Ministerial Advisers

Ceisteanna (430)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

430. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if a schedule of advisers and special advisers appointed and-or recruited by him since his appointment will be provided; the roles and responsibilities attributed to each; and the salary for each appointee in tabular form. [27049/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Since being appointed as Minister for Defence, I have not appointed or recruited any advisers or special advisers within this Department.

Defence Forces Recruitment

Ceisteanna (431)

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

431. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Defence if a recruitment campaign will be launched for nurses to join the Defence Forces medical corps. [27140/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

There are currently no plans for a recruitment campaign to be launched for nurses to join the Defence Forces Medical Corps. A review of the Army Nursing Service has recently commenced and its conclusions and recommendations will inform further decisions in this regard.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (432)

John Lahart

Ceist:

432. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Defence the role played by the Defence Forces since the onset of Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27207/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

In relation to non-security related emergencies, whilst the Defence Forces are not a primary response agency as defined in the Framework for Major Emergency Management, they provide the fullest possible assistance to the appropriate Lead Department in the event of a natural disaster or emergency situation in its Aid to the Civil Authority role. In this regard, the full spectrum of Defence Forces personnel and equipment, commensurate with operational requirements, is available for deployments. The Defence Forces hold a wide range of engineering and transport plant and equipment which is suitable for use in emergency situations and these are made available, within current means and capabilities, as the need arises.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Joint Task Force was established to coordinate the Defence Forces contribution to the whole-of-Government COVID-19 response. It has the authority to draw together, in a joint manner, the contribution of all of the elements of the Defence Forces – Army, Air Corps, Naval Service, Reserve, etc. This was provided for in a Defence Forces Regulation signed by and under the authority of the Minister for Defence.

The Defence Forces Joint Task Force is based in McKee Barracks and its priority from the beginning has been to provide support to the HSE, while retaining, at all times, a contingent capacity to provide Aid to the Civil Power support.

The wide range of supports that the Defence Forces have provided to the HSE, as coordinated by the Joint Task Force during the COVID-19 crisis include:

- operation of the COVID-19 testing centre at the Aviva stadium;

- support for contact tracing efforts;

- transportation by the Air Corps of COVID-19 tests to Germany;

- collection of PPE from more than 260 cargo flights and the ongoing storage and distribution of this PPE to various HSE sites;

- support for HSE testing efforts through deployment of Naval Service vessels to Dublin, Cork and Galway;

- PPE training to workers at Cork and Waterford harbours by Naval service personnel;

- provision of tentage and marshalling support at various HSE testing sites around the country;

- transportation of patients for testing;

- assistance with the fit out of temporary facilities for the HSE (for example, the HSE facilities at City West and the University of Limerick)

- production and assembly of PPE using 3D printing facilities; and

- the use of lands at Ballymullen Barracks as a COVID-19 testing facility and contact tracing hub.

In addition to supporting the HSE, the Defence Forces have also provided a broad range of support to other Departments and Agencies. Provision of this support was also coordinated by the Joint Task Force.

Examples include:

- Support to the National Ambulance Service through Defence Forces ambulance and crew supports along with tele-triage and Covid 19 testing supports.

- Support to the Office of Government Procurement through assistance with storage and distribution of PPE.

- Support to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through the use of lands at Sarsfields Barracks for the location of one of the National Temporary Body Storage Facilities. The Defence Forces were also on standby to provide support if required at the Dublin based National Temporary Body Storage Facility at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

Departmental Staff

Ceisteanna (433)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

433. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the number of requests on hand from his Department and from State agencies under the aegis of his Department for approval to increase staff levels; the number of public and civil servants in total involved in these requests; the method by which decisions are made on the requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26474/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The allocation of the staffing resources of my Department are a matter for the Secretary General in relation to assignments up to Principal level, within the confines of the administrative budget for the Department. Approval for posts above this level must be sought from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my Department does not currently have any such request lodged with that Department.

Third Level Staff

Ceisteanna (434)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

434. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26352/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the application for professional added years (submitted to my Department in June 2020) has been processed and the Higher Education Institution in question has been advised accordingly.

I am aware that my officials have updated the Deputy's office directly in this regard.

