Dáil Éireann - Volume 617 - 05 April, 2006
Written Answers. - School Discipline.
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Education and Science when she will begin recruiting staff for the regional behaviour support teams announced following the publication of the task force on student behaviour; the way in which she expects these teams to work with schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13514/06]
Mr. Hayes Mr. Hayes
Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of persons who will be placed on each behaviour support team;  the way in which the membership of each team will be decided upon; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13353/06]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 and 153 together.
At the launch of the report, School Matters, I announced that I would be establishing a national behaviour support team which would be based regionally. The team will be divided into four groups. A group will be assigned to different parts of the country. The exact locations where these groups or core teams will be based will be decided shortly. The new behaviour support team’s role will range from diagnosis of school problems to assistance with remediation. It is expected that this team will be in place in the next school year and will be working with up to 50 schools nationally. It is not possible to say at this stage the geographical distribution of these schools. The team will work with schools that are experiencing significant discipline problems. The team will be staffed by experienced practitioners from across the education sector, including additional psychologists dedicated to this area. I want the best people, with real, on-the-ground experience and the capacity to work collaboratively with those schools experiencing significant discipline problems, working in this area.
I also intend putting a procedure in place that will facilitate schools in getting access and support from the behaviour support team. The first step in this process is for a school itself to acknowledge the existence of a serious discipline problem. I should emphasis that this is not about labelling schools that may have a discipline problem but rather supporting them and the teachers in the school to identify and tackle the discipline issues that they have to deal with on a daily basis. The behaviour support team will become intensively involved in a school over a period of time in order to help that school bring about a real and sustained improvement in student behaviour. Posts in the behaviour support team will be advertised in the next few weeks and the team will begin its work as soon as the successful candidates are in a position to take up duty.
Dáil Éireann 617 Written Answers. School Discipline.