred to the commitment to a PE hall build and modernisation programme in post primary schools, starting in the second half of the project Ireland 2040 period.

The immediate priority is to provide 20,000 new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place. My Department is not in a position, at this point, to consider the request from Glynn National School for a PE Hall. The school has been informed of this decision. The request will however be retained on file for future consideration.

Schools Building Projects Data

Ceisteanna (209)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

209. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the approved capital projects for new school buildings, refurbishments of existing school buildings and temporary class room provision in the Lucan area will be provided; the location of each project in the capital project process; and the estimated commencement and completion date for each project in tabular form. [48906/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the approved capital projects in the Lucan area is currently being collated. I will arrange for a response to issue directly to the Deputy in relation to this question shortly.

School Transport Eligibility

Ceisteanna (210)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

210. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied); the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48918/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. 

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.

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. 

Children are eligible for school transport where they reside 3.2 kilometres or over and are attending their nearest primary school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

The pupil referred by the Deputy was issued with a concessionary ticket for the 2019/2020 school as, at the time of application, the application was for transport to a school which was not the closest school to the family home.   Confirmation has recently been received from the Patron of that school that the school has closed with effect from the start of the 2019/2020 school year.

Eligible children who hold valid medical cards (GMS Scheme) are exempt from paying the school transport charge.  Bus Éireann has advised that the family referred to by the Deputy is attending their nearest school and the Bus Éireann are liaising directly with this family regarding a refund of fees.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (211)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

211. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the planned redevelopment and provision of a new building for a school (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48943/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

A major building project for the school referred to by the deputy is included in my Department's Construction Programme funded by the National Development Plan.

As the design team for this project is no longer available to carry on with the project, the Department will run a tender competition on the school’s behalf to appoint a new Design Team using the Department’s Framework for Consultant Appointments. The school will be involved in the assessment of tenders and the Department will notify the school in due course when their input is required.

The Department has assured the school community it is giving this matter its full attention and will keep the school community updated in respect of their major building project.

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (212)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

212. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position of an application for funding under the summer works scheme by a school (details supplied) in County Cork for essential repairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48944/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that the school in question applied for funding under SWS 2020 for Windows. 

The Deputy may be aware that I recently announced details of the schools that will receive funding in summer 2020 in respect of applications submitted for 'Life Safety Systems projects'.

Commensurate with the level of funding set aside for the Scheme, applications are being assessed on a top down basis in accordance with the prioritisation criteria outlined in the Circular accompanying the Scheme. In that regard, applications submitted for other works will be considered under future rounds of the Summer Works Scheme.  The school in question will be considered in this regard.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (213, 214)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

213. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he is taking to resolve the shortage of primary school places in Kinsealy, Malahide and Portmarnock, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

214. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he is taking to resolve the shortage of secondary school places in Kinsealy, Malahide and Portmarnock, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48959/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 214 together.

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). This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country.

While the announcement did not include a new school for the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas, the following new schools were established in recent years to serve the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas:

- A new 1,000 pupil post-primary school (Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School) established in 2018; and

- A new primary school (Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together NS) established in 2014.

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.

Under Project Ireland 2040, my Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands.

The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed under Project Ireland 2040. I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of large-scale projects being delivered under Project Ireland 2040 may be viewed on my Department's website, www.education.ie and this information is updated regularly. In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date may also be viewed on the website.

The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme can be found on my Department's website www.education.ie and this information is also updated regularly.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (215)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

215. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the number of young persons being refused places in St. Farnan’s ASD unit in Prosperous, County Kildare, in view of the fact they reside in the locality; if alternative and suitable arrangements for such persons are being considered; his plans to provide additional resources at this school to meet the needs of persons being refused placement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48984/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The provision of education for children with special needs, including those with Autism, is an ongoing priority for Government. 

Currently, almost 20% of the total Education Vote or €1.9bn is invested in supporting children with special needs.

Since 2011 investment in Special Education supports has increased by 50%, which is significantly above the 7% increase in total student numbers over the same period.

As a result the numbers of special education teachers, special needs assistants and special class and school places are at unprecedented levels.

The majority of children with Autism attend mainstream class, where they may access additional supports 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 may be deemed appropriate where placement in mainstream class is not in the best interests of the child.

The NCSE has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide and has well established structures in place for engaging with schools and parents.

Nationally, 167 new special classes opened this school year, which means there are 1,618 special classes in place, compared to 548 in 2011.

Of these 1,353 special classes cater for students diagnosed with ASD.

Provision in our 124 special schools has also increased from 6,848 placements in 2011 to 7,872 this year.

In Kildare alone, there are 75 special classes and 4 Special Schools providing specialist support to children with more complex special educational needs.

The NCSE is planning a further expansion of special class and school places in Kildare to meet identified need for next year. This process is ongoing.

All schools have the contact details of their local SENO, while Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs and to identify appropriate educational placements, using the contact details available on the NCSE website www.ncse.ie. 

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.

Normally, special class and school places are established with the full cooperation of the schools in areas where they are required.  However there are some parts of the country where the Council has faced challenges in getting schools and their Patrons to voluntarily agree to provide special class or school places. 

I know that this can cause much anguish for parents and families involved.

As Minister I have a power under Section 37A of the Education Act 1998 to direct a school to provide additional provision where all reasonable efforts have failed. 

