Dáil Éireann - Volume 538 - 21 June, 2001

Written Answers. - School Census.

154. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the way in which data on the number of children and of classes distributed by class size at primary school are furnished to his Department; the date by which this must be furnished; the reason data for 2000-01 are not available; and the position in the most recent year for which data is available. [18343/01]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): My Department conducts an annual census of all primary schools under which school authorities complete a range of forms in respect of enrolment and other relevant information, as of the last school day in September, in ordinary and special classes in national schools and special schools. These forms are required to be returned by the end of October.

There are a number of reasons why data are not yet available for the 2000-01 school year. There are delays in some schools returning their forms. Some forms received from schools are incomplete or contain incorrect information. Copies of these forms must be returned by officials of my Department to the schools concerned for correction and return to the Department. The result is that full data from the census are not normally available until at least August following the date of collection.

Data in respect of the number of primary school children and class size are available for the 1999-2000 school year.