Dáil Éireann - Volume 471 - 13 November, 1996

Written Answers. - Remedial Teachers.

[1069] 137. Mr. M. Smith asked the Minister for Education if she will appoint a remedial teacher to serve Templetuohy national school, County Tipperary. [21264/96]

138. Mr. M. Smith asked the Minister for Education when she will appoint remedial teachers to Loughmore, Castleiney, Rahealty, Moyne, and Togher national schools, County Tipperary. [21265/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 and 138 together.

I am not in a position at present to allocate additional remedial teachers to primary schools. 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.

However, as Minister for Education, I have to 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 the process.

When I am next in a position to extend the remediation service, the needs of the schools in question will receive every consideration.