Dáil debates

Thursday, 25 May 2006

2:00 pm

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)

Not only were schools not told that they would not lose, they were specifically told in a letter written to every school that participated that there would be no loss in 2006-07. I am surprised to hear that a school is questioning the survey because it was the schools that provided the information. The survey was independently based and assessed and spot-checked to ensure that the information was accurate. The schools provided the information and it was judged on very significant variables, namely, the percentage of unemployed, local authority accommodation, lone parents, Travellers, large families of five or more children, as well as the percentage of pupils eligible for free books. Each of these variables has an impact on educational outcome.

Mayo has a thriving economy and has received much investment from the Government over the years. It has the second highest participation rate in third level education in Ireland. It is not educationally disadvantaged and the schools that deserve it most in Mayo are getting it. The schools that have applied to be reviewed are currently being reviewed and they will be notified before the end of the school year.

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