Dáil Éireann - Volume 655 - 21 May, 2008

Written Answers. - School Curriculum.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Education and Science the process of consultation which has taken place with the patrons of primary schools and other interested bodies under section 30 of the Education Act 1998 in order to enable him, by way of regulation, to prescribe the primary school curriculum; the number of organisations and bodies contacted; the number and dates of meetings which were held during the course of those consultations; when the regulations will become operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19713/08]

  Deputy Batt O’Keeffe: There was widespread consultation by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment prior to the launch of the Revised primary school curriculum in 1999. The curriculum has been implemented on a phased basis over the period to 2007 in full collaboration with the partners in education. In April 2007 a commitment was given to the Dail that my Department would progress arrangements to put the regulation of the education system on a statutory footing on an incremental basis. In line with Section 30 of the Education Act, a draft Statutory Instrument and a Regulatory Impact screening document has been issued to the bodies below for consultation:

The National Parents Council — Primary

Irish National Teachers’ Organisation

Educate Together

Church of Ireland Board of Education

Catholic Primary School Managers’ Association

Chief Rabbi of Ireland

Islamic Culture of Ireland

Educate Together

Gaelscoileanna

An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta

Foras na Gaeilge

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge

Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta

An Foras Patrunachta

[170] National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education Schools

Irish Primary Principals’ Network.

The deadline for feedback has been extended to 31 May 2008. A Regulatory Impact Assessment screening is required where a significant SI is planned. Section 30 of the Education Act also obliges the Minister to consult when making regulations to prescribe the curriculum. The RIA Screening is the mechanism through which the consultation is taking place. It is intended that the views of the organisations consulted will be summarised and included in a finalised Regulatory Impact Screening document and published on the Department’s website. The date in the draft documentation is indicative only. The regulations will not take effect until the Regulatory Impact Screening document has been finalised, and a Statutory Instrument has been formally signed and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.