Dáil Éireann - Volume 518 - 18 April, 2000
Written Answers. - Secretarial and Caretaking Services.
Mr. R. Bruton Mr. R. Bruton
280. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the new allocation for secretarial and caretaking services to Scoil Áine, Raheny, Dublin 5; and if he has had any meeting with parents or staff to assess whether this allocation will meet their serious needs in this regard. [11378/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
 Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I recently met with the principal of this school to discuss this and a range of other issues. The position regarding the school is that it is currently involved in a secretarial sharing arrangement with another primary school under the 1978 scheme for the employment of secretaries in primary schools. In addition to the shared secretary arrangement, the school had up to this year been receiving an additional per capita grant of £15 per pupil, towards the cost of caretaking services, under the PESP scheme that was introduced in 1992.
In view of the increased allocation that has been made available this year, and effective from January of this year, all primary schools with 100 or more pupils became eligible for a grant towards caretaking services under this scheme. In addition I increased the rate of grant by 33% to £20 per pupil. This has resulted in the grant for caretaking services to this school increasing from £5,190 in 1999 to £6,880 this year. My Department has already issued the increased grant to the school.
Furthermore, with effect from January 2001, all primary schools will become eligible for grant assistance under this scheme. My Department has recently issued a circular to all schools on this matter.
The allocation for grant assistance to schools in respect of caretaking and secretarial services increased from approximately £5.6 million in 1999 to £11.2 million this year. I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate that in framing proposals for the spending of the increased allocation, it was necessary for me to examine means of ensuring that all schools would receive assistance from my Department in respect of such services. The scheme that I have put in place will mean that from January of 2001 all primary schools will, for the first time, be receiving grant assistance in respect of these services from my Department. In addition the increase of 33% in the rate of grant also means that schools that were already receiving assistance have had their grant levels significantly increased.
Dáil Éireann 518 Written Answers. Secretarial and Caretaking Services.