Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 15 October, 1996
Written Answers. - Remedial Teacher Appointment.
Mr. Dempsey Mr. Dempsey
214. Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for Education when she will sanction the appointment of a remedial teacher to a school (details supplied) in County Meath. [18462/96]
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach) Niamh Bhreathnach
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I am not in a position at present to allocate additional remedial teachers to primary schools. When I am next in a position to extend the remediation service, the needs of the school in question will receive every consideration.
Since my appointment as Minister for Education, I have allocated an additional 241 remedial teachers to the primary sector. A total of 1,188 remedial teachers are now in place and the percentage of pupils who have access to a remedial service has increased from 77 per cent to 87 per cent.
I consider that the substantial improvements which I have already achieved in this area provide practical confirmation of my commitment to the needs of the children in question.
However, as Minister for Education, I must consider how best to deploy available resources across a wider range of special needs. I have to determine priorities and try to allocate resources to best effect.
In the current year, I have adopted a particular focus on children who suffer from educational disadvantage and have sought to target resources into this area in an effort to break the cycle of disadvantage. As part of this approach, I recently launched a major new initiative aimed at bringing special targeted assistance to children in selected urban and rural areas who suffer serious educational  disadvantage. I am satisfied that since my appointment as Minister for Education I have achieved substantial advances across the entire spectrum of special needs, including the remedial area. It is my intention to continue this process.
Dáil Éireann 470 Written Answers. Remedial Teacher Appointment.