Dáil Éireann - Volume 477 - 08 April, 1997

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

184. Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education if, further to her replies to Parliamentary Question No. 79 of 30 January 1997 and Parliamentary Question No. 277 of 25 March 1997, there will be a review of the system of paying grants and bonuses for secondary schools for orchestras and military bands; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8966/97]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): The review referred to by the Deputy has commenced and it is intended that it will be completed during the current year. Any increase in the level of grants and bonuses will have to be considered within the limit of the available financial resources.

185. Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education if the level of special bonuses for secondary school orchestras and bands in County Donegal in 1996 was £90 in total; the number of schools this supported; and the criteria needed to qualify for the special grant which totalled £1,995 for the entire country in 1996. [8967/97]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): The present system for funding choirs and orchestras in secondary schools consists of a scheme of grants towards the cost of the purchase and repair of equipment and bonuses payble to schools on the basis of the standard attained by individual schools in the Department's examination for choirs and orchestras.

The conditions for the payment of the equipment grant include the prior notification to the Department of the intention to form an orchestra or military band, vouching of expenditure and the progress made by the school in developing the orchestra or military band being subject to inspection by the Department.

Ninety pounds was paid to three schools in County Donegal during 1996 under the bonus scheme. No application for equipment funding was received during the year.

A copy of the relevant circular to schools on [410] the scheme is being sent to the Deputy for her information.