Thursday, 23 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Gabhaim buíochas leis an Teachta as a cheist.
My Department's commitment to supporting Irish-medium education and promoting the use of Irish in Irish-medium schools is evidenced by the progress which has been made by the Department, along with partners, in implementing the actions set out in the Government's 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, the five-year action plan for the Irish language and my Department's Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022.
An estimated budget of €20.3 million, a significant budget, has been allocated to support the implementation of actions arising from the policy on Gaeltacht education since its commencement in 2017. This includes the provision of a range of additional resources such as grant supports and additional teaching hours provided annually to schools participating in the Gaeltacht school recognition scheme. Further supports are being provided to five post-primary island schools.
Regarding staffing, primary schools in the Gaeltacht are allowed a more favourable appointment and retention staffing schedule. At post-primary level, an additional post is allocated to all Irish-medium post-primary schools both within and outside the Gaeltacht.
Gaelscoileanna outside of the Gaeltacht are in receipt of additional capitation at a rate of €23 per pupil, in addition to the standard capitation rate paid to all primary schools. This is to give an extra incentive for Gaelscoileanna to promote the use of the Irish language in their school communities.
An additional per capitabilingual grant is paid to schools in the voluntary secondary sector, both within and outside the Gaeltacht, where instruction is through the medium of Irish in full or in part.
An additional €110.50 per pupil is paid to schools where students are taught all subjects through Irish. Where some subjects are taught through Irish, an extra €22 is paid for each student, per subject, up to a maximum of four subjects.
Irish-medium teacher education has been supported through the provision of ongoing continuing professional development and upskilling options for teachers. In addition, funding is also being provided for places on two new Irish-medium teacher education programmes, allowing for up to 60 new funded places annually.