I would prefer to see schools volunteer to provide more places rather than places being secured on the back of an order or a direction from me. It is the right thing for the children in a community.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (216)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

216. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeline for the proposed development of a new post-primary school in Prosperous, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48985/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The delivery of a new building for the school to which the Deputy refers has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB). 

KWETB has appointed a design team for this project. The design team will now take the project through the various stages of architectural planning and onwards through the statutory planning requirements and construction.

As the project has not yet commenced architectural planning, it is too early in the process to provide a timeline for completion of the works. 

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (217)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

217. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeline for the proposed development of a new boys' primary school in Clane, Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48986/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at Stage 2(b) – Detailed Design.

The pre-qualification process to select a shortlist of suitable contractors has been completed and the Design Team is currently finalising the tender documentation.

Once this work is complete, my Department will be in contact with the Board of Management of the school regarding the progression of the project to the next stage of architectural planning, Stage 3 - tender stage.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (218)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

218. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a new school building for a school (details supplied); when the service level agreement will be signed; the status of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48992/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the building project for the school to which he refers is being devolved for delivery to the local Educational Training Board (ETB).

A Service Level Agreement between my Department and the ETB has now been signed and sealed in that respect.

The Educational Training Board  (ETB) will now procure a Design Team for the project to design the buildings, obtain the necessary statutory planning permissions, and move the project onward to tender and construction in due course.

School Transport Provision

Ceisteanna (219)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

219. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter regarding persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49016/19]

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.

Under the terms of the Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kilometres from and are attending their nearest primary school as determined by the Department of Education/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.  

A transport service has recently been sanctioned to the school referred to by the Deputy and Bus Éireann is in the process of establishing this service.  Bus Éireann will be in contact with families who have applied for transport in regard to arrangements.

Education and Training Boards

Ceisteanna (220)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

220. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when site work will commence at the planned Louth Meath Education and Training Board head office building in Drogheda, County Louth; the amount expended on the project in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the purpose of the spend; the timeline for the expected completion of the project; the number of staff the ETB envisages will be located in the building on completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49018/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy is aware, the project to which he refers has been devolved for delivery to the local Education and Training Board (LMETB). 

A number of design issues have arisen with this project. These have included issues relating to the need for additional security features for the proposed building that became apparent at tender stage and which required a change in brief with consequent design alterations. Currently, the capacity of the building, and the number of staff it is required to accommodate, is being reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of LMETB into the future. 

I can assure the Deputy that every effort to progress the project has been made in 2018 and 2019 and will continue to be made. A number of meetings between officials from my Department and LMETB and its design team, with a view to addressing the relevant issues, have taken place in the last year. However, it is still too early at this stage to give a commencement date for construction.

To date, approximately €260k has been spent on costs related to the project including design team fees, planning and statutory consent fees and surveys for the project. Approximately €200k of this was expended in 2015 with the remainder spent last year.

Teaching Qualifications

Ceisteanna (221, 222, 223, 224)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

221. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills the acceptable requirements to receive approval for time served teaching outside the EU; the reason overseas private primary schools are considered acceptable and secondary schools are not; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49019/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

222. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the acceptable requirements for time served teaching abroad outside the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49022/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

223. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason teaching in overseas private primary schools is recognised when calculating teaching time served abroad but secondary schools are not; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49023/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

224. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the categories of teaching abroad not recognised as prior experience for teaching here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49024/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 to 224, inclusive, together.

The criteria for the award of incremental credit to recognised teachers was agreed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council (TCC). This Council is comprised of representatives of teachers, school management, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Education and Skills and is chaired by an official of the Workplace Relations Commission.

The criteria for the award of incremental credit is laid out in my Department’s Circulars, 10/2001 for Primary teachers and 29/2007 & 29/2010 for Post-Primary teachers.

Third Level Institutions Governance

Ceisteanna (225)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

225. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied that an institution (details supplied) does not exert influence on universities outside of its remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49033/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Irish universities are independent and autonomous statutory bodies established under the Universities Act, 1997, which while guaranteeing the principle of academic freedom, also requires detailed institutional level governance arrangements for the management, operation, policies and strategy of the relevant institution to be in place. The issue raised by the Deputy is therefore a matter, in the first instance, for the governing body of the institution as part of its responsibility to ensure that it is conducting its activities consistent with statutory requirements, institutional statutes and the Code of Governance for Irish Universities.  My Department will shortly be requesting the Higher Education Authority to ascertain from the relevant university that its Governing Body can confirm that all of these requirements continue to be satisfied in this particular case.

Home Tuition Scheme

Ceisteanna (226)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

226. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason persons who work as home tutors are not considered employees of his Department; the role of his Department in deducting income tax, USC and PRSI from the payments made to home tutors; the class of PRSI that is deducted and paid on their behalf by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49046/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Departments Home Tuition Grant Schemes provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to attend school. By its nature, it is intended to be a short term intervention.

Under the Home Tuition Schemes, Home Tutors are engaged by the parents/guardian of the child who is to receive tuition. Home tutors do not have a contractual relationship with the Department of Education and Skills.

In accordance with instructions from the Revenue Commissioners, payments under the Home Tuition Grant Scheme are subject to statutory deductions at source. In order to facilitate parents, my Department acts solely as payroll agents on behalf of the parents/guardian.

Any further queries in relation to PAYE and USC should be directed to the Revenue Commissioners.

The Department of Social Protection has determined that Home Tutors are engaged under a contract for service and are therefore self-employed and subject to PRSI Class S. Any further queries in relation to PRSI Class should be directed to the Department of Social Protection.