Dáil Éireann - Volume 500 - 09 February, 1999
Written Answers - Psychological Services.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
406. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of new appointments to be made to the primary school psychological service; when these appointments will be completed; if it will be possible for all schools in County Wexford to access this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3280/99]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I am aware that there are many primary schools in the country, including all the primary schools in County Wexford, which do not yet have access to my Department's psychological service. One of my key priorities as Minister is the establishment of a national educational psychological service, to be available to all schools at both levels. On 15 September last, I launched and endorsed the report of the planning group, which has prepared recommendations for me on how a national educational psychological service may best be introduced. Financial provision has now been made for the first two years of a five-year implementation phase. At the end of the five-year period, it is envisaged that every school in the country will have access to a schools psychological service.
The Deputy will be aware that psychological services to primary schools are much enhanced in the current school year with the appointment in 1998 of 15 psychologists specifically for that sector in a development project involving my  Department's psychological service and Mary Immaculate College of Education.
Subject to the approval of Government, implementation of the report will begin shortly, with the recruitment of 25 additional psychologists, who should take up their appointments during the school year 1999-2000. It is intended that the psychological service will be an integrated service for the primary and second level sectors and, from now on, newly recruited psychologists will be expected to work in both sectors. My Department is currently carrying out a detailed analysis of the needs and resources available in all parts of the country, in order to set priorities for the expansion of the national educational psychological service.
Dáil Éireann 500 Written Answers Psychological Services.