Schools Building Projects

Ceisteanna (435)

Mark Ward

Ceist:

435. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Education the number of primary and post-primary schools, respectively, that applied for a physical education build and modernisation programme in both large scale project and small scale project under Project Ireland 2040; the number of applications granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26631/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy is aware, the provision of PE Halls and General Purpose Rooms form part of the accommodation brief for all newly established schools. These facilities may also form part of the overall accommodation brief for major capital extensions to existing schools. Details of large-scale projects being delivered under the school building programme 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 main focus of resources over the last decade and for the coming period is on provision of additional capacity to cater for increasing demographics. The second half of the NDP (from 2023 onwards) will see an increasing focus on the upgrade and refurbishment of the existing school stock to include the building and modernisation of PE facilities.

The immediate priority of my Department is providing new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place.

Education Policy

Ceisteanna (436, 442, 458, 481)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

436. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education if consideration will be given to issues raised by an organisation (details supplied) regarding the need to provide additional funding for primary education in the context of budget 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26949/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

442. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education if matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) in the context of budget 2021 will be examined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26324/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

458. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26505/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

481. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education if consideration will be given to issues raised by an organisation (details supplied) relating to the need to provide additional funding for primary education in the context of budget 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26950/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 436, 442, 458 and 481 together.

I am acutely aware of the issues faced by many schools in respect of teacher allocations and class sizes. Primary schools are currently provided with class teachers on the basis of one teacher for every 26 pupils which is at its historically lowest level. Under the Programme for Government there is a commitment to seek to make further progress in reducing the pupil teacher ratios in primary schools and it is my intention to make progress on this in future budgets.

Since 2017, 1700 additional leadership posts have been invested in our primary schools which has led to 1 in 3 teachers now holding promoted positions. The Department has committed to revising the allocation of Posts of Responsibility to take into account retirements during the school year. This ensures that the current level of Posts of Responsibility are maintained in the school system.

The main capitation grant used for general running costs of schools has also increased in each of the last two budgets. I understand the need for improved capitation funding and I am pleased the combined increases given in Budgets 2019 and 2020 mean that circa 40% restoration has been achieved.

The financial package approved by Government to support schools recognises that COVID-19 poses significant challenges. The Government published the Roadmap for the Full Return to School, along with details of a financial package of over €375 million to support the implementation of the measures in the roadmap which included €10.2m in additional funding to support Principals and Deputy Principals who also undertake teaching duties in primary schools. This funding will provide each teaching principal with one release day per week, and release days for Deputy Principals in those schools that have an existing administrative principal.

The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. The starting salary for a new entrant teacher in 2012 was €30,702. As a result of the programme of pay restoration, the starting salary of a teacher is now €36,953 and from 1 October 2020 onwards will be €37,692. Section 11 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that “the Minister [for Public Expenditure and Reform] shall, within three months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a report on the cost of and a plan in dealing with pay equalisation for new entrants to the public service. The report laid before the Oireachtas on foot of this provision by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform assesses the cost of a further change which would provide a two scale point adjustment to new entrants recruited since 2011. The total cost of such an adjustment across the public sector is of the order of €200 million, of which Education accounts for €83 million. The report also acknowledges that, during the financial crisis, there were policy changes which affected remuneration in different occupations across the public sector (including education).

The matter of new entrant pay is a cross sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector alone. The Government supports the gradual, negotiated repeal of the FEMPI legislation, having due regard to the priority to improve public services and in recognition of the essential role played by public servants. On 24 September 2018, an agreement was reached between the Government and the public services committee of ICTU in respect of new entrant pay. This agreement is benefitting 16,000 teachers and nearly 5,000 SNAs within the education sector. The deal provides for a series of incremental jumps for new entrants. In accordance with the Public Service Stability Agreement, the Principal’s allowance was increased to its pre-FEMPI rate with effect from 1 October 2020.

I am fully aware that the teacher unions have outstanding issues of concern following the September 2018 agreement. These outstanding matters will be given full consideration in the context of the next round of pay talks. Regarding the competing demands for the next Budget, I must have regard to the level of resources which will be available to my Department, in the context of the continuing need for the Government to prudently manage the economy and the public finances and have regard to risks, including those associated with the COVID pandemic and Brexit.

School Transport

Ceisteanna (437)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

437. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education the safety measures being used for school children on school buses (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27039/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the 2019/20 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 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 €219m in 2019.

Based on the public health advice published in early July, my Department has been planning for School Transport Scheme services for the 2020/2021 school year to fully operate, but with additional measures and hygiene requirements in place. The Department has been engaging intensively with Bus Éireann in regard to the logistics for the safe operation of School Transport Scheme services for the 2020/2021 school year.

