104. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the progression of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2016; his plans to include a provision that will provide him with the power to require a school to open a special class and or increase the number of special classes in schools based on recommendations from the NCSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20599/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Government is committed to helping all children, including children with special educational needs to fulfil their potential. We have increased the budget in the special needs area by 43% since 2011 and doubled the number of special classes.
As the Deputy will be aware the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 was published in July 2016. The Bill which passed Committee Stage on 28th June 2017 is an important piece of legislatio...

116. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an application by a school (details supplied) for a third junior infant class for September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20281/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department has no record of receiving an application from the school referred to by the Deputy. Should an application be received it will be considered and the school authority informed of the outcome.
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121. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a building application by a school (details supplies); the reason the school principal is receiving contradictory answers when contacting his Department for information; and when the school can expect a response from his Department. (Question 20344/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm that my Department is in receipt of an application for additional accommodation from the school referred to by the Deputy.
I understand the application has been considered and a decision is due to issue to the school authority in the matter in the coming days.
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164. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if third level students from Northern Ireland studying here will be exempt from paying non-EU student fees under the common travel area from 2019. (Question 19940/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Third Level Fees)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 165 together.
My Department has been working closely with a number of organisations, and in particular with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), in Brexit planning for the higher education sector.
The HEA has published a Brexit issues paper and has held meetings with the HEIs to discuss ongoing planning and issues with them as the process develops. My Department will continue to engage in this i...

165. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if third level students from the Republic of Ireland that study in Northern Ireland will be exempt from paying non-EU student fees under the common travel area from 2019. (Question 19941/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Third Level Fees)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 165 together.
My Department has been working closely with a number of organisations, and in particular with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), in Brexit planning for the higher education sector.
The HEA has published a Brexit issues paper and has held meetings with the HEIs to discuss ongoing planning and issues with them as the process develops. My Department will continue to engage in this i...

166. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps being taken to protect Irish citizens’ rights to study in a university or college on the island of Ireland and to ensure that students are not unduly punished financially as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. (Question 19942/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Following the UK triggering Article 50 of the Treaty in March 2017 and the ongoing negotiations one of our principal concerns relates to protecting to the greatest extent possible student mobility between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the UK and within the EU and to support our strategy to increase non-EU student flows.  Key to the ongoing access of our students to higher education on the island will be the maintenance of the common trav...

165. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of teacher training graduates who have completed a special educational needs component in their initial teacher training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18952/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Teacher Training Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Programmes of initial teacher education (ITE) were reconfigured and extended in line with the Teaching Council’s Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers and the changes to ITE proposed in the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-2020. Under the reconfigured model, inclusive education, including special education, is a mandatory area of study for all st...

167. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress his Department has made in respect of the implementation of the Cush report regarding part-time and fixed-term employment in third level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18969/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Third Level Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Report of the Chair of the Expert Group on Fixed Term and Part-Time issues in Lecturing in Ireland was published in July 2016 and the Report contains a number of recommendations that assist in addressing concerns raised about the level of part-time and fixed-term employment in lecturing in the third level sector. 
My Department issued directions to the sector to implement the recommendations contained in the report in accordance with...

168. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the establishment of an adjudicator system to hear disputes arising from the implementation of the Cush report as requested by his Department in 2017. (Question 18970/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Third Level Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department wrote to the university sector in June 2017 requesting that an Adjudicator process be put in place to ensure implementation of the Cush Report.
I understand that following consultation with the unions the university sector has now appointed an Adjudicator and established an adjudication system for the purposes of the Cush Report.
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169. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress his Department has made in respect of the implementation of the Ward report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18971/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Teaching Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Haddington Road Agreement provided for the establishment of an Expert Group to consider and report on the level of fixed-term and part-time employment in teaching, having regard to the importance for teachers of employment stability and security and taking account of system and school needs and Teaching Council registration requirements.
The report of the Chair of the Expert Group (the Ward Report) was published in September 2014.
Th...

172. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which his Department plans to deal with the provision of a sports hall for a school (details supplied); and the details of project preparatory or pre-planning works carried out to date in addition to likely project timelines should a planning application be approved. (Question 19030/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am pleased to advise the Deputy that architectural planning has commenced for the delivery of the PE hall under the Department’s Design and Build Programme. This PE hall forms part of a joint school building project. Site surveys have commenced in advance of preparing the planning application which will be the next key milestone in the progression of the project. It is not possible to provide timelines for the further progression of...

469. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school build that a company (details supplied) was working on; the implications the examinership of the company will have for the build in terms of potential delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16637/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The building project to which the Deputy refers is continuing to progress to schedule.  My Department and the local ETB, to whom the project has been devolved for delivery, are closely monitoring the project in the context of the main contractor recently entering examinership.
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483. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if schools can offer core curriculum subjects as alternatives for students that opt out of religious instruction (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16798/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Under the Constitution and in accordance with section 30 of the Education Act, 1998 parents have the right to have their children opt out of religion classes if they so wish.
In relation to religious instruction in certain second level schools my Department recently published Circular letter 0013/2018 “Religious instruction and worship in certain second level schools in the context of Article 44.2.4 of the Constitution of Ireland and sec...

2. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeframe for the review of autism spectrum disorder, ASD, places available to children in both primary and post-primary schools in counties Carlow and Kilkenny, as promised on 1 February 2018. (Question 14557/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Deputy Kathleen Funchion: What is the timeframe for the review of ASD places available to children in primary and post-primary schools in my constituency, Carlow-Kilkenny? On the previous occasion on which he took questions, the Minister promised a review in the area and I want to know the progress made in respect of it.
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34. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary which has been awarded RAPID status has been designated DEIS status but has yet to receive DEIS funding. (Question 14458/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - DEIS Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As I have previously advised the Deputy, we have, for the first time, introduced an objective, statistics based model for deciding which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS Programme, so that all stakeholders can have confidence that we are targeting extra resources at those schools with the highest concentrated levels of disadvantage. The methodology adopted to assess levels of disadvantage in schools is based on centrally held data wit...

41. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a school (details supplied) will be signed off; and when it will open in view of the collapse of the main contractor. (Question 14459/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school referred to by the Deputy forms part of Schools Bundle 5, the PPP project which has been impacted by the liquidation of Carillion.  
The Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF), representing the PPP Company responsible for delivery of Schools Bundle 5, is currently implementing a rectification plan to secure service commencement on the five school buildings and one further education college as soon as possible.  
DIF has indicated tha...

258. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are plans from a new co-educational, multidenominational, non-fee-paying, second-level school for children attending primary schools of such an ethos in Dublin 6, Dublin 6W, Dublin 8 and Dublin 12; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13778/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Schools Establishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 to 260, inclusive, and 262 to 264, inclusive, together.
As the Deputies may be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. This system uses data from a range o...

259. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department has identified a methodology and timeframe for the determination of a catchment area for a proposed school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13779/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Schools Establishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 to 260, inclusive, and 262 to 264, inclusive, together.
As the Deputies may be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. This system uses data from a range o...

260. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the patronage of a proposed school (details supplied) will be decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13780/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Schools Establishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 to 260, inclusive, and 262 to 264, inclusive, together.
As the Deputies may be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. This system uses data from a range o...

209. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the payments made to members of the Houses of the Oireachtas under the Oireachtas leave scheme for teachers in each of the years 1985 to 2000, by school, in tabular form. (Question 13185/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Teacher Career Breaks)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I understand that the leave and pay arrangements applicable to teachers who were members of the Houses of the Oireachtas during the period referred to by the Deputy were 
(i) the teacher members of the Oireachtas were entitled to the payment of full salary and increments as recognized teachers by the paymaster;
(ii) fully qualified replacement teachers were appointed on a temporary basis and were paid salary by the paymaster;
(iii) the t...

240. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills whether a school is allowed to withdraw an offer of a school place to a child (details supplied) on learning that the child has a disability. (Question 12369/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - School Admissions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In relation to school admissions, parents can choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available, the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary.
This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may resul...

241. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the measures his Department will take to ensure a child has secured a place at a school (details supplied). (Question 12370/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - School Admissions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In relation to school admissions, parents can choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available, the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary.
This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may resul...

170. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to open teaching opportunities to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11492/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Teaching Qualifications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Teaching Council is the statutory body with responsibility for professional standards at all stages of the teaching career. It has established standards for post-qualification professional practice, as set out in Droichead, the new model of induction and probation for newly qualified primary and post-primary teachers.
As such, individuals in the scenario outlined by the Deputy should get in touch with the Teaching Council to ascertai...

474. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an organisation (details supplied) is seeking to have the number of work permits for non-EU nationals increased specifically for persons that would be employed as truck drivers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11111/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Work Permits Eligibility)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Following a review carried out by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, during which my Department was consulted, non-EU/EEA HGV drivers were removed temporarily from the Ineligible Categories of Employment list, subject to a maximum quota of 120 General Employment Permits under the Employment Permit Regulations 2017 effective from 3 April 2017.
It is my understanding from the Department of Business, Enterprise and I...

101. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department will seek a long-term lease for 100 years on the building leased for a school (details supplied); if the purchase of the property is being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8903/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Schools Property)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that the school concerned is located in a former primary school building that was secured as part of Government policy on school divesting. 
The property is subject to a 10 year lease between the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) and the Minister for Education and Skills and my Department will continue to work with the school and its patron body in relation to the current and future accommodation needs of the s...