Dáil Éireann - Volume 463 - 28 March, 1996

Written Answers. - Schools' Security Levels.

97. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Education if she has satisfied herself with the level of security in schools during school attendance times to ensure the safety and welfare of children in attendance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6787/96]

98. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Education the submissions, if any, she has received on the need for improved protection and security arrangements in national schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6788/96]

99. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Education her views on the need for [1434] auxiliary personnel in schools other than the teaching complement in order to provide back up and support when the need arises; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6789/96]

114. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Education the safety procedures, if any, she intends to introduce to all schools to counteract violent attacks on pupils and teachers. [6835/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 98, 99 and 114 together.

The safety and welfare of children in schools during school attendance times is, of course, a matter of concern to me as Minister for Education. The issues which arise in this context are complex and call for careful and appropriate balance. This balance must take account of the need to provide a secure and welcoming environment for children, their parents, school teachers and other staff.

It is also important, in considering security in schools, to have regard to their wide diversity in terms of size, accommodation and location. In practical terms, therefore, individual school authorities are best placed to assess the detail of their own security.

My Department is keeping the issue of school security under close review and, in this context, full account will be taken of any submissions received on the matter.