The Department has issued detailed information and guidance to parents and children on the operation of school transport services for the 2020/2021 school year. All children using school transport scheme services are being asked to comply with the a number of guidelines, including not to use school transport if they are displaying obvious symptoms, to maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport, to always sit in their pre-assigned seating, to use hand sanitiser prior to or on boarding the bus, to observe respiratory etiquette at all times and that all children on post-primary transport are required to wear facemasks while waiting for and on-board transport services (with the exception of children who for medical or special educational needs reasons are not in a position to wear a facemask or face covering).

Bus Éireann has and continues to engage with their own drivers and with private contractors who are contracted to provide school transport services in regard to sanitisation and additional cleaning requirements on school transport services.

Updated health advice was received from NPHET on the 18th August, which impacts on the operation of post-primary school transport services. This advice stated that for secondary school students on school transport, strict distancing should be ensured in line with that on public transport along with the wearing of face coverings and that primary school students should distance where possible.

Following the most recent advice from NPHET, the Government decided that the post-primary scheme (including SEN post-primary services) would commence operation when schools re-open with additional measures in place, such as pre-assigned seating and additional hygiene and cleaning measures on services and with the rolling implementation of measures to provide physical distancing, in line with those required on public transport, which is using 50% of passenger capacity, on the post- primary services as required.

My Department is engaging with Bus Éireann in respect of these plans, to implement measures so that any services that can operate from the start of the school year at 50% capacity will do so and over the coming period all other post-primary transport services will be re-organised and additional services will be provided as required to allow for physical distancing.

Special Educational Needs

Ceisteanna (438)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

438. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Education the status of the case of a child (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26285/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for the co-ordination of education provision for children with special educational needs at a local level. Accordingly, as the update required by the Deputy relates to a school placement for an individual pupil, it has been referred to the NCSE for direct reply.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (439, 471)

Réada Cronin

Ceist:

439. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Education the state of readiness of the plan for online and distance teaching and learning for primary and secondary students regarding Covid-19; the technological preparations and broadband capacity for same; the didactic and union consultations for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26296/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

471. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Education if she is satisfied that the appropriate supports are in place to allow for online learning in schools, including the appropriate provision of laptops and other devices to students; if sufficient technical supports to teachers and students are available to best use the facility and access to the best online tools. [26759/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 439 and 471 together.

The nature of distance learning, which was necessitated during the unprecedented closure of schools earlier this year, required educators to take on a range of approaches to support their pupils continuity of learning during that period. Assisted by Department funded resources and supports, schools and teachers demonstrated great innovation in adapting to the unprecedented situation including the use of digital technologies and online learning platforms for teaching and learning.

My Department provided schools with a series of “Continuity of Schooling Guidance” documents to help education professionals and parents to support children learning in a remote environment. They included links to a range of materials developed by the Digital Technologies team of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (a Department support service for teachers) such as learning platforms and online tools which can be used to support remote/distance teaching and learning. Those resources continue to be available to schools. There is also ongoing consultation with the management bodies and unions from both sectors on all matters relating to the safe return to school in the context of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, which is an evolving situation. All guidance documents are under review and will be updated to take account of the current situation and to support schools further in maintaining continuity of schooling for all learners including those at very high risk and unable to return to school at this time.

As a contingency for any future school closures, whether localised or at a bigger scale, and to ensure compliance with any public health restrictions, it is essential however that all schools are prepared and have in place appropriate measures to continue to deliver teaching and learning whether for closure of a class group or the school. In this regard, my Department is in the process of drafting a circular that will issue to schools to help in their preparation for such an event. The circular will provide guidance and support to schools, building on the work already done by schools, to put in place appropriate arrangements to facilitate communication with and between staff, between staff and learners and to facilitate development of online approaches to remote and blended learning in the event that such is required. My Department will engage with education stakeholders, including unions and management bodies, to inform the final drafting of the circular.

A commitment of €210m was provided under the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 for improved ICT infrastructure, of which €160m has issued to schools to date, including €50m which issued earlier this year. In the context of the current public health crisis schools can use this funding to address ICT needs including devices, software and other ICT solutions to support the provision of remote learning. This may include the purchase of ICT devices that can be shared with learners who do not have access to devices and for the purchase of essential learning platforms. The remaining €50m under this provision will issue to schools during the current school year (2020-2021) subject to the availability of exchequer funding. Separately, and through the Schools Broadband Access Programme, my Department provides for improved ICT infrastructure for the supply of internet connectivity for all recognised primary and post primary schools and some 98% of schools avail of this service. All post-primary schools and some special schools are now included in the High Speed Broadband programme. Schools in this programme are monitored and selected for upgrade where usage signals this requirement. The primary broadband scheme is based on locally available infrastructure accessed by the providers of the service to my Department. My Department continues to fund the upgrade of services as improved infrastructure becomes available subject to contractual and other budgetary constraints.

