Dáil Éireann - Volume 526 - 22 November, 2000

Written Answers. - Secretarial and Caretaking Services.

337. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Education and Science if, in view of the grave need to provide a caretaker for St. Fergal's junior and senior schools in Ballywaltrim, Bray, County Wicklow, following on the retirement of the caretaker of the senior school, he will guarantee that there will be a caretaker for each school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26860/00]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): At primary level, my Department provides funding towards the cost of secretarial and caretaking services under two separate schemes. One scheme is the 1978-79 scheme for the employment of school secretaries and caretakers under which my Department meets the full cost of salary and employer's PRSI. Under this scheme St. Fergal's junior and senior schools have the services of a full-time caretaker shared between the two schools. Each school also has the services of a full-time secretary. Under the terms of the scheme there is no compulsion on the caretaker to retire when he reaches the age of 65 [1086] years but, should he do so, both schools will qualify for funding under the PESP scheme which has replaced the 1978-79 scheme outlined above.

The PESP scheme provides additional per-capita grants for primary schools towards secretarial and caretaking services. Under this scheme qualifying schools receive grants of £40 per pupil per annum – £20 per pupil in respect of each service – subject to a maximum of £20,000 – maximum of £10,000 in respect of each service. In the event that the caretaker retires, St. Fergal's junior and senior schools would receive a grant of £7,540 and £7,480 respectively based on the school's enrolment in September 1999.