148. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) which provides special services for autistic children is oversubscribed; his views on whether the new school that is being built in 2019 can cater for that oversubscription; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19656/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.
My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, including those with Autism in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appr...

149. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a child (details supplied) has been denied a place in a school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19657/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.
My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, including those with Autism in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appr...

155. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a school (details supplied) will receive capital funding for refurbishment; if this school is on a list in his Department; the status of the school’s application for assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18854/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Schools Refurbishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department is in receipt of an application for capital funding from the school referred to by the Deputy to undertake refurbishment works to provide improved accommodation for the school. 
My Department is aware of the specific needs of the school and is working with the school to address these needs. In this regard, my Department has arranged to meet with the school authorities in the coming week to discuss the proposed project.
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156. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the capital plans for each secondary school in Cork city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18855/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Schools Building Projects)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of all building projects, including those in Cork city and county may be viewed on my Department’s website www.education.ie – Schools & Colleges - Building Works.
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98. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if officials in his Department are on the interdepartmental group set up to examine third level education funding. (Question 16805/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Interdepartmental Working Groups)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The programme for Government provided that the Cassells report would be referred to the Oireachtas Education Committee, who would review its recommendations and outline a proposed funding plan for this sector, as part of the process for building political consensus around the most appropriate means of ensuring a sustainable funding model for the future.
While I have awaited the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee in relation to a...

451. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the new school building for a school (details supplied) will be progressed in view of the fact that there has been no movement on the building since the agreed schedule of accommodation with his Department in September 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16358/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Deputy will be aware that a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department’s Capital Programme.
The formulation of the accommodation brief for the project is being finalised which will in due course allow my Department to liaise with the school in the context of initiating the architectural planning process for the project.
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230. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) will have a place in a secondary school which caters for their special needs in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12271/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - School Placement)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, including special schools in your area, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education.
It is my Department’s policy that children with special educational needs should be included where possible and appropriate in mainstream placements with...

133. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if, in respect of the award of incremental credit to teachers at second level, relevant non-teaching experience is taken into account; if those teachers who were previously self-employed can be considered for the increment; and if not, his plans to review the provisions to allow for this. (Question 7885/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Teachers’ Remuneration)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The criteria for the award of incremental credit to recognized post-primary teachers under Circular 29/2007 was agreed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council. This Council is comprised of representatives of teachers, school management, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Education & Skills and is chaired by an official of the Workplace Relations Commission.
The Circular provides that incre...

178. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received complaints from a person (details supplied) regarding the way in which protected disclosure legislation is being enacted and the way in which there are gaps in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014; if he has investigated the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6780/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Protected Disclosures)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 became operational in July 2014. Under section 2 of the Act, the Minister for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is required to  commence a review of the operation of the Act not later than three years from when the Act was passed. 
Accordingly, a consultation process was undertaken by that Department’s during 2017 and a report will be made to each House of the Oireachtas within 12 months o...

224. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the severe accommodation difficulties and lack of special education facilities being provided in a school (details supplied); if these issues are being addressed; if capital moneys will be allocated; when the school can expect significant investment to address its difficulties and long waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7375/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has been liaising with the school in question regarding its accommodation needs and has approved additional accommodation to facilitate the school’s expansion. A letter to this effect has issued to the school.
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225. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the progress on a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7376/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school referred to by the Deputy has a major building project with my Department. A design team has been appointed for this project and is currently working on a Stage 1 submission - site suitability, site report and initial sketch scheme.
This is an extension and refurbishment project to the existing school to provide additional accommodation consisting of 2 no. mainstream classrooms plus circulation and 2 no. classroom special nee...

137. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he, his officials or advisers have had meetings with the strategic communication unit since it was set up; the issues that were discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6535/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Strategic Communications Unit)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I attended a meeting with the Strategic Communication Unit on 29 September 2017 at my Department’s headquarters in Marlborough Street. The purpose of the meeting was to appraise me and officials on the remit of the Unit which will streamline communications and keep the public informed of major cross Governmental campaigns.
The Government Strategic Communications project is part of the Civil Service Renewal Programme. The mechanism for o...

221. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the Department of the Taoiseach’s strategy statement and its commitment to meet the demographic challenges in higher education. (Question 49414/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Higher Education Institutions Expenditure)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Higher education is a central part of our plan as a Government to support a strong economy and deliver a fair society and I have taken a number of steps towards achieving this important objective.
As committed to in the Programme for Government, I have referred the Report of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills. The Report sets out a number of proposals to devel...

89. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the required extended temporary accommodation necessary to accommodate the intake of students in September 2018 in a school (details supplied); the site location; the timeframe for delivery of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47406/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school referred to by the Deputy is currently located in temporary accommodation across two sites. My Department is working in close co-operation with the patron body, Educate Together, and Cork County Council regarding the arrangements for temporary accommodation for the 2018/19 school year. My Department, in consultation with the local authority, is currently exploring the feasibility of accommodating the school on an interim bas...

90. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the acquisition of a permanent school site for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47407/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Schools Site Acquisitions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Department has identified a suitable permanent site for the school to which the Deputy refers and agreement in principle in respect of this proposed acquisition, subject to satisfactory conveyancing, was reached in February 2017. This Department requested draft contracts at that time.
The site in question is currently not accessible and aspects of the design and delivery of the access road to the site needed to be discussed with the...

170. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the programme for Government commitments on third level funding. (Question 43633/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Third Level Funding)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Higher education is a central part of our plan as a Government to support a strong economy and deliver a fair society and I have taken a number of steps towards achieving this important objective.
As committed to in the Programme for Government, I have referred the Report of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills. The Report sets out a number of proposals to deve...

212. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the role his Department has in co-ordinating Departments’ responses to the risks outlined in the national assessment report on risks, particularly in view of the fact that they apply to the risks outlined in the report in relation to human capital and skills needs and in view of the fact they are deemed to be issues of growing importance in the report; the areas the Government will address; and the way in which it will address same. (Question 39103/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - National Risk Assessment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Risk Assessment process was initiated in 2013 when the Government announced it would publish annually a National Risk Assessment (NRA), as a process to identify the strategic risks that Ireland faces over the short, medium and long term. The Department of the Taoiseach co-ordinates the preparation of the NRA supported by a Steering Group of Government Departments and Agencies. The first report was published in 2014 and the...

419. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the extension for a school (details supplied); the stage it is at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38396/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers was included in my Department’s 6 Year Construction Programme (2016-2021).
Arrangements are being made to finalise the project brief for the school concerned with the aim of progressing the project into architectural planning.
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464. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the expected timeframe for approval of University College Cork’s request of 4 April 2017 for sanctioning in respect of the binding Labour Court Recommendation LCR21419; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26923/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Labour Court Recommendations)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm that on 30 May my Department, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, conveyed sanction to University College Cork to implement the Labour Court recommendation with effect from the 12 September 2016.
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130. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the changes to the integrated pharmacy degree training programme; the details of the requirement for student pharmacists to do a four month placement in fourth year and an eight month placement in fifth year without pay; the reasons for this; when the students were informed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23769/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Higher Education Courses Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130, 131, 134 and 135 together.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent statutory body and is responsible for defining and ensuring the standards of education and training for pharmacists qualifying in Ireland. This includes developing standards, policies and carrying out accreditation of pharmacy degree programmes.
The changes in the degree programme structure arise from the recomm...

131. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason fees for the fifth year pharmacy integrated degree course in the three pharmacy schools are being increased in view of the fact students will spend eight months on placement without pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23770/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Higher Education Courses Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130, 131, 134 and 135 together.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent statutory body and is responsible for defining and ensuring the standards of education and training for pharmacists qualifying in Ireland. This includes developing standards, policies and carrying out accreditation of pharmacy degree programmes.
The changes in the degree programme structure arise from the recomm...

134. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the changes to the integrated pharmacy degree training programme requiring student pharmacists to do a four month placement in fourth year and an eight month placement in fifth year without pay; the reason for this; the date students were informed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23847/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Higher Education Courses Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130, 131, 134 and 135 together.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent statutory body and is responsible for defining and ensuring the standards of education and training for pharmacists qualifying in Ireland. This includes developing standards, policies and carrying out accreditation of pharmacy degree programmes.
The changes in the degree programme structure arise from the recomm...

135. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the fifth year pharmacy integrated degree course in the three pharmacy schools is being increased in view of the fact that students will spend eight months on placement without pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23848/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Higher Education Courses Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130, 131, 134 and 135 together.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent statutory body and is responsible for defining and ensuring the standards of education and training for pharmacists qualifying in Ireland. This includes developing standards, policies and carrying out accreditation of pharmacy degree programmes.
The changes in the degree programme structure arise from the recomm...

125. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason his Department has delayed for over 12 months in carrying out the road safety audit which is required for Cork County Council’s roads department to install a pedestrian crossing for a school (details supplied); when this audit will be carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22299/17 asked on 10 May 2017 - Road Safety)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers was delivered under a Public Works Design & Build Contract which places the responsibility on the Contractor to submit the final compliance documents to the local authority. 
Stage 1 and stage 2 Road Safety Audits were undertaken as part of the planning process. 
My officials have sought clarification from the Contractors design team on the status of the Stage 3 Road Safety Audit. My officials will ...

210. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way he and his Department are ensuring that hours or time spent teaching academic subjects such as German, French, science and others are not being cut to facilitate the introduction of the wellbeing scheme in secondary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21810/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 198, 206 and 210 to 212, inclusive, together. The Wellbeing Programme will cross the three years of junior cycle and build on substantial work already taking place in schools in support of students’ wellbeing. This area of learning will make the school’s commitment to wellbeing visible to students. It will include learning opportunities to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of...