The Department of Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport is responsible for the enhanced provision of broadband through the National Broadband and State Intervention Plan. By the end of this year some 70 primary schools will be connected to high speed broadband through the National Broadband Plan first phase of delivery through Broadband Connection Points (BCP) programme. My Department continues to liaise with that Department to seek to improve broadband connectivity for primary schools and to raise issues of barriers to connectivity impacting access to remote learning.

Schools Building Projects

Ceisteanna (440)

Martin Browne

Ceist:

440. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Education the progress of a school (details supplied), which was first agreed in 2013; and if progress has been made towards the opening of the school. [26305/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The patronage divesting process arises from the recommendations of the 2012 report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, following which the Department undertook surveys of parental preferences in 43 areas of stable population in 2012 and 2013 to establish the level of parental demand for a wider choice in the patronage of primary schools within these areas. Analysis of the parental preferences expressed in each area surveyed indicated that there was sufficient parental demand to support changes in school patronage in 28 areas, including in Nenagh.

Under the patronage divesting process, a school can be opened where a school building became, or was due to become, available as a result of an amalgamation/closure of an existing school. In some areas, including in the case of Nenagh, in responding to demand for diversity where existing patrons were unable make school properties available, my Department also included an examination of properties held in public ownership.

To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Nenagh. However, the Department is continuing its efforts in relation to identifying a suitable solution under the patronage divesting process, which would facilitate a new Educate Together school being established to serve the Nenagh area.

School Staff

Question No. 442 answered with Question No. 436.

Ceisteanna (441)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

441. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Education if a school (details supplied) will be permitted to retain a 12th teacher. [26316/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30th September.

The school referred to by the Deputy was due to have a teaching post suppressed due to a fall in enrolments.

However, the staffing arrangements for primary schools also includes the provision whereby schools experiencing rapid increases in enrolment can apply for additional permanent mainstream posts on developing grounds, using projected enrolment for the following September, in this case September 2020.

The school referred to by the Deputy has been allocated two teaching posts on developing grounds, pending confirmation of enrolments on 30th September. which will bring the mainstream staffing to 13 teachers.

Question No. 442 answered with Question No. 436.

State Examinations

Ceisteanna (443)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

443. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education if leaving certificate students can appeal teacher-awarded grades received in September 2020. [26346/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The decision to adopt a model of Calculated Grades by my Department was a direct result of COVID-19, which prevented the state from running the conventional Leaving Certificate Examinations. The purpose of this process is to allow as many students as possible to progress to employment, further education and training, or higher education in a way that is fair and equitable to all Leaving Certificate students.

Schools provided an estimated percentage mark and a rank order for each student’s subjects. The process of national standardisation was applied to the school information in order to ensure comparability between the standards applied by individual schools and the national standard. We know from research that teachers are very good at making judgements about their students in the local context of the school. It was inherent to the system of calculated grades that school estimates would be subject to adjustment through this standardisations process. The adjustments that occurred through standardisation resulted in the school estimates staying the same or being revised upwards or downwards. The standardisation process operated on the premise that the school estimates should only be adjusted through the standardisation process where there was credible statistical evidence to justify changing them.

Following standardisation, the estimated percentage mark was converted to a calculated mark and subsequently, a calculated grade which was provided to students on 7 September. It is only at this point that students were awarded a grade.

Therefore, it is not accurate to state that student(s) were downgraded, or upgraded, through the standardisation process. Rather the grade that was awarded following the standardisation process is the grade for the 2020 Leaving Certificate (Calculated Grades).

Some students experienced mark changes from the school estimates but no changes to the grades based on the school estimates; while others will have experienced changes to the marks leading to a change in the grade that would have been awarded based on the school estimates in one or more of their subjects.

In terms of the grades awarded, 83% (almost 340,000) of all Leaving Certificate subject grades are either the same or higher than the school estimates while 17% (under 70,000) grades are lower.

Every effort has been made to make the system as fair as possible for as many students as possible. The statistical model used was blind to demographic characteristics, either at the level of the student or the school and the standardisation process has been applied uniformly across all schools. This means anyone using the certificate to make a judgement between two people who hold this certificate, either now or in the future, can place equal value on the same grade in the same subject, without regard to where they went to school.

