Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.
Mr. J. Mitchell Mr. J. Mitchell
859. Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received a letter from St. Joseph's Schools for Deaf Boys, Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, dated the 26 October 2001 (details supplied); his views on whether the establishment of a pre-school was done in an arbitrary way without adequate resources or co-ordination; his further views in relation to the points set out in the letter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26909/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I have received the letter to which the Deputy refers. I am satisfied that my Department did not act in an arbitrary way in relation to the proposed establishment of the pre-school in question. This matter was the subject of a number of discussions involving officials of my Department and the school authorities.
I can readily understand the concerns which have now been raised by the school authorities in relation to some of the subsequent developments outlined in the letter to which the Deputy refers. Indeed, I can assure the Deputy that the developments in question were neither notified to nor approved of by my Department. Throughout my Department's dealings with the representatives of the pre-school project, the focus of the discussions was solely on the development of a pre-school facility. At no stage did my Department agree to the development of a facility to cater for  children beyond pre-school, and at no stage in the discussions was any reference made to the provision of night classes at the facility. My Department had no knowledge of any such proposal and did not sanction any such development. Indeed, it would be a matter for the authorities at St. Joseph's to consider whether they wished to facilitate any such development. My Department has already notified the authorities at St. Joseph's of its position in relation to the above matters. The representatives of the pre-school project are being similarly advised.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Special Educational Needs.