120. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the support his Department is providing to schools to deal with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Bill 2018. (Question 20753/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - General Data Protection Regulation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department is considering how best to provide support to schools taking into account the views and assessment of the relevant school management bodies.
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92. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Finance his plans to offer relief to home owners that took out mortgages in recent years and now face potential interest rate increases. (Question 20376/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Mortgage Interest Relief Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): At present, there are no plans to provide specific additional income tax relief for mortgage payments, as the Government’s priority is on reducing the income tax burden for low to middle income earners, while limiting the benefit for high earners and keeping the tax base broad. 
As indicated in the last two Budgets, Mortgage Interest Relief is being phased out.  The residual availability of the relief will taper out over the next three years before ...

106. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there is a mechanism for the funding of a small theatre style room in a national school which would be used by the school community for drama, music and other performances and also by the local community. (Question 20241/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Schools Facilities)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department’s current priority is the provision of essential classroom accommodation in areas where significant demographic need has been established to ensure that each child will have access to a physical school place.
Funding is not available for the purposes referred to by the Deputy. However in situations where a school has a GP room or access to a local community hall, activities of the nature de...

141. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the review of career guidance services in schools, higher education institutes and colleges of further education will include special schools; and his plans to provide career guidance to the 16 to 18 year old persons attending special schools who are not in receipt of the service. (Question 19611/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The purpose of the review of career guidance is to ensure that we are providing high quality, relevant career guidance information to students from post–primary level up to further and higher education. The review will look at the quality of information available to students and adults in relation to career guidance, the sources of this information and how the system is organised to support students and adults in this area. The review is...

172. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the controls his Department exercises in regard to outside groups that are invited by schools to help in delivering various aspects of the curriculum. (Question 20036/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 and 173 together.
It is the responsibility of each individual school to select the materials and resources that it will use to support its implementation of any part of the curriculum including SPHE or PE. Where an outside organisation is engaged by a school, they should be engaged in the context of delivering a planned and comprehensive programme in the school. They must not be brought in to replace...

173. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department has a memorandum of understanding with national organisations including, but not limited to, national sporting organisations or other outside organisations governing their participation within schools in helping deliver parts of curricula. (Question 20037/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 and 173 together.
It is the responsibility of each individual school to select the materials and resources that it will use to support its implementation of any part of the curriculum including SPHE or PE. Where an outside organisation is engaged by a school, they should be engaged in the context of delivering a planned and comprehensive programme in the school. They must not be brought in to replace...

206. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 194 of 1 May 2018, when a person (details supplied) can expect to be called for their appeal hearing with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. (Question 20208/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Prison Service Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy may be aware, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted on Prison Officers.  Under the terms of the Scheme, the Tribunal is entirely independent in considering applications made under the Scheme.  However, to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made of the Tribunal.  
Appeal hearings are planned in chronological order by t...

91. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a full-time special needs assistant will be reinstated for a person (details supplied). (Question 19157/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are provided to assist recognised schools to cater for pupils with disabilities, who have additional and significant care needs, in an educational context and where the nature of these care needs have been outlined in medical and other professional reports as being so significant that a pupil will require additional adult assistance in order to be able to attend school and to participate in education. 
Th...

115. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when an ENT appointment for a person (details supplied) in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda will be scheduled. (Question 19141/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing ...

134. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) has had its proposed new build extension downsized; if other similar projects are being reduced in size as a result of the recent announcement of 42 new schools; and if so, the details of same. (Question 18650/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question submitted a master plan containing details of how it envisaged the school developing in the future. The master plan would require significant capital funding to undertake a major extension and refurbishment of the existing school building. The school indicated that the proposed project would cater for future demographic growth in the area as well as providing additional specialist...

142. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will receive additional teachers in September 2018. (Question 18723/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - School Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 142 and 143 together.
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 30 September. Budget 2018 announced a one point improvement to the primary staffing schedule, which reduced the average pupil teacher ratio to 26:1. The improved staffing schedule has been imple...

150. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is necessary for teachers to have taught the politics course to be employed by the State Examinations Commission to correct the leaving certificate exam; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18818/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - State Examinations Commission)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.
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159. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional teaching posts provided in 2017; the number of these appointed to meet demographic needs; and the number that arose owing to changes to guidance. (Question 18915/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Teacher Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The 2017/18 school year saw an increase of over 5000 teaching posts in our schools compared to the 2015/16 school year.
Budget 2017 set out the resources available for schools for the 2017/18 school year. This Budget represented the start of a major reinvestment in education, and the first phase of implementation of the Action Plan for Education, aimed at becoming the best education system in Europe within a decade. The budget provided f...

160. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional resource teacher posts provided in 2017. (Question 18916/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th March 2017. 
These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.
The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation process at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, a...

175. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the section 29 procedure is inappropriate in the case of a proposed expulsion or suspension of a child with special needs; and his plans for reform in the area. (Question 19043/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - School Discipline)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Under Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 each school is required to develop a Code of Behaviour. Each Code of Behaviour must be developed in accordance with the Education Welfare Service national guidelines, Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools. 
Each school Code of Behaviour sets out the standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school. The Code of Behaviour must also set...

176. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the rights to work of non-EEA citizens here who are partners or spouses of Irish citizens. (Question 18589/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Family Reunification Policy)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that immediate family members of Irish citizens who are granted immigration status through the family reunification process have the right to work without employment permits and to establish or manage/operate a business in the State. They should receive a “stamp 4” immigration permission.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration...

194. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details suppled) will be called for an appeal hearing. (Question 18997/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Prison Service Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Director General of the Irish Prison Service that the Officer referred to by the Deputy has had a number of sick leave absences recognised as related to incidents at work under the terms of circulars 1/82 and 6/97: Sick leave arising from Occupational Injuries or Disease. He has also received payment of Additional Hours and Allowances for those absences.
The Director General has further advised that the Human Resou...

195. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there are board vacancies in respect of the criminal injuries compensation tribunal; if so, when they will be filled; if he is satisfied regarding the general operations of the tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19022/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Appointments to State Boards)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy may be aware, the Tribunal is comprised of a Chairperson and six Ordinary Members who are practising barristers or solicitors. They provide their services on a part-time basis to the Tribunal. There are currently no vacancies to be filled on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. I am satisfied that the Tribunal is fulfilling its functions under the Scheme.
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203. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding the dependent partner (details supplied) of an Irish citizen in circumstances in which the Irish citizen’s partner wishes to return here for a temporary period; and if in those circumstances, the dependent partner can work for that temporary period here. (Question 18556/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Residency Permits)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Matters relating to the presence in the State of foreign nationals who are the partners of Irish citizens are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality. I have been informed that the partner of an Irish citizen may be granted a Stamp 4 residence permission, if they meet the qualifying criteria for the De Facto Partner Immigration Permission (DFPIP) scheme which is administered by the Irish Natura...

287. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when an appointment for back surgery for a person (details supplied) will be met. (Question 18951/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing ...

359. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding funding from the TEN-T programme for the Dunboyne to Navan rail line. (Question 18722/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Navan Rail Link Project, currently part of the TEN-T comprehensive network, was originally included under the Transport 21 Initiative and was to be developed in two Phases. Phase 1, which comprised the Dunboyne Rail Line project and involved the reopening of 7.5km of a railway line running off the Maynooth line, at Clonsilla, to the M3 interchange at Pace near Dunboyne, was opened in September 2010 with Park and Ride facilities ...

380. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied). (Question 18744/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Departmental Communications)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I would like to inform the Deputy that a response was forwarded to the person concerned on Friday 27th April.
 ...

100. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a pension for a person (details supplied). (Question 18359/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The person to whom the Deputy refers has been in regular engagement with my Department regarding her pension benefits. She retired in late February 2018 and only recently provided us with the information necessary to calculate those benefits. 
My Department has given a committment to process pension benefits within 12 weeks of the date of retirement and I can now confirm that the calculation of pension benefits for the person concerned i...

101. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there is difficulty in paying first pension payments from his Department. (Question 18360/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Given the complex nature of pension schemes my Department has a 12 week processing period for the award of pension benefits to those on the payroll of the Department. 
In general this timeframe is met and pension benefits are in payment within 12 weeks of retirement.  If there is a delay, which does not occur very often and is generally as a result of unusual circumstances, officials in my Department make contact with the retiree concern...

107. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress he has made in linking additional capitation for schools to provision of after-school care and facilities to local groups. (Question 18413/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Capitation Grants)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to providing additional capitation funding linked to the utilisation of primary school buildings for after-school care provision for school age children to offer more options and flexibility to parents, where there is demand for such a service, in partnership with community groups or private providers.
I can confirm that, further to consultation with relevant school authorities, guidel...