We appreciate that some students will be disappointed at the results they have achieved. This is the case every year when the Leaving Certificate results are published.

Students, at an individual level, had access to an appeals process for calculated grade system the closing date for which has now passed. The appeals system is, by design, restricted to looking for technical errors in the data provided on behalf of students and in the processing of that data. The nature of this appeal process has been part of the system of Calculated Grades from the outset. The appeal process will involve a technical appeal focused on looking for errors in the transmission of the data through the process. An example of this would be whether any mistake has been made in entering the information to any of the systems used in the process.

It was fundamental to the adoption of a system of Calculated Grades that the professional judgement of the school (teachers and principals) would be outside the scope of the appeals process.

The integrity, validity and reliability of the process of national standardisation was overseen by the National Standardisation Group whose role was to oversee the application of the statistical model to the school data. Any appeals process that would allow an individual student level appeal to reopen the application of the statistical process to the school sourced data would fundamentally undermine fairness and equity in the system of calculated grades which relies on the uniform application of the statistical model.

Students dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeals process can invoke a separate process to have their appeal reviewed by independent Appeals Scrutineers. These Scrutineers are independent of the Department.

Students who consider that their appeal has not been processed correctly can make a complaint to the Ombudsman or, in the case of students under 18 years of age, the Ombudsman for Children.

Students dissatisfied with their results will have the opportunity to sit written Leaving Certificate examinations in November (subject to public health advice). Those who sit the examinations will be credited with the higher subject grade achieved between the Calculated Grade and the written exam.

State Examinations

Ceisteanna (444)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

444. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education the start date in November 2020 for the repeat of the 2020 leaving certificate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26351/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

On 26 August, I announced that the postponed Leaving Certificate examinations would commence on Monday 16 November, subject to public health advice.

On 25 September, it was announced the registration for these postponed examinations would open on Monday 28 September. Students have until Friday, 02 October to register for these examinations.

The written examinations will be run by the State Examinations Commission which will oversee all arrangements. Further information regarding the examinations is available on the State Examinations Commission's website at the following link, https://www.examinations.ie/?l=en&mc=ex&sc=se.

It is intended that the examinations will be held in candidates’ original planned examination centres in their schools during evenings and weekends.

Students sitting the written examinations in November who opted to receive Calculated Grades will be credited with the higher subject grade achieved between the Calculated Grade and the written examination.

2020 Applicants to the CAO will have their final Leaving Certificate results forwarded to the CAO, using their best results of examinations and Calculated Grades, where applicable. They will receive any relevant CAO offers that their results indicate, as a deferred offer for 2021/22.

Students may also use their results to reapply through the CAO for 2021/22 using results from 2020.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (445)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

445. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education if funding will be provided to a school (details supplied) for Covid-19 expenses incurred by the school; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26361/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The school referred to by the Deputy is a private second level school and does not fall within the remit of my Department, and as such, provision for Covid 19 expenses is a matter for the management authority of the school concerned.

School Staff

Ceisteanna (446)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

446. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the estimated cost of ensuring that teaching principals have one release day per week. [26377/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Roadmap for the Full Return to School provides for comprehensive supports across a range of areas to allow for the safe reopening of schools.

€10.2m in additional funding has been allocated to support Principals and Deputy Principals who also undertake teaching duties in primary schools. This funding will provide each teaching principal with one release day per week, and release days for Deputy Principals in those schools that have an existing administrative principal. Details on these arrangements are set out in Circular 45/2020, Operational Supports for Primary Schools for the Full Return to School.

The annual cost of one release day per week to each school with a teaching principal is in the region of €16.6 million.

School Staff

Ceisteanna (447, 448, 449)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

447. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the estimated cost of restoring assistant principal posts to pre-2008 levels. [26378/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

448. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the amount spent on assistant principal posts in the past 12 years, in tabular form. [26379/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

449. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education the estimated cost of increasing the budget for assistant principal posts by 5%, 10% and 20%, respectively. [26380/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 447 to 449, inclusive, together.

The information on Assistant Principal posts requested by the Deputy is being compiled and will be forwarded direct to him. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the allowances for assistant principal posts will be restored to their monetary value as of the 31 December 2009 with effect from the 1st October, 2020.

The value of the AP1 allowance from the 1st October, 2020 will be €8,968 and the AP 2 value will be €3,967.

The details of all the salary scales and allowances for teachers in primary and second level schools with effect from the 1st October, 2020 are outlined in Circular 0060/2020 which can be accessed on my Department's website.