65. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills to offer his assessment of Ireland’s standing in university ratings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42252/13 asked on 08 Oct 2013 - Universities Global Rankings)

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: The performance of Irish higher education institutes, HEIs, varies widely in the different ranking systems. This variance clearly demonstrates that caution should be taken in the interpretation of individual placement of HEIs to determine overall quality. In the latest published Times Higher Education world university rankings, Ireland again has two of its seven universities featuring in the top 200, or top 1%, out of 15,000 universities worldwide. Analysis done by the Ir...

16. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills the implications for the education budget in 2014 of the additional resource teachers announced on 25 June 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32249/13 asked on 03 Jul 2013 - Special Educational Needs Services Provision)

(Deputy Ruairí Quinn): I propose to take Questions Nos. 9, 12, 16, 23 and 24 together.
I have authorised the NCSE to restore the level of resource teaching allocations to be provided for students with special educational needs to the 2012-13 levels. There will not now be a reduction in resource teaching time for these pupils for the coming school year. The first tranche of resource teaching posts have now been allocated to schools by the NCSE.
A number of additional posts will be required to e...

51. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of primary schools that he visited in person in 2013; the number of secondary schools that he has visited in person in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25501/13 asked on 28 May 2013 - Official Engagements)

(Deputy Ruairí Quinn): To date in 2013, I have visited 21 schools throughout the country, 13 primary schools and eight post-primary schools.
 ...

109. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way he will ensure that the new junior certificate cycle is implemented in a consistent manner and to the same standard across all schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51324/12 asked on 20 Nov 2012 - School Curriculum)

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: I published the framework for the junior cycle on 4 October. All schools are to develop their junior cycle programme mindful of the principles, key skills and the 24 statements of learning. Subjects, short courses and, where relevant, priority learning units will be developed according to agreed specifications. The framework includes a number of measures to support and quality assure assessment across the three years of the junior cycle.
There will be two particular suppo...